Today is a big day. So get out your Bibles, highlighter, notecards, whatever you use, and be ready to explain to someone how God’s wrath can be connected to a cup. We are going to go over multiple, yes, multiple scriptures that connect God’s wrath to a cup.
My inspiration for this post comes from the fact a few years ago, while I believe Christ took the wrath of God on the cross, I couldn’t explain why. I thought maybe there aren’t scriptures talking about God’s cup of wrath. But I know the truth now, and I do not want you to be confused like I once was.
What does the wrath of God in a cup mean?
A cup is a device used for the purpose of drinking or consuming a substance, which means this substance would go into our bodies. Depending on the substance, the result of drinking from the cup could be beneficial or bad for the body.
When the wrath of God is connected to a cup it means that someone will be partaking in the wrath of God.
Why the wrath of God?
As I breakdown in my post Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?), since the Lord is just, God cannot allow injustice to reign and to have no consequences.
In our world, we demand justice because we are made in the image of God. Our awareness of justice is an internal part of being aware that God exists. Justice is a concept that cannot be tested or seen and yet we have an awareness of it. We see that the world needs justice because we KNOW justice is needed.
As Marcie Morris from her Facebook group, Provoked to Proclaim shares in a series of posts covering Empiricism (you must join the group to see her photos and posts, great stuff!):
Wickedness is injustice. Wickedness is sin, which means sin must be dealt with. To save some space in this post I put together a list of sins with scriptural references here: What is Sin? What are Sins Listed in the Bible? | Bite-Sized
As I shared in my Bite-Sized post, sin defined in scripture is anything that is unrighteous, not of God, and dishonoring to God.
Scripture makes it clear that every single person is under the curse of sin making him or her a sinner. We all inherited the curse of sin from Adam when he and his wife Eve partook from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We all have the knowledge of good and evil, this is what we inherited. We no longer only know what is good but what is evil, and sin is evil. (Romans 5:12)
Just like a cup gives us a substance to partake of, humanity ate evil out of the temptation to be like God. Partaking of sin corrupts the whole body, heart, mind, soul, and even our strength. There is only one God, one Creator, and we are HIS creation. We do not know better than God. The fact we sin shows our corruption.
Corruption is evil, and we see our bodies decaying on a daily basis. We see people come up with evil desires and plans to hurt others for their selfish gain and pleasure. We hurt those we love most because we are selfish at heart and our pride thrives in the obsession of self, whether self-love or self-loathing.
None of these desires honor God. Sin is separation from God and doing what is dishonoring to the Lord, which is unloving to others, as well. Scripture says that the wages of sin is death.
We cannot continue to do sinful things without the consequence of having to pay for our sin.
Everyone is condemned because of sin. No one, no human, is righteous. Even the people who do good things, their good deeds are still tainted. It’s like you have greasy oil on your hands, and try to clean something with more dirty oil. We are going to make the object we “clean” with our good works more dirty. Sin cannot be cleansed by our own works because we are tainted by sin. We cannot be both the problem and the solution, as Allie Stuckey would say. (Isaiah 64:06, See Allie’s book You’re Not Enough And That’s Okay)
God’s wrath is the consequence for anyone who sins. God’s wrath is justified as evil requires justice to be done. We partake of the cup of sin and therefore wrath is part of the cup.
Take the good person test if you think you’re a good person.
The Connection Between Sin & The Wrath of God
Here is what the Bible says regarding sinners, wickedness, the wrath of God and a cup.
(ESV) Romans 2:05-06, “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works.”
(ESV) Romans 3:10-12, “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
(ESV) Matthew 25:30, “And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Context: Parable of the Talents – the servant who had been given 1 talent from his Master, did not do anything with it.)
(ESV) Colossians 3:05-07, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.”
(ESV) 1 Thessalonians 2:16, “by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!”
(ESV) Revelation 14:10, “he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.”
(ESV) Job 21:20, “Let their own eyes see their destruction, and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.” (Context: Job speaking about the wicked.)
(ESV) Psalm 75:08, “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.”
(ESV) Isaiah 51:17, “Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering.”
(ESV) Jeremiah 25:15, “Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.”
(ESV) Ephesians 5:06, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
(ESV) Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”
(ESV) John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
- No one is righteous.
- But being made in the image of God, we have the truth of God written on our hearts, yet the sin within us makes us desire to suppress the truth of God.
- Sinners every moment are storing up wrath for themselves.
- Sinners are referred to as “sons of disobedience.” The father of the sons of disobedience is Satan.
- One day God’s righteous judgment will be revealed and all will be judged according to their works or the work of Christ and His atonement.
- Sin = idolatry, serving of self. We are to put to death our earthly desires, and be focused on eternity.
- The servant who tries to earn her way into Heaven is considered worthless – remember our deeds are worthless on their own, there is no merit because they are tainted.
Needing Someone To Take The Cup of Wrath From Us
I hope these scriptures have it made clear that all sinners deserve the wrath of God. Unless we have someone intervene on our behalf to take the wrath of God for us, we are doomed.
This is the reality of justice. We are not good people by our own works. We have lied, lusted, stolen, taken God’s name in vain, and more. True justice demands that our consequences of sin be made right in the eyes of God, and it is here where the wrath of God comes in. Due to the fact we do not have a good or righteous measure to fulfill the wrath of God, the punishment is for eternity. A debt we can never pay off because we will never be good on our own.
To think we are a good person falls on the sin of pride.
However, there is hope.
Connection of Passover, Blood, & New Covenant
On the night of His arrest, during His last supper and before He was crucified, Christ taught the disciples the true meaning of Passover.
