On a Thursday at sundown, thousands of years ago, Jesus reclined with his disciples to share a final meal; we remember it as The Last Supper. Rich in meaning and detail, it signified the coming of a New Covenant.
And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you. (Luke 22:20 HCSB)
Jesus celebrated the final Passover meal with His disciples. A complex remembrance that included four cups of wine timely placed. They symbolized His sacrifice and promises.
In a traditional celebration, when the first cup of wine was poured, everyone would rise from the table as the father recited the “Kiddush” or prayer of sanctification. A ceremonial washing followed and they broke the unleavened bread. Then Exodus 12:26-27 was enacted through traditional Passover questions that were asked by the youngest child.
Then the second cup was poured and the father would answer. His narrative told the story of Israel’s exodus; of how God delivered them from slavery.
Between the second and third cup they ate the Passover meal. It included three symbolic foods: meat roasted over a fire, bitter herbs, and bread without yeast. Preparing the Lamb, the most significant part of the meal, was a task given to Peter and John – Luke 22:8. At first they did not realize the importance. Later they understood. They are the only disciples to refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God. – 1Pe 1:19, Rev 5.
How often do we fail to see any significance in the menial tasks we are assigned?
Traditionally, the third cup of wine was poured after the Passover meal. When Jesus speaks of the bread and wine in Luke 22:20, He reveals it as “the cup after they had eaten”, so we know this is the third cup.
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Luke 22:17-18 ESV
The third cup was the cup of redemption. Jesus didn’t literally drink this cup. Instead He poured it out for us. The third “I Will” of Ex 6:6 says He will redeem with an outstretched arm. Jesus, with outstretched arms on the cross, gave Himself as a drink offering for our sins. Exodus 29::40.
The fourth cup is the cup of restoration. Jesus is coming again to receive us unto Himself. Come out from under your burdens, trust God to forgive your sins, and receive restoration. You can live in freedom, assured of His love, assured of His return, assured of your place in heaven. “I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” Exodus 6:7
The four cups of wine correlate to the “I Wills” of Exodus 6:6-7.
“I will bring you out” – The cup of sanctification
“I will deliver you” – The cup of deliverance
“I will redeem you”– the cup of redemption
“I will take you”– the cup of restoration
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (John 13:1 ESV) “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.” Rev 5:12