Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Cup

Psalm 75:8
I love to meditate on this verse:

"For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs."

The cup described here is the same cup that Jesus asked the Father to remove from Him in Gethsemane (Luke 22:24). It is also the same cup that is described in the book of Revelation (14:10, et al). This cup of foaming wine represents the wrath of a holy God poured out on sin. 

Why do I love to think on this verse? Jesus drank that cup containing all of the sins, past, present and future of His people, the ones given to Him by His Father, at the Cross. My sins, also, all of them, were in that cup. And Jesus drank it and drained it to the dregs and it was very bitter to Him, and made His soul heavy to the death. When he had drained the cup empty it was set down and the Father accepted this perfect sacrifice and He was propitiated, that is, it removed wrath. What it also did was not only remove wrath, but it turned it into favor! Those who have taken hold of Christ's perfect sacrifice by faith now have God's favor instead of wrath (this is what is meant by propitiation).

See, this is the amazing part. Just having my sins taken by Christ and Christ returning the cup empty puts me at level. Before, I had a debt I couldn't pay. I was in the red big time. I had a big cup of wrath to drink and I would never be able to drink it all because I had committed infinite sin against an infinite God. So, Christ drinks my cup and removes the debt I owed and now I am at par. I'm not even in the black yet. This is wonderful beyond my wildest dreams. My sin has been paid for and I bear it no more. I am forgiven. And there sits the empty cup to prove it. 

Now, if it were to sit there empty you can see that that would, of itself, be an incalculable gift from God, right? Just that empty cup. Complete forgiveness of sins. Let's just say that God were to drop a microscopic drop of a blessing into that cup? Just one little teensy, weensy drop of a blessing. That would be unimaginable grace! He could have just brought me to even par and He would have been more than gracious, more than merciful!

So, brothers and sisters, what did He do? What does He do? It really is beyond hope, beyond words. He takes that cup and He pours into it grace upon grace upon grace. He doesn't just fill it to the brim, no, He fills it up to overflowing with every spiritual blessing in Christ! (Ephesians 1:3, 4-11). Can you see the importance of this truth for your life right now?

Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes:
What grace has done is not merely to counteract exactly what sin has done. If grace had done just that, and that alone, it would still be something wonderful. If the effect of grace had merely been to wipe out, and to cancel, all that had happened on the other side, we should have had a theme for praising God sufficient to last us through all eternity.
But, says the Apostle, it is not an exact counterbalance; what I have on the right side does not exactly tally with what I have on the left. In fact there is no comparison; it is a superfluity, an abounding, and engulfing, it is an overflowing on the side of grace.
We must hold on to this truth at all costs and get it clear in our minds.
What truth is that?

Romans 5:20-21:
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
That is why I love Psalm 75:8. When I ponder it I think about the cup of wrath meant for me, the bitter cup that Christ drank in my place. And then I think about that empty cup (signifying expiation, complete removal of all of my sin). And then I think about the cup of blessing full of all the riches that I have in Christ...
" cup runneth over..." Psalm 23:5

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