Four cups of wine

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With all of the other gentile students at George Washington High School in Philly back in the 60’s. we were happy when Jewish holidays rolled around. That’s because about 40 percent of the student body was missing, making it hard to follow the regular curriculum schedule. Life was easy on Jewish holidays! 

   With so many Jewish friends I got to learn more about Judaism. One good  friend, Mark, kindly invited me to join his family for their Passover meal celebration one year. It was very interesting, and there was lots of good food! His mom was a great cook.

    Without Passover we wouldn’t have Easter. The “Last Supper” was actually a Passover meal, and when Jesus spoke of the wine being the “new covenant” in His blood, He was giving Passover a whole new significance that probably surprised His disciples.

    Every place setting in a Jewish Passover meal has a small cup for wine. That cup will be filled four times during the ceremonies. Once for each of the parts of God’s redemption described in Exodus 6:6-7. God’s spoke to Israel that first Passover that: 1. “I will bring you out”, 2. “I will deliver you”, 3. “I will also redeem you”, and 4. “I will take you for My people”. Each is commemorated by successive cups of wine at designated times during the meal – four cups in all.

   The third cup, the cup of redemption, specifically commemorates the lamb whose blood was required to mark the doorposts and the lintel of each Hebrew family dwelling so that the “destroyer”, or “death angel”, would “pass over” that house. The account is in Exodus 11 and 12.

    When Jesus raised the third cup and spoke of the new covenant in His blood, He identified Himself as the sacrificial lamb! He was the redeemer, the Lamb of God, who would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

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