Lesson for the Lord’s Day

And He took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it. for this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26:27,28

I have never made wine from fresh grapes (or from anything else for that matter) but the process of making such wine provides a beautiful picture concerning the blood of Christ. Grapes must be crushed, so that the juice is removed from the fruit. In this, we see the crushing of the Lord Jesus under the brutal hands of His Jewish tormentors, His Herodian mockers, and His Roman executioners. The grass in Gethsemane, the paving stones of Gabbatha, and the old rugged cross of Golgotha were all richly stained with His precious blood. The extent of that crushing of the Lord Jesus was magnified as the darkness hid the sight of the load of our sins being laid upon Him. Just as the juice from the grapes was to lie for three days to enable fermentation to occur, we read of the Lord Jesus lying in Joseph’s tomb to await the resurrection. And, just as the grape juice, after three days, comes alive as active wine, so we rejoice at the raising of the Lord Jesus from the realm of death forever. And that’s why we drink of the cup when we remember the Lord.

There are those who refuse to use wine as the drink when they conduct the Lord’s Supper. Many of these people will use unfermented grape juice, citing a prohibition on the use of any intoxicating beverage. Others will use the juice of other fruit, and the Mormons simply use water. All of these are woefully inadequate in their representation of the blood of Christ. Because we have wine available to us, why should we not use the very best representation? What the Lord Jesus gave us should be good enough for us.

The Israelites drank four cups during the Passover feast. We are not told which of these four Jesus used as He instituted His feast, and it really does not matter. But each of the four cups has significance for us. The first cup, known as the Cup of Sanctification, speaks of the blood of Christ being sanctified, holy, and separate from sin, untainted blood that is acceptable to God. The second cup, the Cup of Judgment or Deliverance, speaks of the great judgment of God that was necessary to bring release to the captives. The third cup, the Cup of Redemption, speaks of the value of the blood to satisfy God’s claims against us. Cup four, the Cup of Praise or Restoration, speaks of the way in which the blood of Christ restores fallen sinners to our original purpose to praise our God and appreciate Him.

Never will we be able to fully understand the extent of the cup that the Lord Jesus drank for us. But we can thank Him for the cup of remembrance He has given us to drink. -Jim MacIntosh

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