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Communion And The Cup Of Redemption

1 Corinthians 11:23-32 (also see Luke 22:7-23) – Traditionally read for communion services which is actually part of the Passover Seder.


1 Corinthians 11:23-26 – Jesus last Passover Seder with His disciples before being crucified.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,

24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me."

25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.




The Passover Seder

  • Seder – it means “order”

  • If possible the “leader” is the father.

  • A celebration in remembrance of Israel’s exodus out of Egypt.

  • Recounts the sacrifice of the lamb and the putting of the blood on the doorposts, so that God would “pass over” the Israelite’s households (Exodus 12:1-13);

  • The four cups that all participants drink during the ceremony are based on the four promises of God (“I will…”) in Exodus 6:6-7.

  • There are 18 steps during the ceremony in the Messianic Passover Haggadah (Behold The Lamb) booklet by Stan R. Kellner. Traditionally, there are 15 steps in the Passover Seder.

  • Step one: Cleaning all leaven from the home (“examining ourselves” in 1 Corinthians 11:28).

  • Communion is the 15th (finding and eating the hidden afikomen) and 16th (the 3rd cup: The Cup Of Redemption) steps.


Keeping The Feast

  • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 – cleaning out the old leaven (sin and wickedness) to become a new lump

  • Hebrews 11:28 – “By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.”

  • Israel’s journey to the Promised Land began and ended with Passover; so does ours!



“The Cup Was A Marriage Proposal”


“In first century Jewish marriage proposals, wine took on a special significance. In the proposal, the tale end of it, after a marriage covenant was actually drawn up and agreed upon by the groom, father of the bride, and the bride, it would be sealed with a toast between the groom and the bride. The groom would pour wine and offer it to his (hopefully soon-to-be) bride, with the promise that ‘This is a covenant in my blood’ or something similar. To accept she would drink it. To reject the request (because hers was the final decision) she would simply return the cup. (‘In the same way, after the supper He took the cup [the third cup of redemption], saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:20, NIV)”


“The groom, after such a proposal was accepted, would promise not to drink wine again until he saw the bride again, on their wedding day. He would then go to make a bridal suite ready, which was a room attached to his Father’s house [John 14:2-3]. He would stock it and prepare it to make everything perfect, returning to take his bride for their wedding day at a time she would not expect, to foster a sense of expectation and excitement every day that today would be the day she would see her groom coming for her [Luke 12:40, 46]. In the meantime, the bride to be was encouraged to regularly drink small amounts of wine, each time reminding her that her groom would be coming for her [Luke 22:19]. Today could be the day.”



The Baptism Of Death (The Cup Of Suffering)


Luke 12:49-50 – “I [Jesus] have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed [4912] I am until it is accomplished!”


Luke 12:50Jesus baptism of death is our baptism. The good news is that He tasted death for us ( so that we can walk through the valley of the shadow of death (i.e. the valley of deep darkness) and have no fear of it (Psalms 23:4).

50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed [4912] I am till it is accomplished!


  • NT:4912 sunecho (soon-ekh'-o) – “to hold together with constraint, to compress” is translated “I am in a strait [see def. right below] in Philippians 1:23 (passive voice), i. e., being restricted on both sides, under a pressure which prevents a definite choice; so in Luke 12:50, “(how) am I straitened,” [KJV] i. e., pressed in. (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

  • “Strait” – “narrow; close; not broad [see Matthew 7:13-14]; strict; rigorous; difficult; distressful” (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)


John 6:48-58Eating Christ’ flesh and drinking His blood; “I will raise him up on the last day.”

  • Eating His flesh: partaking of Christ’ suffering [of death] in the flesh (1 Peter 3:18; 4:1-3, 12-13)

  • Drinking His blood: the price paid for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:27-28, 1 Peter 1:14-19, Acts 20:28). The blood of Christ is applied to us when we live the crucified life (Gal. 2:20).


Matthew 26:39 – “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will." The death of our will and the doing of the Lord’s will establishes the covenant (Heb. 10:1-10). (See the Bible study Establishing The Covenant for more insights.)


Matthew 20:20-23 – Jesus declares that His disciples would drink His cup (i.e. the cup of suffering). It is the gospel truth of suffering with Christ in order to be glorified with Him that is missing from most Christian circles in America.



Proclaiming His Death (for eternal life)

  • 1 Corinthians 11:26 – “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.” It was His death that gave mankind the opportunity for life, His life, eternal life.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 – The word of the cross is the way of the Lord’s resurrection life for us.



Without partaking of Christ’ death (the cross of Calvary; i.e. the crucified life; see Matthew 16:24-28 below, Galatians 2:20), we cannot partake of His resurrection life (Pentecost).



Tasting Death


John 8:51-53The answer to their question is in the next passage below.

51 "Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death."

52 The Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.'

53 "Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?"




John 11:21-27Jesus is “the resurrection and the life.” He proved this for all to see through the death of Lazarus. In this passage Martha, his sister, is having a conversation with Jesus who came to them four days after their brother’s passing.

21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;

26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."




Luke 20:34-38Jesus refers to the “sons of the resurrection” who cannot die anymore.

34 Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage,

35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;

36 for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

37 "But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB [Exodus 3:6].

38 "Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him."




Matthew 16:24-28In this teaching of Jesus, He says that the way of saving your life is to lose it, which, He explains, is to deny yourself by taking up your cross and following Him. As discussed earlier, it is the crucified life, of doing the Lord’s will rather than ours that results in the gaining of our soul. This is the exchanged life, the disowning of our life and living for His. In this manner, we will not taste death, but live eternally, like Jesus. (Also in Mark 9:1 and Luke 9:27.)

