We Wrestle with God Himself

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. – Genesis 32:24

John Calvin says…

Although this vision was particularly useful to Jacob himself, to teach him beforehand that many conflicts awaited him, and that he might certainly conclude that he should be the conqueror in them all; there is yet not the least doubt that the Lord exhibited, in his person, a specimen of the temptations — common to all his people — which await them, and must be constantly submitted to, in this transitory life. Wherefore it is right to keep in view this designs of the vision, which is to represent all the servants of God in this world as wrestlers; because the Lord exercises them with various kinds of conflicts. Moreover, it is not said that Satan, or any mortal man, wrestled with Jacob, but God himself: to teach us that our faith is tried by him; and whenever we are tempted, our business is truly with him, not only because we fight under his auspices, but because he, as an antagonist, descends into the arena to try our strength. This, though at first sight it seems absurd, experience and reason teaches us to be true. For as all prosperity flows from his goodness, so adversity is either the rod with which he corrects our sins, or the test of our faith and patience. And since there is no kind of temptations by which God does not try his faithful people, the similitude is very suitable, which represents him as coming, hand to hand, to combat with them. Therefore, what was once exhibited under a visible form to our father Jacob, is daily fulfilled in the individual members of the Church; namely, that, in their temptations, it is necessary for them to wrestle with God… For since God appeared under the form of a man, the name is thence assumed; just as, because of the visible symbol, the Spirit is called a dove; and, in turn, the name of the Spirit is transferred to the dove. That this disclosure was not sooner made to the holy man, I understand to be for this reason, because God had resolved to call him, as a soldier, robust and skillful in war, to more severe contests. For as raw recruits are spared, and young oxen are not immediately yoked to the plough; so the Lord more gently exercises his own people, until, having gathered strength, they become more inured to toil. Jacob, therefore, having been accustomed to bear sufferings, is now led forth to real war. Perhaps also, the Lord had reference to the conflict which was then approaching. But I think Jacob was admonished, at his very entrance on the promised land, that he was not there to expect a tranquil life for himself. For his return to his own country might seem to be a kind of release; and thus Jacob, like a soldier who had kept his term of service, would have given himself up to repose. Wherefore it was highly necessary for him to be taught what his future conditions should be. We, also, are to learn from him, that we must fight during the whole course of our life; lest any one, promising himself rest, should wilfully deceive himself. And this admonition is very needful for us; for we see how prone we are to sloth. Whence it arises, that we shall not only be thinking of a truce in perpetual war; but also of peace in the heat of the conflict, unless the Lord rouse us.

Disciples of the Bridegroom

Mark 1:16–20 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. 

The men are busy with their own plans, their own lives, vocations and families. The men are occupied.

But they are called out of their plans. I think the wives in our midst might have a better understanding of this.

Many of you ladies had aspirations, plans and lives before you met your husbands. Your husbands called you to follow them and that meant leaving your families, your occupations and plans to fulfill a high and holy calling to be your husband’s helpmate and the mother of his children.

Yes, I think you ladies might comprehend the radical nature and costliness of being called in this way, better than the men do.

Most men are not called out of their professions. For us it is largely metaphorical. Most men are not called to leave everything to be a Christian the same way a lady is to become a wife.

A good wife is here an example of the realities of discipleship. The radical alteration of self that come with becoming a bride is something that we all need to consider more deeply when contemplating what Christian discipleship is all about.

A Christian’s response to Christ is to be humble, self-sacrificing, submissive and mission altering.

The call to be a wife reshapes your familial relationships, your vocations, personal aspirations, etc.

But the focus is what the lady is becoming. Not what she was, not what she had been but what she is becoming; a bride.

That is what the beauty of a wedding day is all about. What the lady is becoming. The bone of His bone and the flesh of His flesh.

I think this is instructive for us. We are the bide of Christ and collectively it’s important to explore this metaphor to inform our understanding of the Christian life.

Jesus calls four men. Two sets of brothers. He is rebuilding a new family from an old family. Jesus is forming a new Israel out of the Old Israel. Jesus is calling individual men to become His eternal bride – the church.

And what does he call them to? V. 17 “And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

Jesus is calling them to follow Him and Jesus will remake them.

Again, the truly fascinating elements are what Mark leaves out. The response of the four men are non-verbal. They don’t say the sinner’s prayer. They make no formal, public, verbal declaration.

The men respond to Jesus’ call by action. They obey. They don’t talk; they act.

