Thursday, April 5, 2012
Our family has been celebrating the Seder for the last five years during Holy Week. It is such a rich way to enter into the story of Jesus death and resurrection and I love knowing that I am observing Passover, just as Jesus did the night before he died.
In the Passover, there are four cups of wine that you drink during different parts of the meal and they each represent something different. The cup of sanctification, the cup of deliverance, the cup of redemption, and the cup of praise. The third cup takes place after the meal and it was during this cup of redemption that Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, told his disciples, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:28).
The image of this cup has stirred me up during this season of Lent. "This cup is the new covenant in my blood"...and then Jesus in the garden saying, "Father, take this cup from me. But, not my will but yours be done"
In Walter Wangerin's devotional, "Reliving the Passion" he talks about that first time Jesus is offered wine and myrrh on the cross, to dull the pain a bit. "He shakes his head. He will not drink from [that] cup. He will in no wise dull his sense or ease the pain. And so we know. What are the feelings? What has the spirit of Jesus been doing since Gethsemane? Why, suffering. With a pure and willful consciousness, terribly sensitive to every thorn and cut and scornful slur: suffering....Or what has the Lord been doing since Gethsemane? Drinking. Not from the narcotic cup, but from the cup the Father would not remove from him: drinking. Swallow by swallow, tasting all the hell therein, not tossing it down in a hurry: 'So that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.'"
May you be blessed this week to know that the cup of redemption was drained to the last drop, swallow by bitter swallow. And while He drank, he thought of you.