Devotional: The Cups of Communion
The Cups of Communion
“Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:27–28)
In Matthew 26:17–30, we find Jesus and the disciples celebrating the Passover meal together like the Jewish people had been doing since their liberation from slavery in Egypt. This celebration symbolizes God’s protection and deliverance from the tenth plague when Moses told the people to place the blood of a lamb on their doorposts so that the Lord would see it and pass over their homes. The Passover meal that Jesus shares with His disciples will last several hours, with four cups of wine and lots of food. They are reclining at a low table and in community together.
Remember, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which means “house of bread.” In John 6:48, Jesus says that He is the Bread of Life, reminding His listeners that their forefathers ate manna in the wilderness and died. But Jesus is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that Jesus will give for the life of the world is His flesh. At a critical point in the Passover meal, He tells His disciples, “Take, eat; this is my body.”
Four cups are typically consumed at a Passover, a custom that ties back to Exodus 6:5–7. The first is the Cup of Sanctification (“I will bring you out”). The second is the Cup of Deliverance (“I will free you”). After eating, Jesus and His friends drink a third time from the Cup of Redemption (“I will bless you”). This is the cup that we observe today when taking Communion—the one with which Jesus sets up the New Covenant.
The fourth is the Cup of Restoration (“I will protect you”). Jesus does not drink from this cup and tells His followers that He will not drink from it until He drinks it new with us in His Father’s kingdom.
There is also a fifth cup—the Cup of Wrath. Jesus is the only one who can drink from this cup. When He is on the cross and says, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28), He is saying, “Give me the fifth cup that I might drink all of it.”
Keep the Communion Faithfully
The Lord’s Supper is a time to remember what Jesus did for us, and it’s a time for anticipating His return. As you walk by faith in Christ, what do you need to remember that He has done for you, and what should you be looking forward to?
Father, help me to remember your faithfulness in my life, just as you were faithful to bring your people out of Egypt. Thank you for delivering me from my sins. I want to live with anticipation and expectation for the time when I will be with you forever. I look forward to sharing the fourth Cup with you in heaven!
Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!
© 2017 Davis Carman
Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is the author of four illustrated children’s books designed to help kids learn a biblical worldview. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now!
Davis’s four books include: Good Morning, God, based on Deuteronomy 6, A Light for My Path, an ABC book based on Psalm 119, In the Beginning, based on the Creation account in Genesis, and Psalms to Know Early.
If you enjoyed this devotional by Davis Carman, you might enjoy reading Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.