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Mystery of the Last Supper and 4 Cups Revealed

Jesus hosted a supper for His disciples on the evening of Thursday, April 2nd 33 A.D. He would be arrested at midnight, endure 7 trials, be crucified Friday morning at 9:00a.m., die that afternoon at 3:00p.m. and be entombed by 5:00p.m. Therefore this meal then would be His last supper with His disciples before His death, burial and resurrection. Oral tradition tells us that the meal was held in a room located on the second floor of a house owned by the family of John Mark. He was the young son of a wealthy family who were followers of Jesus. The Feast of Passover would begin the next evening or Friday and continue until Saturday evening. Jesus as host, welcomed His disciples with the words, “I have eagerly looked forward to eating this particular Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:15)

Because this meal took place on Thursday, it was not the actual Passover meal. That meal would take place the following evening. Therefore, He was referring to this particular meal as one that was taking place because they were gathered together due to the impending Passover feast. Somewhat like a meal that a family might call a Christmas meal as it takes place the night before Christmas and not actually on Christmas day. Still we read that Jesus did follow many of the ordained customs associated with the Passover feast. Several major events took place at this meal and many interesting subjects were discussed over the course of many hours. But it was His use of the traditional four cups of Passover wine during the meal that serve as a key to unlocking the mystery of Jewish customs as they relate to the prophesied mission of the Messiah. Jesus methodically took the traditions of the Passover meal and presented them in a new and exciting way. These rituals were only shadows of the actual events that were now taking place. The meal would serve as a bridge from the old covenant of the Old Testament to the new covenant of the New Testament. From Law, judgment and punishment to faith, grace and forgiveness. This new Passover meal would no longer serve as a commemoration of the children of Israel leaving the slavery of Egypt and going into the Promise Land. Now, it would take on the new commemoration of all mankind being offered redemption from the slavery of sin and entrance into eternal life. It would not be about receiving a set of Laws and corresponding curses for disobedience. Instead, it was about receiving a new and more perfect way to become a child of God through faith plus nothing. It was a commemorative meal in which Jesus, building upon the Jewish traditions of the past, would move His followers forward towards a more perfect relationship with God. And just as all Old Testament covenants required a blood sacrifice through the death of an innocent unblemished animal, this new covenant would require even more. It would require an unblemished Jewish Priest of the Most High God in the Order of Melchizedek, to voluntarily sacrifice Himself on behalf of His people to save them from themselves. And the proof that this sacrifice was acceptable to God would be the resurrection of the sacrifice from the dead to eternal life.

The traditional four cups of Passover wine are both literal, figurative and prophetic. They were always only shadows of actual events that would take place in the life of the Messiah. The four cups are, The Cup of Sanctification, “I will bring you out”, The Cup of Deliverance/ Tribulation/Plagues/Judgment, “I will deliver you”, The Cup of Redemption/Blessing, “I will redeem you” and The Cup of Salvation/Praise/ Hope/Kingdom/Restoration- “I will take you for My people.” In the first century, the cup used to celebrate Passover was requited by Jewish law to be made from pure white limestone.

Excavated First Century Stone Cup

The first cup, or Cup of Sanctification was God’s promise to bring His people out of the bonds of slavery. The bonds of slavery were literally the Egyptian enslavement of Israel for hundreds of years. Figuratively, it would soon be slavery to the Law and prophetically it was the slavery of sin and death from which Jesus would free all of mankind.

