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*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Matthew 26:26-29 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Matthew 26:26
  • Matthew 26:27
  • Matthew 26:28
  • Matthew 26:29

The Lord’s Supper

Jesus celebrates the Passover with His disciples and leads them through what appears to be a Passover Seder. Matthew summarizes his account to include the three moments from Jesus’s retelling of the Passover that most stand out. During this meal, Jesus reveals how the Bread and Wine of the Seder Meal are chiefly about Himself and His role as the Messiah.

The parallel gospel accounts of this event are found in Mark 14:22-25 and Luke 22:15-23.

See “The Bible Says Timeline of Jesus’s Final 24 Hours” to learn more about the timing and sequencing of this event.

In this section of scripture, Matthew summarizes three key moments from Jesus’s Passover meal itself.

At the bottom of this page is a sequence of all the events from Jesus’s last Passover. The events in this sequence were taken from all four gospels. It attempts to depict how all the so-called “Upper Room” events that are mentioned in the Bible about Jesus’s last Passover meal may have unfolded.

The Jews call Passover meals, “Passover Seder” because there is a liturgical order to it. (Seder means “order”). The normal purpose of the Passover Seder is to be reminded of God’s faithfulness by retelling the events of the original Passover when He rescued His people from slavery in Egypt. Seder meals traditionally have prescribed types of food and drink (such as unleavened bread, bitter herbs, cups of wine, etc.), and activities, such as blessings, songs, etc. that symbolize various elements from Passover.

The Seder leader attempts to draw out the meaning of this symbolism through his retelling or “Haggadah” of Passover. His goals are to both remind Jews of God’s faithfulness in the past, reawaken their faith to His faithfulness amidst their present circumstances, and rekindle their hope toward the future with the promise of the Messiah.

By the time of Jesus’s day, the Passover Seder became a common way Jews followed the commandment to commemorate the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread together (Exodus 12:14, 17-18; Leviticus 23:4-6). Passover Seders have continued to evolve and are still celebrated by Jews each Passover around the world every Spring.

To learn more about Passover Seders see The Bible Says’ article: “The Passover Seder”.

As faithful Jews, Jesus and the disciples would have been quite familiar with basic elements and activities of the Passover Seder. There would have certain expectations and moments that they would all have anticipated within any Seder they participated in. But because each Seder and its retelling was a little different—there was room for surprise.

In a sense, the Seder meal is like the expectations Americans have toward a Thanksgiving meal or the opening of Christmas presents—there will be Turkey and gravy, and pumpkin pie, a football game may be on; or there will be wrapped gifts around a decorated and lit up Christmas tree—but even with these traditions and others, each Thanksgiving and Christmas is a unique event.

Since the primary audience for Matthew’s gospel are Jews, his audience would have been very familiar with Passover Seders. So, it makes sense that Matthew only commented on the unique moments of Jesus’s final Seder. Aside from Jesus’s startling announcement that He would be betrayed and the manner in which He identified Judas as His betrayer (Matthew 26:21-25), the three moments from Jesus’s last Seder that were most impressionable to Matthew were:

  1. THE BREAD: Jesus’s Messianic revelation identifying His broken body as the Unleavened Bread of Passover (Matthew 26:26).
  1. THE CUP: Jesus’s Messianic revelation identifying His spilled blood as the Cup of Passover Wine (Matthew 26:27-28).
  1. THE PROMISE: Jesus’s statement that He would not drink of the cup until He shared it with them after His Father’s kingdom was established on earth (Matthew 26:29).

To learn more about how Jesus’s final Passover meal was implemented as a Passover Seder, see The Bible Says’ article: “Jesus’s Last Supper as a Passover Seder. ”

While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

THE BREAD

The first thing that stood out to Matthew from Jesus’s last Passover Seder was what He said when He took some of the bread.

Matthew reports that Jesus did this while they were eating the Passover meal. The phrase, while they were eating indicates that Jesus did and said this during the Passover meal. As the Rabbi (teacher) of His disciples, Jesus would naturally have been the one to lead their Passover Seder.

The bread in this case was unleavened bread, which the Jews call “Matzah.” It is typical for the leader of the Passover Seder to take a piece of Matzah and say a blessing before he breaks it into pieces to give to the other participants. As the Seder leader does this, he also usually shares some thoughts about the significance of unleavened bread and the Passover. This typically occurred in the middle of the Seder meal, which seems to align with Matthew’s expression while they were eating.

