The Costly Cup

April 2015: A Word From Dr. Stanley

One of the dangers we face in the Christian life is taking for granted those things that should be sacred. For instance, most of us celebrate the Lord’s Supper regularly, just as we are commanded to do in the Scriptures. But do we really stop to consider what it means? On that Passover night when Jesus gathered with His disciples to share the meal, He instituted an observance that symbolized what He would do for us just a few hours later.

There are two cups that deserve attention: one of cleansing and another of suffering.

There are two cups that deserve attention. One is described as the cup of the new covenant in Christ’s blood, which is given to us. Jesus said it is “for forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28). His shed blood cleanses us from iniquity so we can be declared righteous before God. It is also a shared cup. Jesus said, “Drink from it, all of you” (v. 27). When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we come together as the family of God to join in fellowship with one another. It is a time for us to consecrate and recommit ourselves to Christ.

The second cup was a symbolic one of suffering, which Christ would drink alone. Soon after the Passover meal, Jesus pled with the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (v. 39). This bitter cup included not only the physical pain of the cross but also the agony of being separated from the Father as He judged our sin, which Jesus bore for us (1 Peter 2:24). There’s no way we can comprehend what Christ endured as He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46).

The only way we can truly appreciate the communion cup we drink—the one that represents our cleansing, fellowship, and consecration—is to realize what it cost Christ to drink the cup of suffering on our behalf. Considering all He’s done for us, how can we possibly withhold anything from Him? This Easter, and each time we come to the Lord’s Table, let’s offer ourselves anew to the Savior.

Related Topics:  Gods Love

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27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you;

28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."

24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"

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