The second cup or Cup of Deliverance/ Judgment is literally related to the Pharaoh at the time of the Exodus. Scripture tells us that this Pharaoh was different from past rulers in that he was Assyrian. He did not remember nor care about Joseph’s help with a national famine many hundreds of years earlier. He recognized that the Jewish population had not only become more numerous than the Egyptians, but were also economically and politically very powerful. His concern was that they could easily overthrow the Egyptian government and create their own nation. Therefore, he literally judged and enslaved the Egyptian Jews to manufacture bricks. Good clay is all that is needed to make bricks. But if the clay is of poor quality, it will need to be mixed with straw in order to strengthen it. The Jews were suddenly now burdened with finding straw, mixing it with the clay and yet still have the same output quota to meet. This in turn gave the Egyptian slave masters an excuse to continually punish the Jewish workers (Exodus 5:6-17). The Mosaic Law literally enslaved, judged and punished the children of Israel for their consistent failures to achieve righteousness in the eyes of God. This was due to a perfect set of Laws that were impossible for an imperfect people to achieve. The Mosaic covenant was simple and clear. Obey the Law and receive blessings. Disobey the Law and receive curses. Israel would constantly fail to keep the Law and God would judge and punish them just as He promised He would do at Mount Saini. Figuratively, all other religions of the world also tried to appease their gods by creating and following various laws and rituals, denying themselves certain pleasures and appeasement through the works of their hands. In other words, just like the children of Israel, they were continually trying to earn their way into heaven. But God made it clear through His Laws and His prophets that it was impossible for sinful mankind to earn their way into eternal life. The only way for a person to achieve eternal life through the Law was to live a life completely devoid of sin. And this would require a person to follow the Law to perfection in body, mind and spirit. Prophetically, Jesus would be the only person to be born without sin, keep all the Laws perfectly, never commit a sin and voluntarily die for the sins of mankind. Only His voluntarily decision to take on the sins of the world, become a curse, experience the full wrath of God and die an excruciating death would be the propitiation necessary for God to cancel out the sin debts of all mankind. In this way, a person no longer needs to try and earn eternal life. It is now a gift from God through faith in Christ.

The Ten Commandments of the Covenant

The third cup of the Passover meal is The Cup of Redemption/ Blessing in which God promises to redeem His people from death. Literally, Moses brought his people out of the land of Egypt and into God’s promised land of blessings. And, the Mosaic Law was literally an interim solution that could provide redemption but, only if the Law was kept. However, because the law was impossible to keep, a follower of the Law could never be fully redeemed. This is the problem with all other world religions in that there is no way to ensure redemption. Figuratively, the only recourse for a Jew to please God was to try their best to keep as many of the six hundred and thirteen laws as possible. Try to keep the requirements of the seven annual feasts, all the various associated customs, and tithe generously to the temple including the paying of temple taxes and special offerings. And even then the best a person could hope for was at their death, God would respect their tireless efforts to cover their sins and have compassion on their souls. Prophetically, Jesus would be the only perfect man to sacrifice Himself on behalf of mankind, create a way for a righteous God to be able to judiciously forgive mankind from their sins and be able to then show grace or forgiveness of sin and mercy or eternal life. Jesus took the Old Covenant of the Law to the grave and left it there. Now, all who want to be deemed as righteous in the eyes of God can easily do so through faith in Christ plus nothing (Matthew 11:29).

All the patriarchs beginning with Adam and including Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and even Moses for the first eighty years of his life did not live under the Law. They were instead deemed righteous by God through faith (Genesis 15:6). At Mount Sinai, the Israelites demanded the Law never suspecting it would take them down a 1,500-year path that would include several mass exiles, many military defeats, the total destruction of the Temple and ultimately, a national exile that would last 2,000 years during which time they would be continuously persecuted and killed.

During the course of the meal, Jesus had offered the first three traditional cups of wine. But after the third cup or Cup of Redemption, Jesus vowed, “I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine or wine, from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom or Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Matthew 26:29). Jesus did not drink the traditional fourth cup of Passover wine known as the Cup of Salvation/Praise/Hope/Kingdom/Restoration. Instead, He ended the supper by singing a traditional hymn of worship and then immediately lead His disciples from the upper room of John Mark’s house to the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46). This vow would be why Jesus refused the vinegar on the sponge at His crucifixion as it was made from fermented grapes thus a type of wine.

