“Jesus commanded Peter, ‘Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?’" — John 18:11 While Peter brandished a sword, Jesus reached for the cup of His Father. Peter wanted to save Jesus. He feared what was ahead, but Jesus was ready to drink the cup offered Him. Peter struggled against the will of God. Jesus surrendered His will to His Father’s will.
Drinking the cup is symbolic of suffering and sorrow.
“Awake, awake! Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the Lord the cup of His wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes men stagger,” Isaiah the prophet said. Then he spoke this promise from the Lord: “See, I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again” (Isaiah 51:17-23).
We will never drink the “goblet of my wrath” again because God Jesus drank it for us. When He asked His disciples to break bread and drink from a cup to remember Him, He held up His cup, saying, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many” (Mark 14: 24).
To “drink the cup” means to be willing to go through a difficult experience, to swallow it all.
Have you heard the phrase “not my cup of tea”? It is a way of refusing what is being offered. The fact that trophies are so often in the shape of a cup again symbolizes someone who has “swallowed” much difficult testing and training.
Life does indeed sometimes pour us a cup that is hard to swallow. Sometimes it’s a brew of our own making. Sometimes it is handed to us. But whatever it is, we can trust our heavenly Father.
Jesus drank the cup given to Him because He knew his Father had prepared it and that His love would overcome the bitterness.
The cup may taste like awful medicine, but ultimately, God will use it to transform our lives and heal our souls.