Summary: "The Cup of Blessing which we bless" is the fulfillment of the atonement for God's wrath against sin, for anyone who will participate.
GOOD FRIDAY 2013: The CUP, the CROSS, and the KINGDOM
Luke 22:14-23, Matt.27:32-43
About this time of year around 2000 years ago, the greatest event in the history of World took place in a country that was just a minute part of one of the greatest WORLD empires. This greatest event had been planned by the Almighty CREATOR of the universe BEFORE the universe was even here, and was accomplished outside the gates of Jerusalem. There, Jesus, the exact representation of the radiance of God, was nailed to a cross, and lifted up, so that everyone who would be drawn to Him, would KNOW the saving grace and power of an extravagant Heavenly Father’s Love. Today we remember that LOVE in Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
1 Song: How Deep the Father’s Love for Us:
The night before Jesus died, He had called His disciples together in an upper room in Jerusalem in order to celebrate His last Passover meal.
Luke 22:14 tells us: 14 When the hour had come, (at the appointed time by God) He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer (Jesus KNEW what was coming: He would become the paschal Lamb); 16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." (filled to the top, like filling a cup. What Jesus will be doing will be FINALLY filling the cup of PROMISE to be the sacrifice for sin.) 17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves ;18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes." 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, as we think about why you suffered, and what you suffered, and for whom you suffered, and we are in awe of your great love: “What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you should visit him, let alone DIE for him!” We humbly give you THANKS for this physical bread which is a symbol for us of your obedience, of your selfless love, in that you purposed and ALLOWED YOUR BODY TO BE BROKEN for us.
THE BREAD: In faith and in obedience, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We celebrate this COMMUNION; the sharing of this broken bread is a reminder AND A PROFESSION that the Lord Jesus’ Body was broken so that we might be made whole. Paul said in 1 Cor. 10:16: “Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” When you partake of this bread, you are declaring publically that you identify with Christ’s body being broken for you, that Jesus has done this for you.
2. Song: Communion Hymn:
Luke 22: 20 “And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
So many times Christians like to reduce the elements of the Bible to the simplest of forms. I think that in our selfish and sinful hearts, the reason we do that is that we just want to know, “What’s in it for me?” When we partake of communion, that question is certainly answered for us: FORGIVENESS of sin. But I want you realize the drastic importance of what Jesus was saying when HE held up this cup?
The cup represents SO MANY teachings in scripture, but most often, THE CUP symbolizes God’s frightening and awesome wrath upon His wayward people and upon a world in general that rejects Him, upon sin and disobedience. The Cup is foundational to the Kingdom, because Christ’s LIFE blood is payment for sin for you to enter His Kingdom.
(Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentation, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Zechariah, Revelation 14, 16, 17 and 18 all speak of the Cup of God’s Wrath.)
Let me give you a few verses: Psalm 11:6 says: ”Upon the wicked He will rain snares ; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup.” Psalm 75:8 says:” For a cup is in the hand of the LORD, and the wine foams ; It is well mixed, and He pours out of this ; Surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs. Jeremiah 25:15: “For thus the LORD, the God of Israel, says to me, "Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it.”