You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5
I took this verse from the beloved psalm, and while we may be familiar with runneth over, overflowing is better. Jesus asked that the cup be taken from Him if there was anyway possible in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was in agony as the enemy tormenting His thoughts and mind. He was trying to obey the Father and give His life willingly but the human part of Him was having trouble with the decision. It was enough of agony for Him to voice it, yet He agreed to the Father’s will.
Haven’t we all agonized over decisions, perhaps, not to that degree? If you don’t think Jesus understands us think again, He faced it all without sinning, tempted in every way we have been. We overcome because He did. He did partake of that cup, and there are others in the Bible.
The couple about to be married drinks from the same cup, God sees marriage as a covenant. There are also four cups at Passover. They are in reference to the verses in Exodus 6:6,7, ” I will bring out,” “I will deliver,” “I will redeem,” and “I will take. ” All four that God did bringing them from slavery. The Roman tradition has the drinking of as many cups of wine as the name of the guest, in this case God, YHVH, yod, ye, vav, he. Yahweh.
The cups are also referred to as Cups of Sanctification, Deliverance, Redemption and Praise. All of which Jesus does for us as a believer and how we see Him as the Son of God, and Passover Lamb, There is even a fifth cup filled and left in the center of the table, at least it appears to be in Old Testament times, it is not drunk but watched over as a sign of Elijah. Some thought Elijah was John the Baptist and some Jesus. Of course, they were not, and that cup is symbolic as to use drinking the cup with Jesus, we just can’t do it without Him.
Elijah will return and be killed along with Enoch, neither ever died, which gets into Jerusalem being a cup of trembling at some point. There is both redemption and wrath associated with cups, why Communion or the Holy Eucharist is sacred, the wine represented the blood and how much more the sacrifice of Christ is. But we are not to take it fearfully, but respectfully and not remain in willing sin. We have to rightly divide the body and blood as well as the Word. There is power in the blood and healing in Communion.
Remember when Joseph interpreted dreams, the cup bearer was released. He also hid His cup in Benjamin’s grain, longing to bring his family to him, God does the same with the Jews. So cups can have serious meaning in the Bible but also healing and joy. Whether four cups or one refilled four times, Jesus causes our cups to run over, to overflow with His Spirit.
I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord, Psalm 116:13
Do you have a special goblet, chalice or cup? I do, it is a purple goblet with the Lord’s Supper, can you envision Communion with Jesus, let’s lift the cup of salvation, and thank Him that He alone is worthy of praise and make our cups overflow.