The Cup of Rejoicing

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Jesus sang a hymn before ending his Last Seder on this earth, but He stopped short of consuming the fourth cup.

Why?

I addressed this briefly in my previous post, but I believe the reason was that Jesus had reached the end of the “now” section of the Seder–and the fourth cup was the “not yet.”

The first three of the four “I will” statements of Exodus 6:6-7 were fulfilled in Christ’s death. “I will bring you out”–sanctification for those who are in Christ. “I will rescue you”–deliverance from the power of sin and death. “I will redeem you”–redemption through the blood of Christ. Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead to accomplish those three things. In Christ’s death and resurrection, they were done, finished.

The fourth statement, though, still waits for its consummation.

“I will take you as my people.” This is the cup of rejoicing. This will not be fully seen until the church stands before Christ, spotless as a bride prepared for her Bridegroom (Revelation 21:2).

On that day, in Paradise, Jesus will celebrate his final Seder. He will take his bride to Himself as His own, and together they shall drink the cup of rejoicing.

“I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29)

The fourth promise of Exodus 6:6-7 and Jesus’ words in Matthew 26:29 parallel Revelation 21:

“I will take you as My people, and I will be your God” in Exodus 6 parallels Revelation 21:3, “He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”

Jesus’ words “when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29) parallel Revelation 21:5, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

This is why in my Haggadah, I introduce the fourth cup with these words:

“This is the fourth and final cup—the cup of rejoicing. Exodus 6:6-7 says ‘And I shall take you to Me for a people.’ Jesus did not drink this glass. In fact, He proclaimed that He would not drink it until ‘that day when [He] drink[s] it new with [us] in [His] Father’s kingdom.’ Jesus reserved the cup of rejoicing for that day when the consummation of that promise will occur. ‘I shall take you to Me.’ Soon, that day shall come, the wedding feast of the Lamb, when the bride shall be united with her Bridegroom. As John testified, ‘And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”‘ And on that day, we shall drink of the cup of rejoicing.”

This is why I have the blessing over the fourth cup read:

“Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine. Blessed are You, O Lord our God, who has betrothed us to Yourself. Blessed are You, O Lord our God, in whom we rejoice.”

And this is why I close my Seder with two familiar refrains, one from the very last pages of Scripture; the other from the last words of the traditional Haggadah:

“And so we end the Passover Seder.
We have completed it with all its customs and laws
We have been privileged to celebrate this year
And with the Spirit and the Bride to declare
‘Come quickly, Lord Jesus’
God most gracious, holy, pure
Restore your people that speedily we might return
Redeemed, to Zion, with joy.
Next year in Jerusalem!


This is the final part in a four-part series on the four cups of the Seder. Thanks for joining me as I share one of my great passions–Christ as displayed through the Haggadah.

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