Unleavened bread is bread that is cooked without leaven—the substance (usually yeast) that makes flour rise and become soft. Unleavened bread remains hard and flat, like a cracker. It only takes a little bit of leaven to bring about the transformation of a cracker into a loaf.

At Passover, the Israelites were required to cook their bread without leaven because of the lack of time. God would rescue them from Egypt soon after the night of Passover. Their dough would not have time to rise, and they would be leaving in a great haste (Exodus 12:8-13). Afterward, the Israelites were commanded to eat unleavened bread for seven days to remember and commemorate this founding moment in their national history (Leviticus 23:6).

The Bible often depicts leaven as a symbol for sin or pride (which puffs up). As it only requires a little bit of leaven to mutate flour into soft bread, it only requires a little bit of sin to mutate our lives. But instead of making us good, sin makes us bad. Like leaven with flour, just a little sin permeates our heart and affects every aspect of our life.

When Jesus took some of the unleavened bread, He said a blessing. After saying this blessing, He broke it into pieces and gave these pieces of matzah to the disciples. All of these actions were normal and expected for a Seder leader to do during a Passover meal. It was also expected for a Seder leader to explain something about the bread’s significance at this time. Jesus did this. But what Jesus said about the bread’s significance was anything but expected.

What Jesus said as He broke and gave the matzah to the disciples was “Take, eat; this is My body.

With this statement, Jesus was not just retelling the Passover, He was revealing how both the original Passover and its Seder observance pointed to Himself and His role as the Messiah.

By identifying Himself to be the Unleavened Bread, Jesus was claiming multiple things at once.

First, Jesus was claiming that the Unleavened Bread of Passover that sustained Israel during their escape was emblematic of how His life and death would sustain people from their escape from both the penalty as well as the power of sin. As the Israelites were not to eat the leavened bread of Egypt, only the Unleavened Bread of the Passover, so too are we to find our nutrition from the life and example of Jesus. We are not to eat the leaven of the world. As Unleavened Bread, Jesus is our spiritual food. This is what Jesus means when He says that we are to “eat My body.He is to be the sustaining source of our life, our thoughts, our inspirations, our loves.

Second, Jesus was claiming that as the Matzah bread was without leaven, so was His life without sin.

Third, Jesus was prophesying that as the Unleavened Bread was broken, so would His body be broken and crucified for the good of the disciples and everyone who believes in Him. Luke recorded Jesus’s fuller expression about the matzah, which was, “This is My body which is given for you” (Luke 22:19a).

In Deuteronomy’s commands to keep the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, the matzah is also called “the bread of affliction” (Deuteronomy 16:3). This description recalls Israel’s affliction while they were slaves in Egypt. But it also anticipates the affliction Jesus would suffer on behalf of the world.

The word translated as “affliction” in Deuteronomy 16:3 is pronounced “on-ee’.” It can mean “affliction,” “misery,” or “poverty.” It is related to the word translated as “afflicted,” “aw-naw’,” used by Isaiah in the Messianic suffering-servant prophecy:

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.”
(Isaiah 53:4)

“He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.”
(Isaiah 53:7)

It is worth pointing out that according to tradition, matzah must be made “pierced and striped” to prevent it from being puffed up with leaven. This looks forward to Christ. Jesus was pierced and striped, as predicted by Isaiah:

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging [stripes] we are healed.”
(Isaiah 53:5)

As the unleavened bread, Jesus was our “bread of affliction.” Or as Paul explained, “[God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We receive our righteousness in the sight of God from His righteousness, imputed to us when we believe. We can experience righteousness in living as we set aside self and walk in His resurrection power, through the indwelling Spirit.

THE CUP

The second thing that stood out to Matthew from Jesus’s last Passover Seder was what He said when He had taken a cup of wine.

And when He had taken a cup and given thanks.

This giving of thanks corresponds with the blessing that the Seder leader normally would offer to God upon taking one of the cups of wine. The word that is translated as thanks is a form of the Greek word, “eucharisteō,” which means to “give thanks” or “gratitude.” This word is transliterated into English as “Eucharist” which is what the sacrament of the “Lord’s Supper” is sometimes called.