In the Garden, Jesus prays three separate times for God to take this cup away from Him if it be His will. The cup that Jesus is referring to was the Cup of Abominations filled to the brim with all the sins ever committed by mankind. Jesus knew that He would suffer at the hands of the Temple priests, the civil court of the Sanhedrin and the Roman court of Pilate. But His main concern was that, at the moment He was nailed to the wooden cross, He would become literally hung on a tree and thus become a curse in the eyes of His God (Deuteronomy 21:23). Figuratively, He would become the embodiment of sin. He who knew no sin had become sin incarnate. This is a concept that is completely impossible for the human mind to fully comprehend. God the Father was now forced to not only disengage from Jesus for the first time in eternity, but also judge Him and pour out His full undiluted wrath on Him. This is the same horrific moment that all unrighteous people will experience when, at the Great White Throne Judgement of God, they are found unrepentant, guilty and condemned (Revelation 20:11-15). Prophetically, this moment had been agreed upon by the Triune Godhead before the foundations of the world. The Word of God agreed to take on the sins of mankind in order to give mankind the opportunity for Eternal life (John 1:29; I Peter 1:20; Ephesians 1:4-5). Jesus prayed three times to God concerning the passing of this cup from Him in order to make it clear to us that, in the eyes of God, there was and still is no other way to eternal life but through Him.

The judgement of Jesus by God while He was on the cross was the actual and literal prophesized event that had been practiced in ritualistic form called Passover by the Jews since their exodus from Egypt. On that night, they were allowed to freely chose to sacrifice a lamb without blemish. This was a shadow of the sacrificial role of their Messiah Jesus. They were told to mark their door posts both top and sides with the lamb’s blood. This was symbolic of the places where Jesus left His blood on the cross. Then, when the angel of death came, which is symbolic of a person dying, those protected by the blood would live. This was symbolic of the blood of Jesus saving the believer from death by giving them eternal life. Today, when a believer dies, their physical body is buried, but their conscious spirit is immediately with Christ, thus death will literally pass-over them. The term rest in peace does not refer to soul sleep but instead the understanding that at the resurrection of the dead, their dead bodies will come alive and rejoin their spirits in an event known as the rapture. Therefore, the physical corpse of a believer is in a sense not so much dead as only waiting or resting for its eventual regeneration back to life. And even though the human body will turn into dust, the molecules of matter that make up the body are not destroyed as matter cannot be created or destroyed according to the Law of Conservation of Mass.

Today, the first four of the seven annual Jewish feasts are celebrated by the Church in three different ways. The Old Testament Feast of Passover is observed in the ceremony of Communion where a cup of red wine represents the shed blood of Christ for sin. The Jewish Feast of Unleavened Bread is realized, when during Communion, yeast free or unleavened or wafer bread is eaten. This is in remembrance of Jesus as the Bread of Life who voluntarily sacrificed His body or life for the sins of the believer. His sin free body was then placed in a new tomb also free from corruption (Matthew 27:57-60). And finally, the Jewish Feast of First Fruit has now been actualized and is now celebrated on Easter Sunday as a remembrance that Jesus arose from the dead on Sunday and was the first fruit of the resurrection of the dead (I Corinthians15:20).

The Church continues to worship on Sunday not only because Jesus arose on Sunday, but also because during the Jewish Feast of Pentecost in 33 A.D, the Holy Spirit arrived and began to permanently indwell all believers on Sunday. According to the Book of Genesis, Sunday was “the first day” of creation and as believers in Christ, we are born again and are new creations (Genesis 1:3-5; I Corinthians15:20; II Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5). And while it is true that one of the 10 Commandments says to remember the sabbath or Saturday and keep it holy, the Hebrew word Sabbath means “to rest from labor” (Exodus 20:8-10). So, this commandment is telling us that we are to “rest” at least one day a week. It does not command us to worship on Saturday. God rested from the creation process on Saturday and man should also rest from his labors on this day. The Jews decided to make it their day of worship but it was not commanded by God. As far as a day of prayer is concerned, Paul states that there is no one day to pray, but instead encourages people to pray every day of the week (Romans 14:5-6).