And the action is a response to Jesus’ declaration that he will remake them. What they will be, is the reason they act.

What Jesus is doing is the reason for their doing.

Discipleship is about what we are becoming. And what we are becoming is the reason for our doing.

Jesus is not interested in words, here. He is interested in obedience.

These four men form the inner circle, the nucleus of the Church, the new Israel, the bride of Christ. Continue reading “Disciples of the Bridegroom”

Church bulletin 2018-9-19

Saints,

I hope this finds you all well. I am praying for you all and encourage you to pray for one another as the week progresses.

Whatever temptations you find yourself facing with this week, know that the mighty one, Jesus, has overcome them. They are an opportunity to die to yourself and experience the life of Christ.

Jesus has overcome the world and our faith in that is how we overcome the trials and temptations in our little worlds. But we have to want Jesus more than what is offered to us in the temptation.

Cry out to Christ. Go to Him hungry and thirsty and you will find rest and peace for your souls in every wilderness.

Many blessings! Next Sunday we will explore our calling as parables of Jesus. See you Sunday!

Filling up the edges

There is a dimension to reality behind what we see and at the center of human existence.

Ephesians 2:1–3…you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience… 

Ephesians 6:10–13…. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places…

2 Corinthians 4:3–4… our gospel is veiled…to those who are perishing…the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 

Hebrews 2:14–16… through death [Jesus] might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 

1 John 3:8Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

This is why when a paralytic comes to be healed by Jesus, Jesus forgives his sins. Madness and epilepsy are of the devil. Sin has broken the world and though there is suffering, the true problem isn’t the trying or difficult circumstances, but Satan and his forces of darkness.

Behind the death of Job’s children and his destroyed crops and his boils, is the devil. All brokenness in this world is the result of Satan, who twisted our flesh – bentus – so we don’t work properly.

People come to Jesus in desperation, need, humility and the belief that Jesus is the mighty one who will set things right.

The people who come to Jesus have cleared the way, gotten rid of everything that holds them back or gets in the way of their devotion to Him.

People go to the wilderness and there Jesus is defeating His enemies. They come with their filth or anguish or deafness or sin and it’s all they have to offer Jesus and He receives them and heals them.

This is why Jesus comes into the wilderness of the world. To defeat Satan and make things straight.

Mark doesn’t conclude the confrontation in the wilderness because it doesn’t conclude till Chapter 16. The confrontation is itself important, since it is sustained throughout Jesus’ ministry. This is why Mark does not say anything about the content of the conflict; Mark’s whole Gospel account constitutes the explanation of the manner in which Jesus assaults Satans forces of darkness.

For Mark, the testing in the wilderness is what the whole Gospel story is about. Jesus is the God of heaven incarnate, come into the wilderness world, bringing his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus is the mighty one. Jesus is a one-man army who faces a legion of demons and defeats them. Jesus is on a mission of conquest and His battle is not a one-time face off with the principalities and powers of the air or the god of this world.

Jesus goes on protracted campaign confronting the spiritual forces behind leprosy, unbelief, deafness, illness and death itself. Jesus is destroying the real enemy, the spiritual forces of darkness that lay behind the natural world we can see.

In Mark 1:10 we read that the Heavens were not just opened but ripped open. The same verb is used to describe the splitting of the temple veil, from top to bottom, when Jesus dies in Mark 15:38.

What is opened may be closed, but what is ripped cannot easily return to its former state. Opening a milk jug is not the same as ripping it open.

The ripping of the heavens is a violent metaphor. This is a divine infiltration by God into the realm of men. Jesus’ baptism was a revolutionary act of humility that broke down the division between heaven and earth. It is through Jesus that a direct connection between heaven and earth – God and man – is made.

The ultimate act of God’s self-revelation is occurring at the baptism of Christ, a baptism in which we are included in Christ.

Isaiah 64:1.Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down…

The life and hope of Israel and the whole world is dependent on this long yearned for action on God’s part.

Jesus never left the wilderness. Everyone who goes to the wilderness finds Him there. When everything else is put away, the path made straight, all other comforts, sustenance and distractions are put away; when true repentance occurs – thirsty and hungry, we stand alone with nothing in a wilderness. And there Jesus is.

Jesus is victorious in the wilderness. All of them. He is approached time and time again by people who desire only Him, by people who are in a wilderness, who possess nothing – they cry out to Jesus.

Jesus is victorious in the wilderness, in the valley of the shadow of death – to be with us, to be at hand, to be present in our wilderness, our valley of the shadow of death. Jesus was victorious over temptation to be there with us in our temptation.

