There is a hymn that goes like this:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.
This hymn is not biblically sound. So many times we hear that Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath – that God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus at the cross. If we read God’s word more carefully, we will find that Scripture never says Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath.
In Matthew we read:
But answering, Jesus said, You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup which I am about to drink, and to be baptized with the baptism with which I am to be baptized? They said to Him, We are able. And He said to them, Indeed you shall drink My cup, and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized; -Matt. 20:22-23
There is nothing about the cup of God’s wrath in these verses. Jesus nor the disciples suffered God’s wrath, nor drank from the cup of God’s wrath. This has to do with partaking of afflictions that would come upon them. As Jesus would suffer, so too would His disciples. They are going to suffer and endure the trials and pains for following and being faithful to Him.
God’s wrath was never satisfied. How can God’s wrath be satisfied when He still has wrath? Revelation 14:10 says this about those who worship the beast and his image and receive a mark in their forehead or in their hand:
“…he also shall drink of the wine of the anger of God having been mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath. And he will be tormented by fire and brimstone before the holy angels and before the Lamb.”
Here it says God is going to pour out His cup of wrath upon those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark.
The cup of God’s wrath is reserved for the wicked. It is filling up.
Some will say that Jesus experienced the full extent of God’s wrath for sin while he was on the cross. Contrary to this belief, as someone has aptly said, The cross was not the scene of the Father hurling the thunderbolts of wrath down upon the Son, but Calvary was the scene of wondrous mercy and love.
People will say that all of God’s wrath stopped at the cross. God’s wrath is still there after the cross, my friends. God struck King Herod for his blasphemy. We read,
And instantly an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give the glory to God. And having been eaten by worms, his soul went out. Acts 12:23
After the cross we read,
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; Rom. 1:18
And what about Romans 2:5 where God’s wrath is storing up against those who will not repent? We read,
But according to your hardness and your impenitent heart, do you treasure up to yourself wrath in a day of wrath, and revelation of a righteous judgment of God?
In Col. 3:6 we are told that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience.
“…on account of which things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience,”
God’s wrath was not satisfied. There is wrath to come. The only way to not experience God’s wrath is to repent of sin and seek His mercy. God delights in mercy and will set aside His wrath for those who come to Him in repentance.
Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not keep His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will turn again; He will have pity on us. He will trample our iniquities. Yea, You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18-19
The wicked say, “God loves everybody” while they remain doing their wicked deeds. They have painted God as a pie in the sky, as a cosmic servant, a cotton candied sentimental type of God who won’t hurt anyone. They continually talk about the love and goodness of God while totally ignoring His wrath and judgment.
In Psalm 7:11 we read,
God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
People want the God of the New Testament, but little do they realize the same God in the New Testament is the same God as in the Old Testament when it comes to the wicked. We read,
He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36
God’s wrath is just as real in the New Testament (Rom. 1:18; Rom. 2:5; Rom. 2:8; Eph. 2:3; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6; 1 Thess. 1:10; Rev. 1:16; Rev. 6:17; Rev. 14:10; Rev. 15:1; Rev. 15:7; Rev. 19:15) as it was in the Old (Deuteronomy 29:27-28; 2 Chronicles 29:10; Deut. 11:17, 29:24:-28; Ezra 8:22; Neh. 13:18, et al). God’s wrath is and always will be a divine response to human sin and injustice.
We are also told in the New Testament,
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Heb. 10:26-27
As we can see, the wrath of God was not poured out on Jesus nor was it satisfied. The wrath of God was not relinquished at the cross. The wrath of God continues to rest upon impenitent sinners, because they have rejected the only means of salvation available to them. God’s wrath can be removed. How? Through repentance. Repentance is a change of mind, inclinations and desires, which translates into a total change in character and conduct. (Mt. 3:8; Mk. 4:12; Lk. 8:15; Jn. 8:34; 8:36; Lk. 19:1-10; Acts 26:20; 2 Co. 6:1; 5:17; 1 Thess. 1:9; 2 Tim. 2:19; Titus. 2:11-12).
God wants the wicked to forsake their sins. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his evil ways and live. (Ezekiel 33:11)
The promises of God are just as true in the Old Testament as they are in the New Testament.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isa. 55:7
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, Eph. 1:7
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 2 Cor. 7:10-11
This godly sorrow leading to salvation shows that true repentance is the person stopping his sins. He clears himself of all wrongdoing. He voids himself of blame by putting away evil from his life. “What clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication!” They not only had a change of mind, but also a change in conduct. His faith is proven by his deeds (Acts 26:18-20). Their slate is cleared and can start their life as a new creature, the old man is dead! Their sins are forgiven because they have repented and have approached the mercy seat of reconciliation.
On the other hand, God cannot extend His forgiveness for sin while people continue in their sin, and thus risk the wrath of God.
The cup of the wrath was not satisfied, it is reserved for sinners, not the saints.