Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cup of Blessing or Cup of Sorrow

I look forward to my first good cup of coffee in the mornings. It gets my eyes open, my day started, and sets my attitudes on the right track to start a brand new day.

In the Bible cups are often mentioned as cups of blessing or cups of sorrow. In the Old Testament time, kings used to appoint cupbearers to test any drinks offered to the king first so that no one could slip anything harmful into the drink to harm the king. If the cupbearer died, the king knew he could not drink out of that cup. Definitely that would be a cup of death.

Remember Joseph placing a silver cup into the bag of his youngest brother to deceive his brothers into thinking it was stolen from the palace? It was a deceptive act on Joseph's part to assure that the brothers would return to Egypt with his father. Eventually, Joseph was able to save his entire family from the famine. So you could trace back to that silver cup as being a cup of blessing for Jacob and his family.

Remember the widow's cup of oil that lasted through the famine and did not run out? A cup of blessing.

Psalm 23 promises an overflowing cup to look forward to in eternity. A cup of blessing.

Jesus promised a reward to those that gave a cup of cold water given in His name. A cup of blessing.

As we approach the Easter season and read of the events prior to Christ's death and resurrection, there is no greater event that moves our hearts more than Christ praying in Gethsemane prior to his arrest and crucifixion. "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but thine be done." A little while later, Peter became very angry with the crowd that came to arrest Jesus in the garden and he struck a high priest's servant and cut off his ear with his sword. Christ rebuked Peter and said "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me." Christ knew that he alone could drink the cup of suffering that he was facing--there was no one else that could drink of it. Christ knew that it was His Father's will that, He, the Father's Only Son, would be the only One that could redeem the lost human race. It was He that must drink that cup of sorrow and suffering. And he did so willingly. Because of Christ's willingness to fulfill His Father's will, and drink that bitter cup of suffering, we now have the awesome privilege of drinking the sweet cup of blessing.

When you lift your cup in the morning to drink your first cup of coffee, let that be a reminder to praise God for His bitter cup of suffering that He drank for you and me!


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