Salvation came through the death of the only man who was ever able to keep the entire law His entire life and remain sin free. The only man who God inspected and in whom was found no blemish (1 Peter 1:19; Hebrews 9:14; Exodus 12:5). What does this mean? It means that the Last Supper with the declaration of a new covenant, the crucifixion which brought the shedding of blood necessary to seal that covenant and the resurrection which proves God was satisfied with the covenant sacrifice were are all one continuous event. We are witnessing the fulfillment of the Abrahamic-Mosaic Covenant and its replacement with a new, superior Covenant made between the Messiah and God. In other words, the Last Supper was the announcement of a new and more perfect Covenant revealing that what was once concealed in the Old Testament prophecies and feasts were now revealed to be a foreshadowing of the actual events concerning the coming of the Messiah. Jesus was the Passover sacrificial lamb selected personally by the High Priest Caiaphas. The Sanhedrin who represented the civil authorities of Israel sanctioned the sacrifice. And Rome who represented the world of the gentiles, carried out the execution all according to God’s plan.

The communion ceremony also takes us all the way back to the Garden of Eden. God miraculously created Adam sin free and God miraculously created Jesus sin free. God created a partner for Adam from his own body. Jesus created a Church His bride from the sacrifice of His own body on the cross. Adam called Eve bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh and the two were married and became one. Figuratively, when we partake of the communion, we drink the wine symbolic of Jesus’ shed blood and eat the bread symbolic of His body. Thus we symbolically become bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh just as Adam with Eve in the garden. This symbolic gesture reminds us prophetically that we will one day literally celebrate this marriage union of Christ to His beloved Bride the Church, attend the Marriage Supper or reception of the Lamb and drink the fourth Cup of Salvation, Praise, Kingdom and Restoration in celebration. Adam through the Tree of Knowledge brought sin and death into the world. Jesus through the Tree or cross of Life, defeated sin and death and created an offer of eternal life for mankind to freely choose (John 10:18).

The 6th annual Jewish Feast is the Feast of Yom Kipper. It is considered the highest most holy feast of the Jews. During this feast, the High Priest sacrificed a he goat on behalf of himself as a sinner and the nation. He then entered the Temple, went into the Holy of Holies, a shadow or copy of the one Moses saw in heaven and sprinkled a drop of the goat’s blood on the Mercy Seat. This seat was located between the wings of the two kneeling cherubim atop the Ark of the Covenant. This annual act by the High Priest at Yom Kipper served as an offering that could only cover up the sins of the people for that year. It did not grant forgiveness of their sin. On the morning of His resurrection, Jesus the sacrificial Lamb of God, High Priest and King in the order of Melchizedek, ascended to Heaven. There He went into the actual Holy of Holies, approached the Mercy Seat of God and presented the one and only perfect human blood sacrifice required for the redemption of all mankind for all time (John 20:17). The Passover of 33 A.D. was the actual and final Passover that the Jews had been rehearsing in the form of a feast since the night before their exodus from Egypt. They now experienced the actual prophesied events that were carried out by their Messiah. This was not remotely what they were taught to expect of the Messiah. And the unfolding events of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection continue to this day to be impossibly difficult for the majority of Jews to understand and accept.

Jesus Frist Meets w Mary Magdalen

Because Jesus’ biological father was God, Jesus’ blood was without the original sin of Adam. Jesus never sinned, strictly followed the Mosaic Law and always obeyed the will of God. Therefore, after His sacrifice on the cross, His blood was pure enough to present to God as the ultimate and final sin sacrifice. Jesus told Mary Magdalene at the tomb site not to touch or hold him because He had not yet ascended to His Father in Heaven (John 20:17). It was not that Jesus could not be touched. It was because He was eager to ascend to His father and put His sacrificial blood on the Mercy Seat to atone for the sins of mankind and consummate this part of the Covenant ritual. Followers of Christ have become the children of a loving God. Believers of all other religions have no redeemer therefore, they falsely rely on works of the flesh to try and earn salvation, and understandably approach death in fear of judgment and the wrath of a righteous creator God.

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