THE UNCOMMON CHRIST SERIES explores lesser-known names and titles used for Jesus Christ in scripture.
“O Lord, [Thou art] mine inheritance and…𝙢𝙮 𝙘𝙪𝙥, Thou maintainest my lot.”
(Psalm 16:5, JPS Tanakh 1917 [Hebrew Bible])
At ancient Jewish banquets, each guest was allotted a specific portion of food and drink. A cup, therefore became a metaphor for a person's inheritance, lot, or condition in life.
The contents of our individual cups—the conditions of our lives—can be bitter. Frankly, sometimes they might truly be undrinkable—at least on our own. As Paul the Apostle testified, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (1).
Jesus Himself received a bitter cup and pleaded for His Father to remove it if there were any other way to atone for mankind (2). There must not have been, because He accepted His lot and partook of the bitterest of all cups (3).
By drinking every last drop, the Savior “finished [His] preparations” (4) so He could know “according to the flesh” how to guide us through our difficult lots (5).
He drank the cup.
In fact, He drank your cup (6).
And He became our Cup in significant ways. Here are two:
1. During your personal droughts (large or small)--when your heart and mind “thirst … like a parched land” (7)--the Living Water, who knows exactly what you need, pours His light and strength into your soul.
2. He offers His cup—no longer bitter, but deeply satiating—in place of yours. Rarely does respite come because of what I call “affliction evaporation”; no matter how hard we pray, our cups usually aren’t simply removed. But when your cup leaves you empty or feeble, turn to Him and drink from His cup. As we trade our yoke for His, we can find peace and rest.
After calling the Lord his Cup, the psalmist concludes with this statement of praise: “Thou maintainest my lot.” Remember, not all lots are bad. Some are opportunities, blessings, or rewards. Jesus Christ stands as the guard of all the lots you are dealt—He is a loving protector and caretaker of your present and your future.
While we struggle to endure the cups placed in our hands, may we also seek and recognize His cup of mercy and remember the inheritance of eternal glory that awaits because of Him, our Cup.
Yes, indeed, “my cup runneth over” (9).
1. Philippians 4:13
2. see Luke 22:42
3. see D&C 19:18-19
4. D&C 19:19
5. Alma 7:12
6. see 2 Nephi 8:22; D&C 19:16
7. Psalm 143:6, NIV
8. See Matthew 11:28-30
9. Psalm 25:5