Luke 22:15 – And [Jesus] said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." (NIV)
1 Corinthians 11:25-26 – In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. (NIV)
During one Lenten season, our church held a special presentation: Christ in the Passover. Hearing Jesus depicted as the Passover Lamb, I was inspired by the beautiful setting in which our Saviour instituted the Lord's Supper and shared this special meal with His disciples in the upper room. This image touched my heart, giving me a deeper appreciation for Holy Communion.
It was interesting to observe the four cups of wine or grape juice during the Passover ritual, and how each cup corresponded to the four verbs the Lord used when He redeemed Israel from Egyptian bondage:
Exodus 6:6-7a – 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. (NIV)
- First Cup – I will bring you out
- Second Cup – I will free you
- Third Cup – I will redeem you with an outstretched arm
- Fourth Cup – I will take you as my own
Focusing on the third cup, the cup of redemption, also known as the cup of blessing, I was amazed at the remarkable symbolism. I thought how our Saviour literally stretched out His arms on the cross of Calvary to redeem us from the bondage of sin. This was the cup of which our Lord spoke these words:
Matthew 26:28 – This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (NIV)
In the light of the New Testament, Christians may now have a fuller understanding of the spiritual meaning of the Passover event. The apostle Paul explains it:
1 Corinthians 5:7b – For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (NIV)
Thus, the Passover lamb foreshadowed the One who would come centuries later to be God's final means of redemption.
The story of Passover and Holy Communion would be incomplete if our Lord had not been raised from the dead. But God's Word testifies to the resurrection of Christ, who defeated death and gives us the victory over the grave. So as we commemorate the Lord's Table and drink from the cup of redemption, may we be mindful of our Lord's sacrifice, rejoice in His ever-living presence, and look forward to the blessed hope of His return.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are grateful for the precious sacrifice of the Lamb of God through whom You have made an everlasting covenant. As we drink from the cup of redemption, may our sins be forgiven, for the sake of Your holy name. With praise, we honour You for the blessings we receive, both now and forever, as our inheritance among those who are sanctified. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.