The Cup of God’s Wrath

John 18:11 – “shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

Every day, we lift a glass to have a drink. Next time you take a sip, remember the cup that Jesus Christ drank for you.

Hours from the cross, Jesus prepares to drink “the cup that the Father has given me”. This was the cup He struggled all night in prayer to accept saying in Matthew 26:39 “take this cup”. Finally, Jesus accepted the mission of drinking that cup. What does that cup represent? The wrath of God. The wrath of God is a mega-theme of the Bible. The Old Testament speaks of God’s wrath with some 20 words appearing some 600 times.

Some people wrongly think that the Old Testament is about wrath but the New Testament is about love. Both wrath and love are in the Old and New Testaments. For example, Colossians 3:6 says, “Put to death…whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.”

God’s wrath exists in two forms.

One, God’s passive wrath lets sinners sin without stopping them. Romans says that God’s wrath is revealed when God hands people over to their depraved desires, especially in the area of sex (1:18, 24, 26). Such people think they are getting away with something, when in fact they are storing up everything. Romans 2:5 completes the explanation of God’s passive wrath saying, “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.” Rebels are filling up the cup of God’s wrath.

Two, active wrath is what happens when our holy God in perfect justice pours out the cup of wrath on the unrepentant sinner. This is hell. Revelation 14:9-10 reveals that the same Jesus who rules over heaven also rules over hell and pours out the cup of wrath saying of the rebellious “…he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever.”

To be clear, there are only two options. One, you drink your cup filled with the wrath you deserve. Two, Jesus drinks your cup. If you do not believe in Jesus, you have hell to pay. If you believe in Jesus, He paid hell for you. Here’s the bottom line, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. (John 3:36).”

Do you believe in Jesus?

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