So that mankind in his barren, fallen wasteland would have a way out, a way forward, upward – to the father.

Why are you tempted?

James 1:12–15“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. 

Well, how do we stand the test? What is our steadfastness?  Who can make bent things straight?

In the wilderness there is only one comfort, one hope – the Mighty One; the Holy One.

1 Corinthians 10:13No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

In this combat Jesus will hold down the enemy with suppressing fire so that you can make it forward. He will clear your path like divine artillery and air support to break up every bunker and roadblock.

But you have to want Him more than what is being offered to you in the temptation.

Is Jesus better than the porn? Is Jesus better than the lie? Is Jesus greater than the easy-safe-selfish thing your bent flesh wants?

Who wins? The cancer? The financial turmoil? The little nagging voice that tells you, you aren’t a Christian? You are all suffers and sinners. Both. Together. You are bent.

Who can make your path straight? Who can set you straight? Who overcomes the barrage of darkness in this world?

John 16:33I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 

1 John 5:4-5For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  

There is nothing to overcome in the world. You try to overcome it with drink and sex and pleasure. You try to overcome it by trying harder, earning more, doing more. You sit in despair and the world overcomes you.

But there is nothing to overcome in the world. Only the appearance that there is. Jesus has overcome the world. What you must do – is believe it!

Around the worldwide web

If you don’t know who Propaganda, the spoken word and hip-hop artist is, you should. If you want the Gospel message in four minutes, give this a listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIhGxEdez98

Devotional

When Rising from Sleep 

My God, Father, and Savior, since you have been pleased to give me the grace to come through the night to the present day, now grant that I may employ it entirely in your service, so that all my works may be to the glory of your name and the edification of my neighbors. As you have been pleased to make your sun shine upon the earth to give us bodily light, grant the light of your Spirit to illumine my understanding and my heart. And because it means nothing to begin well if one does not persevere, I ask that you would continue to increase your grace in me until you have led me into full communion with your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who is the true Sun of our souls, shining day and night, eternally and without end. Hear me, merciful Father, by our Lord Jesus Christ,  

Amen.

New Song

Continue to familiarize yourself with this song .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHuLOdZdqs8

Church Calendar

Service 9-23-18

Erik Lilja, Call
Nate Cejka, Prayer

DISCIPLESHIP CLASS: A SURVEY OF THE GOSPELS 

Sunday mornings 9AM, through 11/18/18. Childcare provided for children 2-6. Kids aged 7 and up are encouraged to join the adult class.

HEIDELFEST

Saturday, Sept 22, St. Edwards Park. Register for free meal tickets and meal times at heidelfest.org. Please consider donating to the Marketplace. Contact Kim Hatcher: hatchk6@gmail.com with contributions or questions.

LADIES’ FELLOWSHIP GATHERING 

Wednesday, Sept 26, 7pm at Lannie Brown’s home. Fall meet-and-greet; snacks provided.

MEN’S PRAYER BREAKFAST 

October 13th, 9AM at the church. Breakfast provided. Time of fellowship and prayer.

MARRIAGE CONFERENCE 

October 26-27. Why Marriage Matters (Doug & Nancy Wilson); Trinity Church Office; 14623 NE North Woodinville Way, Suite 201. Online registration coming soon; no childcare will be provided.

Church Newsletter 2018-9-12

Saints,

I know how hard it is to cling on to the joys of a good worship service as the week’s troubles, disappointments and sins set in. As well, our triumphs, work and family time can occupy all our thoughts and resources.

So, it is important to stop and reflect. To listen. To ponder and remember. To meditate and mull over the Lord our God in all His mysterious Glory and merciful compassion.

This newsletter is an opportunity for me to connect with you midweek and encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus. On His all sufficiency, nearness, comfort and glory.

Where has the Spirit led you? Long after our to-do lists have gone to pot, God’s is still getting His done. He is working in and through you. Look to Him. Follow the Spirit into the wilderness where Jesus defeats His enemies. And commune there with your victorious Lord. Thank Him. Praise Him and Pray for His body.

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love. (2 John 3) Continue reading “Church Newsletter 2018-9-12”

Run Toward the Machine Guns and Live

John 12:24- 25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

Luke 9:51 “When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”

Jesus set His face toward Jerusalem and didn’t look back. He went towards danger. Towards loss and affliction, persecution and pain. He knew the only way to return to the Father was through death. He couldn’t return to heaven and leave the mission undone. He knew the only way to provide eternal life to His brothers and sisters was going towards the danger – towards death.

