Jesus Drank the 5th Cup

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1. Preparation

In preparing for the communion message, it would be advisable (a) to sing “Lead me to Calvary” (aka “King of my Life”) directly before the Communion and (b) that when standing at the podium, there should already be 5 cups of juice at the front. They can be 5 communion-size cups or 5 small, glass cups. Visual Aids are always valuable, regardless of age group.

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To view the PowerPoint, click here.

2. Scripture

Exodus 6:6-8
“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘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. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.’ “

3. Introduction

Recently, our family group got together on Good Friday for a special meal.

Together with our children, we always eat a wonderful dinner before our weekly Bible Talk.

But this week was special – we celebrated another Christian Passover Seder meal.

In Exodus 12 God commanded Jewish families to gather together to eat one final meal.

They were to slaughter a lamb and to mark the doorframes of their homes so that the Angel of the Lord would pass over their home en route to slaying the firstborn of every man and animal in Egypt.

Each year, the Jews were to celebrate the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

This would be to the Jews what our Communion is to Christians.

In fact, Jesus simply took the Seder Passover Meal and turned it into the Lord’s Supper – and said “When you do this, think of me…remember me

4. The Four Promises

In preparing for this, I was reading a book by Rob Bell [1], and he pointed out that the 4 Glasses of Wine that are consumed during a Seder Meal point back to the 4 Promises of God in Exodus 6.

Listen to these 4 promises from Exodus 6

-I will bring you out [Drink Cup #1]
-I will rescue you
-I will redeem you
-I will take you..to me

There is also another cup that references the prophet Elijah.

This is left untouched.

But close your eyes and bask in the glory of these 4 promises.

-I will bring you out
-I will rescue you [Drink Cup #2]
-I will redeem you-
-I will take you..to me

So at our recent Seder Passover Meal, we tried to envision how Jesus felt – as he drank of each cup.

Each of us though only had one cup. Some of us drank wine, while others drank grape juice.

And throughout the Seder Meal and the various discussions,we would take a sip/swallow every 10 minutes,

And we would read and meditate on one more promise each time

-I will bring you out
-I will rescue you
-I will redeem you [Drink Cup #3]
-I will take you..to me

5. Getting In Touch

At the meal Dave Bruce pointed out how these promises really helped him get in touch with his own salvation:

“God has led me out of his old way of life
God has rescued me from a life of sin
God has allowed Jesus to be crucified…to rescue me
And God has brought me close to himself.
[Drink Cup #4]
In fact, at the end of days, God will take me to be with Him in heaven.”

You see, on the evening of the Last Supper, THESE are the things that Jesus and the twelve were thinking about.

And yet these 4 promises are now reinterpreted by Christ for us.

They no longer reference the Old Testament exodus from Egypt, but rather our New Covenant miraculous exodus from our own sin.

6. The Promises Were Also For Jesus

And then Cece chimed in and noted, “This meal wasn’t just for the twelve. It was FOR Jesus.”

He wasn’t just training the twelve.

He wasn’t just offering them these promises.

Instead, Jesus was feeling each of these promises as he was facing his own torture.

He was preparing his own heart for the long night in Gethsemane – battling through his temptation to follow his own will rather than the will of the father.

On that fateful evening, Jesus too would have to make a decision regarding the 5th cup.

But for him, it was not the cup of Elijah.

Instead, it would be the cup of God’s will.

Take this cup from me…but not my will but your will be done.”

And he chose to “drink” the fifth cup. [Drink Cup #5]

The 4 previous cups were God’s amazing promises to him.

As Jesus drank the 1st cup, he was reminded that the Father would lead him through the next few grueling time leading up to his own death.

As Jesus drank the 2nd cup, he was reminded that God would rescue him from the pain and torment and that God would not let him be tempted beyond what even he could bear.

As Jesus drank the 3rd cup, he was reminded that the Father would redeem him from this physical world.

And as Jesus drank the 4th cup, he was comforted. He was deeply comforted and given confidence that the Father would take Him to be home again in heaven.

I believe it is these first 4 cups that gave him the strength to confidently drink the 5th cup.

Let me say that again.

It is these first 4 cups (and their accompanying promises) that gave Jesus the courage and strength to drink the final cup.

7. Upward Call

So as you are contemplating recommitting yourself to God, as YOU are trying to find the faith to drink the 5th cup – to do God’s will rather than your own – I urge you to follow the example of Jesus.

Drink the 5th cup AFTER you have consumed the first four – AFTER you have consumed these 4 life-changing promises of God.

And as you are about to consume bread and wine, read the promises of Exodus 6 and put yourself in Jesus’ shoes at the Last Supper.

Ask yourself what he felt as he contemplated each promise.

And then find the strength to walk to your own Gethsemane once again – and drink the 5th cup: “Not my will but thine”.

8. Prayer

Reference

http://www.torah.org/learning/yomtov/pesach/5757/vol3no02.html#

[1] Rob Bell’s Sex God, P131

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ37Q5xJGnM

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