I have often asked myself the question, “Are you too religious in your thinkings?” No, I am not Pharisaic over what occurs in the church services on Sundays. BUT if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God, then my next question I ask myself is, “Have Christians become so expedient, that Jesus has become unrecognizable in what we do in church?”
In my last blog, I listed the four cups of the Passover seder. We know that Jesus was Jewish and that led the Passover Seder or the Last Supper, using the same elements as the original Passover. Let me give you a sampling of what took place that Thursday night before His crucifixion and resurrection.
“We Light the Candles” “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1
The Four Cups “Then the Lord said to Moses, Now you will see what I will do…” Exodus 6:1
The Cup of Sanctification—Kadeysh “…I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians…” Exodus 6:6
We Wash our Hands—Urkhatz “Who may ascend the Hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His Holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.” Psalm 24:3-4
Parsley—Karpas “…the Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God…” Exodus 2:23
The Four Questions—Ma Nishtanah “…when your children ask you, What does this ceremony mean to you? then tell them…” Exodus 12:26
We Answer the Questions. “And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and thy sons forever”. Exodus 12:24.
The Matzah–The unleavened Bread. Verses to correspond to the Matzah: 1 Cor. 5:7; Isaiah 53:5; Zechariah 12:10. Ending with the spoken words, “This is the bread of affliction…”
The Maror— The bitter herbs. At this point of the Seder, the Leader would say, “On all other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, but on Passover we eat only “maror”–bitter herbs. As sweet as our lives are today, let us still remember how bitter life was for the children of Israel in the land of Egypt, and how we were all in a spiritual Egypt, before we were redeemed.” (based on Exodus 1:12-14)
The Passover Lamb—Pesakh “The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see blood, I will pass over you.” Exodus 12:13. This is when all Jewish believers in Christ Jesus would collectively speak, “We who have trusted Yeshua the Messiah, believe He is the Lamb of God, our Passover. Like the ancient Israelites, we know that it was God Himself, and not an angel, God Himself, and not a seraph, God Himself, and not a messenger, who achieved final redemption from sin and death. God Himself, through Jesus (Yeshua), who takes away the sin of the world.” Even if you are not a Messianic believer, the truths are still evident.
What I have listed is a part of the Passover Seder. My intention is not to say that ALL churches should conduct their “Communion services” in the same way. What I am saying is, the significance or focus should bring us into the “remembrances” of the Why’s, the What’s and the How’s of communion. (1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 31). How are we preparing on Sunday communions? Has it become mundane?
That was a good introduction in discussing “The Fourth Cup” of Passover or in Communion.
1st Cup— SANCTIFICATION
2nd Cup— AFFLICTION
4th Cup— CONSUMMATION
The Cup of Consummation or “The Fourth Cup”. Turn to Matthew 26:29. Jesus is reclining on the floor and leading the Passover Seder when He says, “I say to you, I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it with you new and of superior quality in My Father’s kingdom.” The cup of SANCTIFICATION in Matthew is not mentioned after the resurrection because of what Jesus said in Matt. 26:29 and Revelation 19:9.
Is their OBEDIENCE to the Word when we take “communion”? Do we understand what we are doing? Are we really participating? Are we releasing anyone who has harmed us physically, emotionally or spiritually before we receive the elements of communion? I will uncover my findings through out my blogs.
Prior to His trial and crucifixion, Christ met in a large room with His disciples. That evening Christ made an announcement. Most scholars believe that as Jesus held up the third cup, the cup of redemption, He amazed His disciples by His actions:
“Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20). Christ was introducing a new covenant that would be sealed with His own blood. No longer would future Hebrew believers emphasize their deliverance from Egypt. Instead, each time they took the cup and bread, they would celebrate a spiritual freedom, a deliverance from death and hell, and the promise of eternal life. It would be this act, known as Communion, which would be the central ordinance among all future Christians around the world. *
At the Passover Seder held around many Christian settings this time of the year, “The Four Cups” that are explained should give us a better understanding of the Communion and Passover Connection. In the “Haggadah” (Passover Seder), the following words are said over The Four Cups:
As the Lord spoke these words of encouragement to Moses, He revealed to His servant the plan by which He would redeem the children of Israel.
“I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians… I will free you from being slaves… I will redeem you with an outstretched arm… I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God…”
At Passover, we celebrate these promises of redemption and relationship by drinking from our cups four times. With each cup, let us remember the life that God desires.
*Footnote: from Perry Stone’s, “The Meal that Heals”.