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny [“to deny utterly; i.e. to disown, abstain; to forget oneself, lose sight of oneself and one's own interests”] himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

25 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

26 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

27 "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.

28 "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."




John 12:20-26It’s interesting that when told that some Greeks wanted to see Him, Jesus spoke of His death. His salvation would come to all Gentiles through His cross. The lost in this world will see Jesus today only when we join Him in His cross, the crucified life. Through our spiritual death, His life is manifested to the world. Otherwise, they only see us.

   When speaking of his own afflictions while following Christ, Paul said to the church in Corinth;


“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.”

(2 Corinthians 4:10-14/NIV)

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast;

21 these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."

22 Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus.

23 And Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

25 "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

26 "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.




Judges 16:28-30Through the death of Samson, after being taken captive by the enemy because of his unbridled lust, we read that “he killed many more when he died than while he lived.” This is the Old Testament equivalent of John 12:24-25; the grain of wheat falling into the earth and dying. Samson killed more of the enemy in his death then when he was alive (Judges 16:30). So will we. In our death, the power of God is released to destroy His enemies. I believe this includes the enemies within His children, and without.

28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, "O Sovereign Lord, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes."

29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,

30 Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.




Hebrews 2:9-10Jesus tasted death for everyone. To “taste” is to experience it. The good news is that the grave could not hold Him, and that His flesh did not decay at all. So, as we suffer with Him in the death process of our flesh, known as sanctification, we will also experience His resurrection power.

9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.




Hebrews 9:11-18 See the note below.

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;

12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh,

14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works [NIV- “acts that lead to death”] to serve the living God?

15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called [see the Bible study Many Are Called] may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance [see the Bible study Mishandling The Inheritance].

16 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it.

17 For a covenant is valid [949- “stable, fast, firm, secure”] only when men are dead, for it is never in force [2480- “to be strong, to have power, to be in sound health, to be able, can”] while the one who made it lives.

18 Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated [1457] without blood.



NT:949 bebaios (beb'-ah-yos)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from the base of NT:939 (through the idea of basality); stable (literally or figuratively):

KJV - firm, of force, steadfast, sure.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

stable, fast, firm, secure; properly: angkura (Hebrews 6:19)


NT:2480 ischuo (is-khoo'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:2479; to have (or exercise) force (literally or figuratively):

KJV - be able, avail, can do ([-not]), could, be good, might, prevail, be of strength, be whole, much work.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to be strong,

1.   to be strong in body, to be robust, to be in sound health (Matthew 9:12)

2.   to have power

   a.   to have a power evinced in extraordinary deeds, i. e. to exert, wield, power: so of the gospel (Acts


   b.   equivalent to be of force, avail (Heb. 9:17)

   c.   to be serviceable (Matthew 5:13)

   d.   followed by an infinitive to be able, can (Matthew 8:28)


NT:1457 egkainizo (eng-kahee-nid'-zo)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:1456; to renew, i.e. inaugurate:

KJV - consecrate, dedicate.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to innovate,

1.   to renew (2 Chron. 15:8)

2.   to do anew, again:

3.   to initiate, consecrate, dedicate (Heb. 9:18)


   The power of the covenant is released in our lives when we die to ourselves, our wills, our desires and ambitions, and then seek to know and do the will of God. The writer of Hebrews speaks of the necessity of death in order for the covenant with God for obtaining eternal redemption (eternal inheritance) to be “valid,” which means “stable, fast, firm, secure.” The security of the believer is dependent upon the security of the covenant. It is always sure and steadfast on Christ’ side because He is faithful (2 Tim. 2:11-13). With us, it is crucial that we remain in a state of being “dead in Christ,” counting ourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:10-12). Otherwise, the covenant is rendered ineffective in our lives. When we live for our wills, for ourselves, we make the power of the covenant powerless on our behalf. We are fighting its capacity through the eternal Spirit to conform us to the image of Christ. This is what the Bible refers to as a covenant breaker (Romans 1:31). We are treating the blood of Jesus, the blood of the new covenant, with rudeness and insult, as if it were a commonplace matter. The writer of Hebrews put it this way;


“How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?”

(Hebrews 10:29/NASU)


   By definition, to trample under foot is “to treat with rudeness and insult, or insulting neglect.” This refers to those who, after turning to Christ, turn away from Him to indulge in “willful sin” without repentance or the fear of consequences (see Hebrews 10:26-31). As the writer of Hebrews says, this “better” covenant is not through the blood of bulls and goats but the blood of Christ which makes it even more serious when slighted.



(From the Bible study The Word Of The Cross)

I Kings 20:38-43- King Ahab spared Ben-Hadad’s life when he attacked the Israelites. The Lord sent a prophet to Ahab to speak the word of the Lord to him. The Lord laid it on my heart that this man that He has determined should die is a picture of the “natural man”, or “old self” within each one of us that must be put to death by the Spirit (Romans 6:6). This is the sinful nature that must be done away with. We cannot spare its life or it will overtake the new life in Christ within all those who turn to Him. It must be put to death by the Spirit in order for us to live “abundantly” (John 10:10). It will come to our conscience and try to make a deal of compromise, justifying why it must live on. We must not give in to it, but rather master it (see Gen 4:7). It must be put to death or it will pull our hearts away from Christ. This is what many refer to as the “death to self.”

42        He said to the king, "This is what the LORD says: 'You have set free a man I had determined should die. Therefore it is your life for his life, your people for his people.'"



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