Once again these would have been typical things for a Seder leader to do at a Passover meal. Traditionally, four cups of wine are poured during Passover Seders. (In some Seders a cup is poured and left undrunk for the Messianic forerunner, Elijah, as a demonstration of faith and hope).

Each of these four Seder cups has a name:

  1. “The Cup of Sanctification”
  1. “The Cup of Judgment/Deliverance”
  1. “The Cup of Redemption”
  1. “The Cup of Praise or Consummation”

And each cup often corresponds to one of the four divine promises of Exodus 6:6-8,

  1. I will bring you out (set apart/sanctify) from under the burdens of the Egyptians,
  1. and I will deliver you from their bondage”.
  1. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments”.
  1. “Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God” (Israel becoming God’s bride).

He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins”.

The disciples would have expected Jesus to pour this/these cup(s) and they would have expected Him to comment and share insights about its/their meaning. Again, or as Luke said: in “the same way” as He revealed the bread to be a symbol of His life and body (Luke 22:20), so too did He reveal the cup to be a symbol of His sacrifice and costly forgiveness.

Jesus said this cup is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

In saying this Jesus identified Himself with the cup. We might expect that the cup that Jesus was taking about to be linked with the themes of the third cup of the Passover Seder. (At first glance it seems that Matthew only mentions one cup. But we know from Luke that Jesus poured multiple cups during His last Seder (Luke 22:17, 20). So, we know that Matthew is including only some of what Jesus said and did at this time). The third Seder cup is “the cup of redemption.” It corresponds with the third promise from Exodus 6:6-8: “I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.”

The reason this cup mentioned in Matthew (and Mark 14:22-25) is often associated with “the cup of redemption” is because Jesus said it represents My blood of the covenantfor the forgiveness of sins. Redemption and forgiveness of sins is made possible only through sacrifice. “And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22).

When Jesus poured out His blood on the cross God poured out His great judgments of wrath upon Him instead of us (Colossians 2:14). And it was His sacrifice that brought about our redemption (Romans 3:23-24). Therefore, it seems likely that the cup Matthew records Jesus describing is the third Seder cup: “the cup of redemption.”

It is also interesting that as Jesus identified with this Passover cup, so too does the 116th Psalm (which Jews traditionally sing at the end of the Seder meal),

“I shall lift up the cup of salvation
And call upon the name of the Lord.”
(Psalm 116:13)

The Hebrew word translated as salvation in this verse is “yesh-oo’-aw”/”Yeshua.” Yeshua is the Hebrew name translated to English as Jesus. Jesus means “salvation.” The literal name of the Lord is Jesus/Yeshua. Matthew 1 says, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21) because “Jesus” means “salvation.” Most remarkably, Psalm 116:13 literally says: “I shall lift up the cup of Jesus and call upon the name of the Lord [which is Jesus].” Again, during His final Seder, Jesus identified Himself as this cup:

This cup is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

This statement revealed two things about Jesus as the Messiah, even as it reinforced Jesus’s earlier revelation that the Passover was how the original Passover and its Seder observance pointed to Himself.

The two things it revealed about Jesus as the Messiah were: the new covenant; and Christ’s Messianic role as the Passover lamb.

The New Covenant

First, it revealed that Jesus was instituting a new covenant that would both fulfill and supersede the Mosaic covenant (Matthew 5:17-18; Galatians 3:23-25).

Hebrews tells us that “the Law… has only a shadow of the good things to come,” but it does “not [have] the very form of things” (Hebrews 10:1). The old covenant was the replica. The new covenant was the real deal: “He takes away the first [institutions of the old covenant] in order to establish the [everlasting institutions of the] second [covenant]” (Hebrews 10:9b).

This is not to diminish the old covenant in any way. The old covenant God gave to Israel through Moses was important. It defined Israel as a nation. It informed their laws. It established their relationship with God. It also showed us that the way to gain the greatest possible blessing is to set aside selfish ambition and serve others, loving them as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40).

The new covenant Jesus was instituting was greatly expanded. It reaffirmed Israel as God’s chosen people even as it also invited Gentiles to participate fully as citizens of His spiritual kingdom. It transformed lives by inscribing God’s laws upon men’s hearts (rather than a stone). And it adopted men and women into God’s eternal family. The Mosaic covenant had stood for 1500 years. The new covenant Jesus announced was, and is, everlasting.

