There are 4 cups of wine during the Passover (seder) meal. We notice how the seder is structured around its cups of wine; every Jew was required to drink 4 cups to fulfill the Passover; and you can imagine how loud the singing and the arguing get toward the end of the meal.

Let us look at the first cup. Now, this is when the Passover reaches into the New Testament.  Three of these cups are mentioned in the Gospels – the first, the third, and the fourth. The first cup is called the Cup of Blessing. This cup starts the Passover supper and is mentioned in Luke 22:14-18 at the Last Supper.

When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; “for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; “for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

 Here Yeshua starts the Passover meal with the Kiddush. It was the first cup, but also a cup of wine that He would not drink. Here He says that the next time He will drink the Kiddush will be in heaven, with  the believers, with us, when we meet Him. This would be during the wedding supper of the Lamb. Yeshua anticipated our gathering together with Him and today He is preparing a great feast for us, a reunion supper which all believers will have with Him and with one another.

If the believer today longs to meet the Lord, how much more does the Lord long and yearn for this future time, keeping the best wine for this occasion. Furthermore, it is written that Jesus and the Apostles reclined at the table. What does this reclining signify?  The tradition explains that during the Passover night, one should drink the wine by reclining on the left side; the left side symbolizes freedom from slavery. And this gives reference to the believer’s position today, leaning on Yeshua for He is our freedom and brought our deliverance.

The second cup is called the Cup of Redemption and is also referred to as the cup of the Haggadah, that is, the retelling of the story of the Exodus. It is after this cup that the story of the Exodus is told. This cup is not mentioned in the Gospels.

The third cup is called the Cup of the Resurrection and symbolizes the physical resurrection of Israel at the Exodus. This cup is mentioned in the Gospels. In Luke 22:20 it is at the end of the meal. Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. It is at this third cup of wine when we see the origin of the wine in the ceremony of the communion that we do today in our congregations and churches. Here we see the strong relationship between Israel and the Scriptures; the Jews are intrinsically connected with the Word and also with each believer. Later, Paul refers to this cup and instituted the communion.

The fourth cup is called  the Cup of Salvation because at the end of the meal, Psalms of Salvation are read. These are the Hallel psalms, 113-118  and these speak of the salvation one has through the Messiah. The last part of this section speaks of the salvation brought by the Messiah Himself. The very last passage speaks of the rejection of the Messiah; Psalm 118:22  says The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

 Psalm 118 is believed to be one of the Hallels that Yeshua and the disciples sang as they were going towards the Mount of Olives as we read in Mat.26:30 : And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

This is right before He was delivered to be crucified, and every year, every Jewish family ends the supper with this Psalm 118. It is as if the Lord is calling to each one of them to help them make the connection between the sacrificed lamb whose blood saved their ancestors, and Yeshua who is the rejected One, the chief cornerstone. This is a great testimony of God’s faithfulness.


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