The Jewish people celebrate Passover because God passed over the Hebrews and destroyed the firstborn of the Egyptians, their oppressors. God passed over all the Jewish homes that had the blood of the lamb on their doorposts.
During the last supper, Jesus takes up a cup of wine (which we know is already very symbolic from the Old Testament) and says:
(ESV) Mark 14:24, “And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” (See also: Mark 10:45)
(ESV) Luke 22:20, “And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
Notice the cup described as being poured out for those in the room has a connection to Jesus.
Jesus drinks from the cup first before the others follow. There is no scripture that says this cup is physically poured out in this scene. So, Christ is referring to something else being poured out that is symbolic of a cup and its substance.
The reference Christ was making related back to Moses and the prophet Jeremiah.
(ESV) Exodus 24:08, “And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.” (Context: During this moment, the people claimed that they would be obedient and follow all the words of the Lord, which they later failed to do.)
(ESV) Jeremiah 31:31-32, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.”
What cup was Christ referring to?
When Christ is arrested, we see Peter try to protect Christ and harms the servant of the high priest. Jesus heals the man’s ear and says to Peter:
(ESV) John 18:11, “So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?””
This cup is not pleasant, as prior to His arrest Jesus prayed:
(ESV) Matthew 26:39, “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.””
(ESV) Luke 22:44, “And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Christ wasn’t praying for a different outcome because He was uncertain of what He needed to do. He told the disciples multiple times He would die. He knew exactly what awaited Him.
(ESV) John 12:27, “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.”
(ESV) John 10:17-18, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
The reality is the cup Christ was about to take would be the most agonizing, lonely, painful, and honestly, we do not have words to properly explain what He went through. But we know this. The cup Christ partook of was the cup of God’s wrath that is meant for the sinner. The cup that is poured out for you.
From the previous scriptures, we know that the wrath of God goes to the sinner. The wrath of God is often referred to as a cup of wrath. Christ took up the cup of wrath in the place of the sinner so that many could be saved.
Instead of the sinner drinking the cup of God’s wrath, Christ takes the wrath upon Himself instead.
Jesus was completely innocent, just as the blood of the Passover lamb was “enough” for God to pass over the homes of the Hebrews. Passover is symbolic of what Christ did for the entire world. It wasn’t the blood of animals that allowed God to pass over the homes, it was what the blood represented. This is a foreshadow In fact, in Genesis, before Passover becomes a thing some 430 years later, Abraham is asked to sacrifice his own son. Yet, God stops Abraham and provides a sacrifice. (See Genesis 22:13-14, Hebrews 9:25-26)
God is known as the Lord Who Will Provide. And the Lord provided a sacrifice for sinners. God became the God-Man to take the place of the sinner. His name is Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior.
(ESV) John 3:16, ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
The God-Man took on the wrath of God in our place because only He was righteous and fulfilled the Law of God. Therefore, in His righteousness, He could take on the sins of many and pay off their debt because He was the pure sacrifice. He, and He alone, was sufficient.
Not only was He righteous enough to take our sins, but His righteousness gets accredited to us. So, on judgement day, God does not judge the works of ourselves to see if we are righteous, but the work of Christ – which we are accredited with the righteousness of Christ for those who put their faith in Jesus.
(ESV) 1 John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Remember the Passover lamb?
(ESV) Romans 3:25, “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” Propitiation means to appease, see the Strong’s Greek.
Jesus Is The Only Way To God
We must believe in Jesus Christ. Sinners are already condemned and storing up the wrath of God for themselves. Christ as God became the God-Man, living out a righteous life, atoning for our sins on the cross, and resurrecting bodily, conquering the power of sin and death.
- (ESV) John 3:18, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
Jesus is God. He is the only way to God.
- (ESV) John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (Jesus is God.)
- (ESV) John 14:06, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
We can only produce good works through Christ alone.
- (ESV) John 15:15, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
Our strength comes not from ourselves, but Christ.
- (ESV) Matthew 13:20-21, “As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.“
- (ESV) Matthew 1:06, ”And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
- (ESV) Romans 5:02, “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
- (ESV) Ephesians 3:12, “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.”
Cosmic Child Abuse (A portion from American Gospel: Christ Crucified)
The Gospel Message: With the Good News means there’s bad news. We all are sinners and condemned. We all deserve the just punishment of God’s wrath. Christianity is unlike any other religion because we cannot earn our way into Heaven. God saw the weakness of man and his utter depravity. Yet, He showed us grace. Jesus, God, One Person of the Trinity, became God in the flesh, the God-Man. He was always perfect and sinless. And His humanity was perfected on the cross, living the full sinless life. He became our atonement sacrifice. Dying in our place, taking on the wrath of God upon Himself. He died on the cross, and He was resurrected because death could not hold Him. Jesus is the answer. We, as guilty sinners, need His blood to pay off our debt of sin. For all who put their faith in Him – meaning eyes are opened to the Gospel, we see ourselves as a sinner, we see the need for Christ, we desire our Savior, and we see the ugliness of our sin. Putting our faith in Jesus, we seek HIs forgiveness and repent from our sins, we turn away from our old way of life. We, through the work of the Holy Spirit, continue to become convicted of sin daily. Our eyes will never be the same again. We see things in a different light, and the truth of Christ affects how we live and serve Him. Christ tells us to count the cost. Salvation is a serious topic, it is not to be taken lightly. For a breakdown of this powerful message, understanding how Christ could be God and Man, why God required sacrifices, and more -please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?)
If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?
Scripture To Meditate On – (ESV) Proverbs 28:14, “Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.”
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