Summary: What spiritual meaning can we get from the cup?
“In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you . . . drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Cor. 11:25-26).
A. Why Grapes Are a Symbol of His Death
1. Symbols of fruitfulness. “This is My blood . . . which is shed for many” (Mark 14:24).
2. Symbol of joy. “He took the cup and gave thanks” (Luke 22:17). The Old Testament speaks of the wine of gladness, joy, happiness, etc.
3. Symbol of pouring out. “This cup is the New Testament in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20).
4. Symbol of crushed. Instruments of pain and death; mails, spear, crown of thorns, scourging, beatings, thirst and forsaken.
5. Symbol of life. The grapes represent the life and energy from the ground that is available to us in liquid form.
6. Symbol of sweetness. The sweetness of grapes comes from four sources (1) sun, (2) water, (3) soil, and (4) seed. Jesus is the sweetness of God that is given to us.
B. What Should We Remember From His Blood?
“Then He took the cup . . . and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins’” (Matt. 26:27-28).
1. The “cup” is a picture of God’s punishment. “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39).
2. “Giving thanks” is a picture of submission to God’s will. The sinless Jesus had to die for sinners so God could forgive people’s sin and receive them into His presence.
3. “Giving the cup” to the disciples is a picture of God’s purpose. The spilt blood was for others.
4. “Drinking” is a picture of belief. The only way to partake of redemption is believe in Jesus. When we drink, we picture how Jesus comes into our life.
5. The word “blood” is a picture of His life and death. Jesus gave His life for us, not just like a mother sacrifices for her children. Jesus gave His life until He died for us. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17:11).
6. The phrase “the New Testament” is a picture of the new way God relates to us because of the cross. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). “This man . . . had offered one sacrifice for sins forever” (Heb. 10:12).
7. “Shed for many” is a picture of salvation for all.
8. For “the remission of sins” is a picture of cleansing. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
9. “In remembrance of Me” is a picture of our obligation. Every time we drink from the cup, we remember what He did for us.
10. “Till He comes” is a picture that reminds us of Jesus, but when He returns we won’t need a picture . . . we will have Him!
C. What Spiritual Meaning Can We Get From the Cup?
1. Absence of the word wine. It is never called wine, but called the cup. While the content of the liquid was not important, the thing it symbolized was important, i.e. the blood of Jesus.
2. Could not be intoxicating wine. To turn grape juice into intoxicating wine, some forms of leaven had to be added. During Passover, no form of leaven could be eaten or drank; or even allowed to exist in a Jewish home (Ex. 12:15, 19; 13:3, 7). Jesus would not let His disciples eat leaven bread or wine before the Passover, nor would He. He was the perfect sacrifice for sins, He did not break the Passover laws.
3. Blood that gives satisfying life. “He who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).
4. Blood that gives eternal life. “Whoever . . . drinks My blood has eternal life” (John 6:54).
5. Blood that gives resurrection life. “Whoever . . . drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54).
6. Blood that gives indwelling life. “He who . . . drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (John 6:56).
Should churches serve intoxicating wine? No.
Should churches serve small cups or one goblet? Small.
Should people be served at a table or pews? Pews