To promote an understanding of the Jewishness of the Scriptures which were written by Jewish men, about the Jewish Messiah, within the context of first century Jewish culture in Israel.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Four Cups

The Seder meal shared at Pesach (Passover) is a visual retelling of Moses delivering the Hebrews from 400 years of slavery in Egypt, as told in the Tanakh (Old Testament book of Exodus).

In the last few posts, I have identified some of the elements used in the Seder and their significance. What they mean to the Jewish people and what they mean to believers in Yeshua (Jesus).

Of vital importance to the Seder experience is the Four Cups.  Four cups of wine are placed before each participant to be drank during the meal.  This is taken from the Four Promises Adonai made to the the Hebrews shortly before their Emancipation, as recorded in Exodus 6:6-7. 

"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.  I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God."

The first cup is Sanctification - I will bring you out
The second cup is Judgment - I will rescue you
The third cup is Redemption - I will redeem you
The fourth cup is Praise - I will take you

What Christians refer to as The Last Supper was actually a Passover Seder.
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread [matzah], gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”  Then he took the [third] cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”  (Matthew 26:26-28)  This new covenant was foretold by Jeremiah 31:31-34. 

During a Seder, at the time of the third cup, a piece of matzah is passed around the table and each person breaks off a little piece, and is eaten along with the cup.  This is the portion of the Seder where Yeshua proclaimed the New Covenant, and this is the portion believers call Communion.

“I tell you, I will not drink [the fourth cup] of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you [the Marriage Supper, a Seder] in my Father’s kingdom.”  This fourth cup Yeshua referred to is the Cup of Praise.  (Matthew 26:29)

The experience of participating in a Seder is rich indeed. Not only does it tie the present to the past, it also connects the present to the future.

Blessings in Yeshua,

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