A Blogged Bible Study for John 18:
But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath! Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given Me?” ~John 18:11
Only here in the Fourth Gospel is it specifically said that the cup is given to Jesus to drink by the Father, but again this is consistent with the synoptic gospels’ mention of the cup in Jesus’ prayer:
Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” ~Matthew 26:39
And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” ~Mark 14:36
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will, not Mine.” ~Luke 22:42
Four cups are given to drink in the Passover Meal. The Four Cups represent the four expressions of deliverance promised by God in Exodus 6:6-7:
Therefore, tell the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord. I will bring you out from your enslavement to the Egyptians, I will rescue you from the hard labor they impose, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you to myself for a people, and I will be your God.
“I will bring out”
“I will deliver”
“I will redeem”
“I will take”
The meaning of the four cups has been discussed among Jewish scholars for centuries. One interpretation is the four cups show four worlds: this world, the Messianic age, the world at the revival of the dead, and the world to come. Other scholars give them a matriarchal meaning: Sarah, Rebeccah, Rachel, and Leah. Some say they are the four historical redemptions of the Jewish people:
~the choosing of Abraham, “I will bring out.”
~the Exodus from Egypt, “I will deliver.”
~the survival of the Jewish people throughout the exile, “I will redeem.”
~and the fourth which will happen at the end of days, “I will take.”
Jesus drank of the cup of suffering, the cup His Father gave Him to drink. We know He came to redeem a people for Himself. It was prophesied:
Zion will be redeemed with justice and her repentant ones with righteousness. ~Isaiah 1:27
“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD. ~Psalms 130:8
He did come. All who repent will be redeemed. “I will redeem” . . . the third cup.
AND He will return. At the end of days He will signal for them all to gather, because He has already redeemed them:
I will signal for them and gather them, for I have already redeemed them; then they will become as numerous as they were before. Though I scatter them among the nations, they will remember in far-off places – they and their children will sprout forth and return. ~Zechariah 10:8-9
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks He broke it, gave it to His disciples, and said, “Take, eat, this is My body.” And after taking the cup and giving thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood, the blood of the covenant, that is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. ~Matthew 26:17-25
It is the cup of suffering — the cup of redemption — the third cup — Jesus is about to experience.
When He sees all that is accomplished by His anguish, He will be satisfied. And because of what He has experienced, My Righteous Servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for He will bear all their sins. ~Isaiah 53:11
One day we will drink of the fourth cup with Him in His Father’s kingdom.