Râshâ‛- that’s the Hebrew word for “wicked.” It’s a legal term that denotes guilt. Strong’s concordance suggests that it describes an “actively bad person.” Not exactly how we define ourselves, right?
No, not at all. I generally consider myself to be a “good” person. In truth, we all do, don’t we? When asked to describe ourselves, none of us would use the word “wicked.”
And yet that’s the one word that defines us in our natural state. Left to our own devices, we are wicked. We are ugly. We are sinful. We are guilty. We are “actively bad” people.
Even if we don’t steal. Even if we typically obey our parents. Even if we’ve never said a curse word in our lives. Even if we only listen to Christian music. Even if we attend every church service throughout the week. Even if we volunteer at a homeless shelter.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? | Jeremiah 17:9
No matter how “good” we are, on our own, of ourselves, we will always be râshâ‛ before the Lord. No amount of “good” can outweigh or negate the innate wickedness of our hearts.
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. | Psalm 75:8
The idea that I am a “good” person keeps me from seeing this as the fate I was formerly destined for. But that’s the cold, hard truth. I deserved this cup – the cup of wrath.
Thankfully, it’s not the fate I’m destined for now. Thankfully, Christ took this cup and drank it “down to the dregs” for me – willingly, joyfully (Hebrews 12:2).
As much as I think râshâ‛ doesn’t accurately define me, it is far more an inaccurate description of my Jesus. This Jesus of mine – this actively good Jesus who knew no sin and deserved no wrath, took the cup that was destined for my lips. He absorbed the wrath of God and in doing so, freed me to experience the abundant life (John 10:10).
And just like that, my fate was altered.
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? | 1 Corinthians 10:16
The cup of wrath was mine to drink. Down to the dregs. Not a sip did I take. In its place I was given the cup of blessing. The cup I didn’t deserve.
Wrath for blessing. A beautiful exchange that defies all logic and reasoning.
And as I consider this new cup I’ve been given, as I consider its meaning and purpose, my heart grows heavy and comes crashing down. In a single moment, in a fraction of a second, my heart finds itself buried in the ground.
And I realize I am râshâ‛.
I am râshâ‛ and He is not.
But He takes that ugly description of who I am upon Himself.
Râshâ‛ – stamped upon His bruised body.
Râshâ‛ – carved into His bleeding flesh.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. | Psalm 16:5-6
The cup of wrath, taken for me. The cup of blessing, given to me. Thus, my chosen portion and my cup shall always be Christ, the One who rescued me.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, | 1 Peter 1:3-4