On D-day, as the men came off the boats they were ripped up with machine gun fire. Their only option was to press forward and keep moving – toward the machine guns. There was nothing behind them but the sea.

They could run back to the sea and drown or run towards the machine guns and maybe… live. It was counterintuitive to every self-preserving cell in their bodies but the twisted logic was run toward the guns to live. Run toward the impregnable defenses.

Run toward death to live.

But moving forward they could survive and liberate a continent. And the miracle was as each man ran toward death and did his part, Normandy was conquered by the allies.

We need this kind of example. The army has grown lazy and fat with inaction or it cowers in the trenches with now will to move forward.

But Jesus went ahead of us to show us how, to make it possible for us to follow.

By Laying down one’s life in obedience to the Father – dying for righteousness – is eternal life, glory and joy.

You know you lie. You know you covet. You know you curse. You know the loneliness of sin; the despair and the pain of sin.

You know that loving your wife as Christ loved the Church, raising our children in the fear and admonition of the LORD, making disciples of the nations, being Holy as God is Holy – it’s an impregnatable fortress.

You can’t scale its high walls. You are too weak and feeble to claw that elevation.

Getting out of bed, going out the front door, facing your loved ones – it’s like a machine gun of failure and despair. Continue reading “Run Toward the Machine Guns and Live”

Church Newsletter 2018-9-5

Saints,

Blessings on your week. Please pray for everyone receiving this email. I know school starts for most of us, so keep the little ones and their parents in your prayers. And pray for the Helleksons, this will be their last Sunday with us.

Turn your heart and mind to God and pray that He would rend heaven and pour His Spirit anew on us all, and in abundance on Sno-King. Come Lord Jesus!

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thess. 5:23–24)

Filling up the edges

In Mark 4:41, the disciples ask, “who is this?” John Mark uses this device throughout the gospels. John Mark wants us to engage with what he’s written.

In 1:7-8 John the Baptist says a mighty one is coming who will baptize us with the holy Spirit?

Who is this?

In 1:9 a Galilean comes tearing open heaven with His obedience, unleashing peace.

Who is this?

Mark expects his audience to decide what to do with what it sees and hears. He shows us the material and invites us to decide for ourselves.

Who is this?

Jesus is the messiah, the beloved Son of God (1:9-11). Jesus is the mighty one, the warrior defeating God’s enemies (1:7, 12-13, 25-26). Jesus is the Messenger, declaring the Lordship of God (1:11, 14) and declaring the proper response to that Message (1:14, 16-20).

The Son of God, the servant-messiah-king is declaring the Kingdom of God and calling everyone to come, repent and acknowledge the LORD.

This is the blueprint. If all Jesus had to do was die, then why didn’t God allow Herod to kill Jesus in the cradle and be done with it? Jesus came to do more than die. He came to live. To be the way, the truth and the life – for every man, woman and child in every age.

He wants us to be parables of Him. He wants us to be bait for Him. He wants us to live like him. Warriors, servants, messengers – obedient and joyful. Submissive and powerful.

The heavens have opened and God the Father’s word to Jesus is a word for all of mankind –  “this is beloved son with whom I am well pleased.”

And in Christ we are made partakers of this message of peace and love.

John 1:12–13 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17–21 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Who is this?

He is the long-awaited ladder to Heaven. He is the bread from heaven come down to feed us eternal life. He is the mighty one slaying our demons and defeating Satan. He is the ark in which we are hid from the tidal wrath of God, the Father.

And when we go down into the water, He descends from Heaven by the Spirit into each of our hearts, into our fellowship; making us one body – his body. And in that we hear what we have all longed to hear our whole lives. We hear in Christ the Father say; “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”

Truly, the Son of God became a nobody to make nobodies the sons of the living God.

Around the worldwide web

Pastor Alistair Beg offers his sermons online. His series on Mark is worthy to listen to. Especially, since his Scottish accent makes him sound even more reformedJ

https://www.truthforlife.org/resources/sermon/jesus-baptized-tempted/

Devotional

My good God, Father, and Savior,

grant me aid by your Holy Spirit to now work fruitfully in my vocation, which is from you, all in order to love you and the people around me rather than for my own gain and glory. Give me wisdom, judgment and prudence, and freedom from my besetting sins. Bring me under the rule of true humility. Let me accept with patience whatever amount of fruitfulness or difficulty in my work that you give me this day. And in all I do, help me to rest always in my Lord Jesus Christ and in his grace alone for my salvation and life.

