When I was newly married with a toddler, and in full-time ministry my days were long, but I was often comforted in my afternoon visits with my grandmother. As I sat at her kitchen table with a cup of coffee, she always managed to give me her undivided attention, love and wisdom as I shared my life with her.
Today, whether we’re sitting with our loved ones over a cup of coffee, or giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty child, or a cup of hot soup to a sick friend something special is always exchanged. It’s not merely the substance that we find in that cup, but it’s also the fellowship that comes along with it that shapes us!
You and I were invited to drink of the Master’s cup, in doing so we are agreeing to experience all the things that Jesus’ life entails, both the suffering and the glory! When we said yes to Christ, a new cup was offered to us. By drinking from HIS CUP, whether we realized or not, we accepted the terms of the New Covenant. The following Hebrew tradition may help to paint the picture on your minds eye of this beautiful gift offered.
Ancient Hebrew tradition
In Forerunner of the March 1999 addition, the author tells of an ancient Hebrew tradition: When a young man and woman were to be engaged for marriage, the groom poured wine into his CUP and invited the woman to drink of it. The choice was hers: If she drank from it, she was considered engaged to the young man. She was agreeing to experience all the things that his life entailed, the good as well as the bad. When the woman drank of the CUP, she drank of the marriage covenant and accepted it.
And he took a CUP, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “DRINK OF IT, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for man for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it with you in My Fathers Kingdom.”
Throughout Scripture, the cup functions as a metaphor for an individual’s fate. In Psalm 16, the psalmist credits the Lord with assigning his “portion and cup” in life.
Jesus drank our CUP/fate placed before him from the Father in order to
take it’s deadly blow. (Matthew 26:39) He drank the poison out of sincere love for us and then offered to to us His Cup instead!
In our acceptance to drink of His cup, a new covenant becomes accessible to us. Our PORTION is widened, our FATE is forever changed! (Psalms 16:5) Now because we are in Christ, we are one with Him, all that is His is ours. Just as when you are married, the two become one flesh, so it is in your union with Christ!
The psalmist writes, “My cup runs over!” This was written while David was battling a war caused by his son’s rebellion. David was grief-stricken and heartbroken. It may have been the darkest hour of his life and this is where he penned the beautiful words found in Psalms 23. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” He goes on to say, “My cup runs over!” What did he see or experience that gave him such comfort? I can tell you with certainty, he wasn’t speaking of natural resources. David was drawing from unseen resources and the same is made available to us all. Will you take your seat and drink of the Master’s cup?
- Review and discuss the scriptures sited above. (If you would like do a word study on CUP and share with your group- it’s amazing!)
- Talk about practical ways of choosing to drink from Masters Cup.
- Discuss and Share in communion with each other.