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Introductory Consideration

1. Today we complete our look at the covenant - at the relationship that God has established between Himself and us.

2. We have looked at how the promises He made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and David have all been culminated in the New Covenant which God promised to us in Jeremiah.

3. We have seen how God is the one who has initiated the covenant, He has set the terms, and He provides that which we need to meet those terms. The relationship is established solely through the grace of God

4. We are called to respond His grace, to His promises. To place our trust in Him - to eat of the tree of life, rather than in ourselves - to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To show our trust by obeying Him. To love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul.

5. Today we symbolically remember the covenant as we come to the table of our Lord. We together drink from the cup.

6. Jesus says "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.". Today we consider the significance of these words and what our drinking of the cup means to our relationship with God.

Teaching

1. Jesus says the cup is the covenant. Jesus is not talking about the cup itself, but what the cup contains.

2. The Bible often uses the word cup in a figurative sense. The contents of the cup are important because it is God who symbolically serves the drink.

a. Psalm 16:5 - "LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure."

b. It is God who decides what is in the cup of our life - what we will expereince or take in.

c. All will drink from the cup which God sets before them.

3. There is the cup of God’s wrath.

a. Psalm 75:8 - In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.

b. Isaiah 51:17 - Awake, awake! Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes men stagger.

Revelations 16:19 - The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.

4. The cup for Christ contained the suffering and death God had set before Him.

a. Matthew 26:39 - Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

b. John 18:11 - Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"

5. And there is the cup of salvation.

a. Psalm 116:13 - I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.

6. And so this morning Jesus Christ invites us to drink of the cup of His blood

7. What does it contain? What does it represent?

a. Iit contains the blood of the sacrifice by which He enabled us to be in a renewed relationship with God.

b. It contains the means by which we again are seen as friends rather than enemies of God. Hebrews 9:22 says that apart from the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. Unless Christ had shed His blood there would be no relationship between us and God.

c. Calvin says that Christ’s words here is the inauguration of the new covenant.

d. But it contains the substance of the covenant itself.

e. It contains God telling us that He had His Son die on the cross and that now we have a restored relationship.

f. That the portion He has assigned for our lives is that it be lived in the fullness of the blessing of God. That is our portion to be His people. To have promises of Jer. 31 take effect in us

8. When we drink of this cup we drink and take in the covenant of God.

9. But why do we actually have to drink of the cup?

a. Calvin says "it is only through the appointed act of spiritual drinking of the blood that the covenant may be firm and effective."

b. In Old Testament, blood of covenant was sprinkled on the people.

i. Exodus 24:7-8 - Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, "We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey." Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, "This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words."

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