The disciples likely did not understand these details at that time, but at the same time they might have sensed the magnitude of what Jesus was telling them. It was for the opportunity to be a part of this very covenant that the disciples signed on to follow Jesus and why they had stayed with Him to this point (Matthew 19:27).

When they heard Jesus speak about the new covenant, the disciples may have felt that Ezekiel’s prophecy was about to begin.

“I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them…. My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. And the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.”
(Ezekiel 37:26-28)

And just as the old covenant based on God’s promises to Abraham and Moses was instituted and inaugurated with blood sacrifices (Genesis 15:7-21; Exodus 24:3-8; Hebrew 9:18-20), so too would the new covenant bewith the blood of Jesus. But at this time when Jesus said these things, the disciples did not seem to understand that. They did not comprehend how Jesus could die and still bring about His Messianic kingdom (Matthew 16:21-23).

The Messiah’s Sacrifice and Prediction of the Cross

The second thing revealed in Jesus’s comment: this cup is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins was an important aspect in His role as the Messiah.

The Jews understood the Messiah to be: a Prophet Like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15); a King like David (Ezekiel 37:24-25); and a Priest like Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4).

Matthew’s gospel strongly emphasizes the first two of these Messianic roles. The book of Hebrews stresses the third (Hebrews 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:1-28). During the time of Jesus there were widespread hopes that the Messiah would appear and liberate Israel from Roman oppression.

Perhaps this was why Matthew so heavily emphasized how Jesus was the Mosaic and Davidic fulfillments of these Messianic hopes. As lawgiver and king, Moses and David represented the most nationalistic roles of the Messiah.

But there was another role prophesied of the Messiah—the role of a substitutionary sacrifice, a guilt offering, not unlike that of the Passover lamb. This role was prophesied by Isaiah. The 53rd chapter of the book of Isaiah describes this Messianic role,

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.”
(Isaiah 53:5)

“He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.”
(Isaiah 53:7)

“The Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering.”
(Isaiah 53:10)

“…the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.”
(Isaiah 53:11b)

Isaiah reminds us that the Messiah will not only be a prophet like Moses, a king like David, and a priest like Melchizedek, He will also be a guilt offering like a sacrificial lamb.

Jesus would suffer and bear all our sins, as our sacrificial lamb on the cross. And in this statement Jesus was linking the prophetic sufferings of the Messiah foretold by Isaiah to what would be happening to Him that very day on the cross. (Jewish days begin at sundown). This was yet another prediction of His own death.

On the cross, Jesus’s blood was poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. The sacrifices of animals such as sheep, goats, and bulls which were offered year after year for the atonement of sins were incomplete and ineffectual (Hebrews 10:1-4). But Jesus’s sacrifice is perfect and perpetually endures forever (Hebrews 7:27b; 10:10). If we believe in Jesus, then by His blood we have been and will forever remain forgiven in the sight of God. We are born into His family, and will be forever His child. And “where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any [need of an] offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:18). Jesus paid it all. “It is finished” (John 19:30).

But even as Jesus’s statement about the Seder cup being My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins revealed the institution of the new covenant and His Messianic role as a sacrificial lamb, and predicted His death on the cross, it also reiterated how Passover points to Jesus. Passover foreshadows the Messiah. This is true of both the original Passover, when Israel was delivered from Egypt, and the subsequent annual observance of Passover as a celebration. Festivals, like Passover and Unleavened Bread, “are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ” (Colossians 2:17).

“In the same way” (Luke 22:20) that Jesus explained to the disciples how the unleavened bread of Passover symbolized His Messianic identity, so too, did this cup of wine symbolize His Messianic identity.

To learn more ways that Passover points to Jesus see The Bible Says’ article: “Jesus and the Messianic Fulfillments of Passover and Unleavened Bread.”

The Remembrance

When He had given them the cup, Jesus told the disciples to Drink from it, all of you. His command to drink from the cup was a corollary to His command to eat the unleavened bread.

Mark’s gospel tells us that “They all drank from it” (Mark 14:23).

After Jesus explained that He was the broken bread of Passover and told His disciples to eat this bread, He gave them an additional commandment—recorded by Luke. Jesus told His disciples to “do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19b). Paul who ministered with Luke also quoted Jesus as issuing this same command (1 Corinthians 11:24).

