Monday, April 2, 2012

Reason Two for Christians to Celebrate Passover: The Cup

This essay is an excerpt from our book titled “Reasons for Christians to Celebrate the Biblical Feasts.”  It is available from amazon.com, barnesandnoble .com, other book retailers as well as from our own web site at www.moedministries.com.

Luke 22:19-20 NKJV 19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

This passage is very familiar to Christians. We read these words of Jesus every time we have communion. But what bread and what cup is Jesus talking about? Luke tells us in Luke 22:13-14 that this is a Passover meal. The cup that Jesus is referring to is actually the third cup drank at a specific time in the Passover Seder or order of service. There are four cups of wine served at a Passover Seder each with a meaning from Exodus 6:6-7.

"Therefore say to the children of Israel:
1) 'I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians,
2) I will rescue you from their bondage, and
3) I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.
4) 'I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

The first cup is the cup of sanctification setting His people aside for Him.

Exodus 2:24 NKJV 24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

The second cup is the cup of deliverance breaking the chains that hold them to Egypt. He sets them free from slavery.

John 8:34-36 NKJV 34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 "And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

The third cup is the cup of redemption. It is this cup the Jesus says is the new covenant in His blood. Moses said that God brought them out of Egypt with great judgments, signs and wonders.  Peter says that we are bought with the blood of Jesus which is more precious that any earthly wealth.

1 Peter 1:18-19 NKJV 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

The fourth cup is the cup of acceptance of hope. Jesus did not drink of this cup. He said that He would drink it again with them in His kingdom.

Mark 14:25-26 NKJV 25 "Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God." 26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

We drink the fourth cup in anticipation of His return. He promises us that He will come again and that where He is we will be also.

So, we can celebrate the Passover and as we drink of the cups, we can remember that we are set aside for God, the God who keeps His covenant for thousands of generations. We can remember that we are set free from the slavery of the flesh that leads to sin and death. We can remember that Jesus paid our price that we could not pay. And we can anticipate that He is coming again and He will take us as His people.

Revelation 22:7 NKJV 7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book".

Shalom and be blessed
Dan and Brenda Cathcart

Please visit our web site at www.moedministries.com

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