Hear me, merciful Father, by our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Church Calendar

Service 9-9-18

Ron Coverdale, Call

Jered Leslie, Prayer

DISCIPLESHIP CLASSES

Start Sunday, September 16, 9AM. Kid classes for ages 4-7 and 8-12 need volunteers; see Jered for more info.

HEIDELFEST

Saturday, Sept 22, St. Edwards Park. Register for free meal tickets and meal times at heidelfest.org.

MARRIAGE CONFERENCE

October 26-27. Save the date! Details coming.

Jesus Thirsts for Wrath

John 19:28–30 “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

Psalm 22:14–15 “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.”

John 19:28-30 is a fulfillment directly of Psalm 22:15. Psalm 22 is the most quoted psalm in the NT.

This moment when he speaks of thirst, as in His whole earthly ministry, Jesus is profoundly misunderstood. Physically, at this point, salving his thirst prolongs his life which prolongs his agony and the roman soldiers were all too ready to oblige him.

But Jesus didn’t mean he thirsted for anything in this world, certainly not the cheap swill the soldiers kept there to stave off dehydration. Here at the height of agony, Jesus is resolved and prepared for that cup, which just a few hours before, He Had asked His father to remove in Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”Jesus, in the garden of gethsemane, said no father I am not thirsty, but I will drink if it you tell me to. We see here mere resignation.

But Jesus goes on to suffer and suffer, and it isn’t until he asks for the cup of wrath that His father gives it to Him. The Father withholds it. Jesus endures the wrath and condemnation of men and through suffering He is perfected. He thirsts for the end. He knows what is required and so He looks to the heavens and says, “I thirst.”

The cup of wrath and judgment for mankind is mentioned often in the OT.

Psalm 75:8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs.

Someone had to deal with this cup.John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (ESV)

Jesus was not forced to drink. His will was not violated. His will, which wavered under a load of dread and misery, came into full strength and utter submission to His Father’s will. Christ’s faith at this moment, asking for that which was His father’s desire but was contrary to every fleshly desire and comfort he knew – to this Jesus submitted willingly. He thirsted for it. He desired to be satiated with the wrath and condemnation of His father because that is what He was born to drink. It is His father’s will and His fathers will is His sustenance.

The psalms are the prayers of the Messiah. The messianic songbook.

Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

Psalm 63:1O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Jesus thirsted for the end of His earthly ministry which would be the death stroke of death, the destruction of Satan and the obliteration of sin. Jesus asks for that cup and after everything He had endured, His obedience and love for the Father overrules everything else and the cup He feared, that He dreaded, that He wanted to avoid, is lifted to his lips and He drank it off.

There on Calvary, especially there, He submits, and it is a long obedience in the same direction that prepared Him for that moment. Habit over momentary distress. Faithfulness over easy-safe-selfishness.

Christ thirsted for the cup of His calling as the suffering servant– His shame and terror and dread –and He drank it to the dregs because he needed an empty cup. He needed a cup with which to sprinkle cleansing water upon His bride; the living water of baptism. He needed a cup to fill with blessing, cleansing, and salvation.

There was a cup in the upper room in Jerusalem that Paul delighted to call “the cup of blessing which we bless” (1 Cor. 10:16). This is the cup the psalmist alluded to when he wrote, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation” (Ps. 116:13). Jesus was offering them this cup when He said, “Take, drink from it” (Matt. 26:27).

The Disciples too, misunderstood. There was a cup of wrath and judgment that was emptied by the thirsty Christ at Calvary.

By the time that cup is passed to us – all the terror and condemnation is gone. We find only life. Only favor. Only grace. Only the wine and water of the new covenant for the whole world. The cup of life and blessing.

Christ thirsted for the cup of judgment so that He could finish it. Drink it all down. Remove it. Washed, he offers the cup of His blood; His grace – to you.

Are you thirsty? We aren’t as thirsty for the cup of blessing as Christ was for the cup of woe. We are self-centered little wretches who mess about with drink and sex and self when limitless joy and goodness are offered to us.

1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

Are we thirsty for the cup of blessing? Is the cup of hope and life our habit? Our Joy? Or have we satiated ourselves with the cup of distraction, disbelief and self-satisfaction? Are we as thirsty for the cup of life and Grace as Jesus was for the cup of Wrath and condemnation?