Symbols are what you are reading right now. Rights are expressed symbolically, even when using words that are not written but spoken. Rights are an expression of our freewill. Rites are expressions of our right to identify with certain behavior, groups and culture.
The rite of the Passover required the use of a cup to drink the wine, if we were to follow the pattern of the Melchizedek Order that was established in the days of Abraham (Genesis 14:17–24).
A cup is symbolic of containing the elixir of life; for without water you will die faster than you might realize. Solid food is not quite so essential. Likewise, there is a difference in the need to have a container for drinking the elixir of life, and the need for a container when eating solid food—a container for the latter not being essential, whereas this is more likely for the former.
The Psalmist uses the term “cup” as a reference to the portion of salvation, judgment, life or death that is contained within for each individual or group of individuals.
- The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; thou holdest my lot. (Psalm 16:5)
- I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, (Psalm 116:13)
- On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and brimstone; a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. (Psalm 11:6)
- For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, with foaming wine, well mixed; and he will pour a draught from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs. (Psalm 75:8)
- Rouse yourself, rouse yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl of staggering. (Isaiah 51:17)
- 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.” (Jeremiah 25:15)
The wine of wrath is punishment for wrongdoing. The cup that contained the punishment of the world for sin was not something Jesus would have been eagerly looking forward to experiencing; for it was a cup of horror and desolation (Ezekiel 23:33), a cup of abandonment.
Up until the time of His crucifixion, Jesus had not known what sin felt like. Jesus had never reveled in its sewer. Sin had not even touched His lips. Yet Jesus understood what sin could do. Naturally, in His humanity, Jesus was not looking forward to what He had to face. Therefore, we can understand Jesus was not eager to go through what He was about to experience.
- “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
- Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)
- And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.” (Mark 14:36)
- And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, la′ma sabach-tha′ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
- Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:46)
Jesus refers to the cup of wrath when He requests the Father to take away the cup that He has to drink on our behalf. If possible, God would have not required Jesus to suffer the crucifixion in order that justice could be wrought and the world could be saved. For Jesus came not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:17). There just was no other way to reconcile what the Evil One had done and administer justice to all, while setting free the captives of sin. The foolishness of the Cross has become the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:18-25), but not to the fools of this world who think they are wiser than the Omniscient Creator.
He Who Does Not Believe Is Condemned Because He Has Rejected The Justice Of God