Passion2017: [ Thurs ] New Covenant

Read: Luke 22:14-20

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had 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.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood…”


The Passover Feast involved four cups. Four cups that each symbolised the four promises God had made to Israel:

  • The Cup of Sanctification – (Exo. 6:6a) “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians”
  • The Cup of Deliverance– (Exo. 6:6b) “I will deliver you from slavery…”
  • The Cup of Redemption – (Exo. 6:6c) “I will redeem you…”
  • The Cup of Promise – (Exo. 6:7-8) “I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God… I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession.”


The four cups symbolise the four promises God had made as part of His covenant with Israel. They would be a people set apart for Him, a people for his own possession. But this was a covenant Israel had broken. 

Instead of deliverance, there would be slavery. Instead of redemption, there would be wrath. Thus, the cups that were supposed to represent the favour and blessing of God on his children, would now became a cup of God’s righteous wrath.

After they had eaten, Jesus took the cup (Note: this would have been the third cup) but instead of saying the traditional rites he said, ““This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood…” 

The blood of Jesus, True Passover Lamb, would be “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28) to fulfil the promise made by God in Jeremiah 31:31-34

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And no longer shall each one teach his neighbour and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

That night, in the Garden of Gethsemane – Jesus was given a foretaste of the wrath of God. A foretaste of the cup of wrath that was meant for us. A cup so terrible, Jesus prays… “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

“As we watch Jesus pray in agony in Gethsemane, he has every right to turn his tearful eyes towards you and me and shout, “This is your cup. You’re responsible for this. It’s your sin! You drink it.” This cup should rightfully be thrust into my hand and yours. Instead, Jesus freely takes it himself… so that from the cross he can look down at you and me, whisper our names and say, “I drain this cup for you – for you who have lived in defiance of me, who have hated me, who have opposed me. I drink it all… for you.” 

C.J. Mahaney

Today, let us rejoice that because of the obedience of Christ, we are no longer under God’s judgment but under God’s favour. Because of His mercy, we are no longer condemned. Because of His suffering, we have been made whole. Because of his blood, we are forgiven.

“Christ exhausted the cup of God’s wrath. For all who trust in Him there is nothing more in the cup. It is empty.
Jerry Bridges

Playlist: Gethsemane (Lyrics by Melanie Hoffman)


Jesus climbed the hill to the garden still
His steps were heavy and slow
Love and a prayer took Him there
To the place only He could go

Gethsemane, Jesus loves me
So He went willingly, To Gethsemane

He felt all that was sad, wicked or bad
All the pain we would ever know
While His friends were asleep
He fought to keep
His promise made long ago

The hardest thing that ever was done
The greatest pain that ever was known
The biggest battle that ever was won
This was done by Jesus
The fight was won by Jesus

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