Jesus Christ in the Passover Part 3 – The 5 Passover Cups

Luke 22:20 “He took the (3rd) cup, saying, ‘This is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”

Before His crucifixion, Jesus celebrated the annual Passover meal with His disciples, who still did not understand that He Himself would be the ultimate Passover Lamb offered that next day for our sins.

There are 5 cups of wine in every Passover meal. The first 4 cups symbolize the 4 promises God made to the Israelites in Exodus 6:6-11, to free them from Egypt slavery. The first is the Cup of Remembrance, the second is the Cup of Salvation, the third is the Cup of Redemption, and the fourth is the Cup of Praise.

The key Old Testament verses that are the bedrock for the yearly Passover celebration are Exodus 6:6-7: “Say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians [Cup 1], I will rescue you from their bondage [Cup 2], and I will redeem you [Cup 3] with My mighty power and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God [Cup 4]. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”

As we examine each Cup, you cannot miss seeing Jesus Christ as the true reason to celebrate Passover.

Cup #1 = Cup of Remembrance = “Bring you out”: “bring you out” means “to release from slavery.” This is from Exodus 6:6 “I will bring you out you from under the burdens of Egyptian slavery.” Jesus is a picture of Christ as He, God’s New Covenant, frees us from slavery to sin: “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36). As Paul says in 2Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Cup #2 = Cup of Salvation = “Rescue” from Egyptian Slavery: “rescue” means “to deliver, to save.” This is also from Exodus 6:6 “I will save you from Egyptian bondage.” Jesus is again pictured as the New Covenant who saves us from the slavery and penalty of our sin: “The Lord has anointed Me to… proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” (Luke 4:18).

Cup #3 = Cup of Redemption = “Redeem” by His Mighty Power: “redeem” means “to deliver, to save.” This is again from Exodus 6:6 “I will redeem you with My mighty power.” In our verse for this week, Jesus is holding this third cup and announces He is the New Covenant who will redeem mankind on the Cross:

Luke 22:20 “He took the (3rd) cup after supper, saying, ‘This is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” This points back beautifully to many Old Testament verses, like Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”

Later, in Luke 22:42, Jesus cries out to God in the Garden of Gethsemane “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” This is the heart of Christian belief, as Jesus obediently takes the 3rd cup, the Cup of Redemption, by going to the Cross of Calvary.

Cup #4 = Cup of Redemption = “Take you” as His Own: “take you” means “to adopt, as a father to a son.” This is from Exodus 6:7 “I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.” Jesus is portrayed as the New Covenant who saves us from slavery by adopting us into God’s family as His children by faith: “I will be a Father to you; you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2Corinthians 6:18)

Romans 8:14-16 “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brings adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’. The Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

Cup #5 = Cup of Ultimate Redemption: This cup was added to the Passover since temple times. But this fifth cup has never been used in the Passover meal because it is to be drank at the return of the Messiah.

It is interesting that when Jesus and His disciples came to this fifth cup during Passover, He refused to drink: “He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’” (Luke 22:17-18).

All 4 Gospels record Jesus’ refusal to drink of the fifth cup before His death and resurrection, but as He says, He will drink from this fifth cup when He returns. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
“The Evidence of Faith’s Substance” _ Article #546

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