Communion, or commonly known as The Lord’s Supper, is an ordinance observed in many churches in remembrance of the death of Christ, and the initiation of the New Covenant. The bread represents His body, and the grape juice or wine symbolizes His shed blood. 1 Corinthians 11:24-26 says, “This is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me…This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
In a recent communion service at my church a pastor gave a sermon entitled, “The Four Cups of Communion.” I had never heard this before. The four cups of the Passover each are linked to four promises God made to the Jewish people, listed in Exodus 6:6-7. I will enumerate them in this passage. One, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” Two, “I will deliver you from slavery to them.” Three, “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.” Four, ”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.”
The first cup corresponds with the first phrase, which is sanctification. The second one is the cup of deliverance. Third, we have the cup of redemption. Fourth is the cup of consummation. These four cups were all associated with physical acts by God for the Jewish people. And some Bible historians have said that all four cups were partaken of at the Last Supper. However, they all have a spiritual significance for Gentiles today. When communion is served it represents all four cups. All Christians have been sanctified (Hebrews 10:14), delivered from the kingdom of darkness(Colossians 1:13), redeemed(Ephesians 1:7), and will be consummated (1 Peter 1:9).
There is a fifth” cup, however, it is the one Jesus, figuratively speaking, took prior to his death. It is called the cup of wrath, referred to in Matthew 26:39 and Luke 22:42. Jesus cries out, “Father, if you are willing, remove the cup from me.” He knew that he was about to bear the sins of the whole world and be separated from God. But it had to happen! For the redemption of all those who have, or will, call upon God’s grace for the forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation. The excruciating death Jesus was about to die caused so much extreme stress that Luke 22:43-44 says resulted in Him “sweating great drops of blood falling to the ground.” It was a very rare condition called “hematidrosis” when multiple blood vessels by the sweat glands constrict under stress and rupture.
This fifth cup shows how much Jesus took on our behalf, for a sinful world in need of redemption. Sin is serious in the eyes of God, not to be taken lightly. It should never be justified or blamed on someone or something. The cup of wrath has spared Christians from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
“Jesus, thank You for saving me, and all those who have accepted You as their Savior. We bow before You in humility and worship. We thank You that we have been sanctified, delivered, redeemed, and will be consummated and spared from the wrath to come!”