In issuing this command, Jesus was telling the disciples that the Passover Seder was not primarily done as a remembrance of Passover as they had likely been taught. Until this moment, the Passover Seder and its rituals of breaking unleavened bread and pouring cups of wine were all done in remembrance of the Jew’s founding holiday. But now Jesus was revealing that they were primarily about Him. Recall Psalm 116:13:

“I shall lift up the cup of salvation [Jesus]

And call upon the name of the Lord”.

There is actually a hint of this shocking revelation embedded within the Levitical command to commemorate the Passover and the other holy convocations:

“These are the appointed times of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them”
(Leviticus 23:4)

The word translated as “convocations” can also mean “rehearsals.” Jesus was telling the disciples how the Passover Seder was a Messianic rehearsal. What the Jews had rehearsed through the symbols of bread and wine for 1500 years, Jesus was about to perform with His own body and blood on the cross.

And not only this, by telling the disciples to “Do this in remembrance of Me,” Jesus was revealing how the Passover itself, the founding moment of Israel as a nation, was ultimately a warm-up event for His Messianic establishment of His kingdom. For until this moment, the Passover Seder and its rituals of breaking unleavened bread and pouring cups of wine were all done in remembrance of the Jews’s founding holiday. But now Jesus was saying these rituals were actually about Him. From now on they were to be done not in remembrance of the Passover only, but mainly in remembrance of Himself. This would have been a major paradigm shift for the disciples and every Jew in Israel.

Christ’s command “Do this in remembrance of Me” is kept every time believers partake in what has come to be known as “The Lord’s Supper.” When we do this, Paul says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). As believers, every time we partake of the bread and the cup, we celebrate Jesus and thank Him for His sacrifice for us, that through His death we might live. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is an obedient act of worship and thanksgiving. This is another reason why this sacrament is called “the Eucharist,” since “eucharist” means “to give thanks.”

Moreover, Jesus’s command to eat the bread and drink from the cup recalls what He taught His followers much earlier in His ministry in the synagogue of Capernaum,

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
(John 6:53-58)

At that time when He said this, many of his followers left Him because it was a hard statement (John 6:60-66). Peter and the other remaining disciples stuck with Him because they recognized that even if they did not fully understand Jesus and the difficult things He told them, they knew He was God and that He had the words of life (John 6:67-69). They later came to understand much more after Jesus rose and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

THE PROMISE

The third and final thing that stood out to Matthew from Jesus’s last Passover Seder was Christ’s remark: I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.

When Jesus said this, He was referring to one of the Seder cups. The fruit of the vine is an expression for wine. We are not certain which of the four Seder cups Jesus had in mind when He said this, but it was most likely either the third cup (“the cup of redemption”) whose themes He just identified, or He was speaking of the fourth cup (“the cup of praise or consummation”); or He could have been combining the themes of both the third and fourth cups. It would make sense for Him to be speaking of the cup of consummation, since He was speaking of the ultimate consummation of His kingdom taking physical form on earth.

Even though Matthew is ambiguously silent about an additional Seder cup, thematically it makes sense that Jesus was speaking of the fourth cup. The fourth Seder cup corresponds with the fourth promise of consummation from Exodus 6:6-8 which is: “Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God.” The event at Mount Sinai can correctly be viewed as a marriage ceremony between Israel and God. Israel is often spoken of as God’s bride. This idea carries over to the New Testament, as God’s people are also called His bride (Ephesians 5:31-32).

Jesus is Immanuel—“God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). The Messiah was prophesied to reign and live with His people in His kingdom (Ezekiel 34:24). The Messiah’s kingdom would reign across the earth, last forever, and be incapable of being destroyed (Daniel 7:14).

Interestingly, Jesus promised that He would not drink this cup until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom. In other words, He would not drink it until His Messianic mission to establish the kingdom on earth was entirely finished.

What Matthew and the other disciples probably assumed Jesus meant was this: the Messianic kingdom would be established before the next Passover. The kingdom would be here by the next year. This thought would have thrilled their hearts!

The disciples did not seem to foresee that what Jesus actually meant was that He would first die, rise back to life, commission them to spread the news of this kingdom and His return, then ascend to Heaven where He would remain for thousands of years before returning to cleanse the earth, judge the living and the dead, and then inaugurate the kingdom. After all this had first taken place would Jesus then drink of this fruit of the vine new with them in His Father’s kingdom.

