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Four Cups

During the Passover meal, it is traditional for four glasses of wine to be drunk. Each glass has significant symbolism centered on the promise of God found in Exodus 6:6-7. It reads;

“I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my people, and I will be your God.”

Glass one was drunk at the beginning of the meal to remember that God will bring out the Israelites from under the oppression of the Egyptians. Glass two was drunk after the first course, celebrating the fulfillment of the promise that God would free his people from bondage. Glass three was finished after the main course (reminding the people that God had redeemed them). The fourth glass was downed at the end, celebrating the promise that God will take us as his people.

There are two things of interest to note when Jesus shared the Passover meal with his disciples. Firstly, the cup he blessed as he spoke about the “new Covenant” (Mark 14:24) was the third cup. As he said the words, “This is my blood, poured out for you,” it was the cup of redemption that he held aloft. He made a noticeable and intentional statement that his work on the cross fulfilled God’s promise that we would be redeemed.

The scripture also tells us that Jesus said, after drinking the third cup, said that he would not drink again of the fruit of the vine until he was in glory (Mark 14:25). Meaning that he wouldn’t drink of the fourth cup until after the resurrection… when his redeeming work on the cross was done, and the new kingdom had been established.

The third cup is an incredible gift to us. Drinking the fourth cup with Jesus in heaven will be a wonderful celebration.

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