Saturday, April 15, 2023

The Vision (4.14.23): The Meaning of the Cup


Note: Vision devotional article taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 26:26-35.

For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28).

In the upper room, on the night Christ was betrayed, he instituted the Lord’s Supper, with its two elements of the bread and the cup (see Matthew 26:26-28).

We can take away at least four conclusions from Christ’s words regarding the cup:

First: The meaning of the cup. The cup was a spiritual figure of the blood of Christ that would be shed upon the cross.

Second: The consequence of the cup. It was by this shed blood of Christ that a new covenant (testament) would be made between God and man.

This new covenant was prophesied by the prophet in Jeremiah 31, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah… for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (vv. 31, 34).

Third: The extent of the cup. This new covenant would not be for all men without exception, but it would be for many men from all nations, tribes, and tongues. What is being indicated here is not universal redemption but what the old theologues called “particular redemption.” The old Reformed Baptists were called “Particular Baptists.”

Christ likewise affirmed in Mark 10:45 that he came “to give his life a ransom for many.”

Fourth: The benefit of the cup. The benefit is the remission or the forgiveness of sins. Christ teaches that we are not forgiven of our sin due to some outward actions by us. We are forgiven by the shed blood of Christ.

This is what Isaiah was talking about when he prophesied, “and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

This is what John the Baptist was speaking about when he saw Christ and said, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the whole world” (John 1:29).

This is what the apostle Paul spoke of when he wrote that in Christ God set forth “a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past” (Romans 3:25; cf. Romans 5:8-9; Ephesians 2:13).

Some modern theologians have denounced the Biblical view of forgiveness by the shed blood of Christ as primitive, with one calling it “a slaughterhouse religion.” But this is what Christ and his apostles taught. Through his shed blood we have remission of sins.

As the old gospel song puts it, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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