The Fourth Cup

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  • Topic: Jesus, Passover, Last Supper
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  • Published : April 21, 2013
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The Fourth Cup
Intro
1340 By celebrating the Last Supper with his apostles in the course of the Passover meal, Jesus gave the Jewish Passover its definitive meaning. Jesus' passing over to his father by his death and Resurrection, the new Passover, is anticipated in the Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the Church in the glory of the kingdom The Lords Supper

Luke 22:14-20

N When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them,

M “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

N And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said,

M “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”

N And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying,

M “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

N And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying,

M “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

Psalm 116:12-13; 15-17

M & P What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his bounty to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord,
Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his faithful ones.
 O Lord, I am your servant;
    I am your servant, the son of your handmaid.
    You have loosed my bonds.
 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
    and call on the name of the Lord.
N After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

N This is exactly what Jesus is doing at the last supper: he is offering to God the “sacrifice of thanksgiving”, the new “thank offering” The Eucharist. Jesus did not actually finish his Passover meal. Why did he leave the Upper Room after singing the hymn.

Matthew 26:36-46
Jesus Prayer in Gethsemane
N Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples,

M “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

N He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them,

M “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.”

N And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed,

M “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”

N Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter,

M “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

N Again he went away for the second time and prayed,

M “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”

N Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them,

M “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”

N There it is, plain as day. In Gethsemane, in the midst of his distress, Jesus prayed to the Father three times about the “cup” that he must drink. Why? Isn’t this a rather strange way to refer to a crucifixion? Why did Jesus describe his death through the metaphor of drinking a cup? To what cup did he refer? Given the Passover context of his prayer it is still Passover night, and given the fact that he had just left the Upper Room, by now, the answer seems clear: the final cup of the Passover liturgy.

Mark 15:23
N On the way to the cross,
And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take...
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