The Drinking of the Cup

"Abba, Father … take away this cup from me; nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou wilt" (Mark 14:36).
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:16).

The drinking of a cup, in Scripture, means the taking into the experience of the soul that which the cup signifies. The cup which the Lord took from His Father's hand was one of bitterness, and judgment, and death. He took into the experience of His soul what it was to be made sin; what it was to be abandoned of God; what it was to go into death as the judgment of God. There was no element in all that accumulated sorrow that He did experience in its infinite meaning, and to its full limit.

"That bitter cup, love drank it up."
Yes, drank it to its dregs.

No creature heart will ever know what that meant to the Lord. A thick darkness spread itself over that awful hour, impossible of penetration then, as it will be for ever, by creature intelligence. We know what the anticipation of it meant for Him as He looked into the cup, and knew its bitter ingredients, for we are permitted to see Him in the Garden, when His soul was exceeding sorrowful, and His sweat, as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground. But the great sacrifice was made in utter solitude, where no eye of man or angel beheld Him; and in a horror of thick darkness He paid our mighty dues.

"We may not know, we cannot tell
  What pains He had to bear;
But we believe it was for us
  He hung and suffered there."

As a result of what He has done we have a cup to drink, but it is a cup of blessing, for is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? It tells of the love of God sealed to our wondering souls by the blood of His dear Son; it tells us also of the quenchless love of Jesus, our Lord, which could not be swallowed up of death, nor thwarted by all the power of evil; it tells us of love that came forth and at its own cost made atonement for sin, and we may drink it with thanksgiving. We may take into the experience of our souls what it is to be loved by such a love as this; what it is to be set in the everlasting favour of our God, of which that blood witnesses; and to have in an inalienable title all those great blessings that He had purposed for His assembly in Christ.

This is not doctrine only, to be learnt and held and professed, but a great reality for our present consciousness, so that, moved to our very depths by the glory of this unmeasured love, we may respond to it, without reserve, in love and praise.