Friday, 21 November 2014
In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 1 Corinthians 11:25
“In the same manner” is referring to the Lord’s previous handling of the bread – its blessing, being broken, and being passed to the disciples. It is in this same manner that “He also took the cup after supper.” The words “after supper” are used only by Luke in the gospels. It is an addition which is intended to mark a distinction between an ordinary meal and that of the Lord’s Supper. And although it doesn’t mention that He blessed the cup, He would have done so, just as He did with the bread. In the blessing, He would have spoken these words –
“Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.”
This again makes a picture. Christ calls Himself the “true Vine” in John 15:1. He then said to the disciples that they were the branches which bear fruit. The Creator of the fruit of the Vine then is a picture of the work of the Lord and of His work through those who belong to Him. As Paul notes in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
The cup after the Lord’s proclamation would have been shared with the disciples, and the proclamation is, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” It is obvious, just as it was with the bread, that it is only a sign and a symbol of the work of Christ, not literally His blood. Therefore, both the bread and the wine are symbolic of the body and blood of the Lord, and also of the covenant which is ratified in Him.
The term “My blood” is being set in contradistinction to the blood offered in the Old Covenant of which the law was comprised. In Hebrew 9:11, 12 it says –
“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”
What the Law of Moses could never make perfect is realized in the shed blood of Jesus. Thus, the law is set aside by the work of Christ, completely and entirely. As Hebrews says again,
“In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete.” Hebrews 8:13
The second supersedes the first, thus annulling it entirely. It is this marvelous work which we remember when we partake of the Lord’s Supper. And the Lord says that this is to be done “as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” Anytime the church gathers, it is right and appropriate to partake of the Lord’s table in remembrance of His great work which has obtained eternal redemption for His people.
Life application: When you come to the Lord’s Table, it should be with the remembrance that it is His death which is being proclaimed. It was the highest price imaginable to restore us to God, so remember to partake of the elements with profound gratitude and respect.
Lord God, there are days when things just don’t start right and it seems as if inevitably things continue to go wrong after that. When these times come, help me to remember that all things, even the difficult trials of the day, are being worked together for my good. Give me the ability to keep my composure and trust that the trials will pass and I’ll soon be back on a smooth path. And thank You that You are there with me through these times! Amen.