What Jesus promised was that:

  • He would return;
  • He would establish His Father’s kingdom;
  • He would celebrate His “Passover” achievement and the new covenant with His disciples through a new Seder in His Father’s kingdom.

If that sounds like a lot to grasp—it is. When we remember that in the middle of this Seder Jesus also announced that one the twelve would betray Him (Matthew 22:20-25), it’s little wonder the disciples did not immediately pick up on all the things Jesus had just revealed to them.

Christ’s promise that He would not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom is reminiscent of what He told the Pharisees and temple crowds in His lament over Jerusalem: “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Matthew 23:39; also see Psalm 118:26). In other words, Jesus would not drink the cup again until the Messianic celebrations prophesied in Isaiah 25 and Psalm 118 were a reality.

It’s unclear if the cup Jesus said He would not drink was the same cup that He said was His blood of the new covenant. It may have been this cup. Or it may have been an additional cup.

Jesus told everyone to drink from the cup that was the blood of the new covenant. Mark says that “they all drank from it” (Mark 14:23).

So, it seems that Jesus drank from that cup. But it also seems that He may not have drunk from the cup described in verse 29, because Matthew reports Jesus as saying that He would not drink it from now on. The phrase from now on could indicate either that Jesus drank from it, but would not drink again until… or it could mean that He abstained from drinking this final cup, even as the rest of the disciples partook.

If Jesus did not drink it, His abstaining was possibly an even gesture to dramatize how He would not complete every role of the Messiah during His first advent. They wouldn’t all be fulfilled until His second advent.

He fulfilled the Messianic role of being a Lawgiver like Moses in His first advent (Matthew 5-7). He would fulfill the Messianic role of being the Sacrificial Offering as God’s eternal Passover Lamb (Matthew 27:45-50; 1 Corinthians 5:7). Upon His ascension He would become the Messianic Priest in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 4:16; 5:19-10; 7:17).

But He would not fulfill the Messianic role of being a King like David until He returned to earth a second time, when He will return as a conqueror like Joshua (Revelation 19:11-16). But even though He is the Son of David, He did not claim His rightful earthly throne upon His first Advent. He will claim it when He returns in His second advent. It is possible Jesus was demonstrating that He would not drink the fourth Seder cup—“the cup of consummation” until the kingdom was established, by not drinking from it at His last Seder before His death. At the very least, He said He would not drink it again until all things were made new.

A POSSIBLE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS DURING THE LAST SUPPER

1. Jesus and the Disciples arrive at the Upper Room (Mark 14:17).

  1. Jesus washes the Disciples’ feet (John 13:3-17).
  1. Jesus announces that one of the disciples will betray Him (John 13:18-20).
  1. The Seder officially begins (Matthew 26:20; Luke 22:14).
  1. Jesus announces that He has longed to eat this Passover with them (Luke 22:15-16).
  1. Jesus blesses the first cup of wine (Luke 22:17-18).
  1. Jesus breaks bread and identifies Himself as the Unleavened Bread (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19).
  1. Jesus announces a second time that one of the twelve will betray Him. This troubles the disciples. Jesus identifies Judas as His betrayer, but the disciples do not pick up this fact until afterward. Judas then leaves to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:21-25; Mark 14:17-21; Luke 22:21-23; John 13:21-30).
  1. Jesus pours a second (or more) cup of wine and identifies Himself as the Passover Lamb (Matthew 26:27-28; Mark 14:23-24; Luke 22:20).
  1. Jesus pours a third (or more) cup of wine and says that He will not drink it until He is with the disciples again in the Kingdom (Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25).
  1. The Disciples Argue about who is the Greatest (Luke 22:24).
  1. Jesus Reminds them about True Greatness (Luke 22:25-29) and Discusses His Kingdom (Luke 22:25-29)
  1. Jesus tells them about His command to Love one another (John 13:31-35).
  1. Jesus Informs Peter that he will Deny Him (Luke 22:31-34; John 13:36-38).
  1. Jesus informs them Disciples that He is going on a Journey. They Question Him and He answers them (John 14, also Luke 22:35-38).
  1. Jesus and the Disciples sing a Hymn and Depart for the Mount of Olives (Matthew 22:30; Mark 14:26; Luke 22:39; John 14:31).

 

Biblical Text

26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”




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