There it was,
That Fifth Cup on the table,
Only One could possibly drink,
The fact that Jesus drank
God’s wrath for us,
I really shudder to think.
The four cups of the Passover Feast have held great measure of worth and meaning for Jews ever since its institution itself. These cups represent:
- The Cup of Sanctification – based on God’s statement, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”
- The Cup of Deliverance – based on God’s statement, “I will deliver you from slavery to them.”
- The Cup of Redemption – based on God’s statement, “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm.”
4. The Cup of Protection – based on God’s statement, “I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God.”
These four cups are a staple of Jewish thought regarding their relationship with God. But the meal was always incomplete without the Fifth Cup: the Cup of God’s Wrath.
Could we absolve ourselves? Of course not. Could we ever hope to help ourselves; to be our own sanctifier, deliverer, redeemer, and protector? It could never be.
The sin in the world – that sin that so irreverently insults God – had to be dealt with in full. Only a sacrifice so large – the largest conceivable sacrifice – the only perfect and sinless Man ever, and God’s own Son – could expunge God’s fury for our consummate insolence.
Simply put, Jesus came to the earth, God incarnate, to become sin for us, so that we might be reconnected with God as it was originally purposed. The Jews of Jesus’ time couldn’t conceive the masterful redemption plan that meant that the Son of God would be the Lamb of God as promised, and indeed, prophesied (meaning they should have known that Jesus could be the suffering servant of Isaiah) who could drink a cup of God’s wrath dry.
They anticipated a military leader, yet what God provided was a Leader who was militarily humiliated by the religious leaders of the day, but who would in turn reveal the glory of God in that suffering death on the cross.
Jesus drank that Fifth Cup – the cup of God’s wrath – so we would never need to, and, in order that the four cups of sanctification, deliverance, redemption, and protection would be ours, eternally.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.