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Matthew’s Last Supper account (Matthew 26:17-30 above) begins after eating the main meal and drinking the second cup. Matthew continues with the Passover’s “Offering of Thanks” over the k'zayit (approximately one-ounce portions of unleavened bread). Matthew 26:26: While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” The k’zayit is now changed. The blessing, thanks, and the consumption of the unleavened bread now becomes the blessing, thanks, and the consumption of the Body of Christ. Then Jesus gave the third cup (the Cup of Blessing, the Cup of Redemption, the Cup of the Lord) to His apostles saying, Lk 22:20 "This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My Blood." The old covenant God made with the redeemed Israelites is now changed. The remembrance of the act now changes from the remembrance of the lamb of the Passover to the remembrance of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. He is the Fulfillment of the unblemished Paschal Lamb (Passover) as the unblemished New Sacrifice (Eucharist). He is the life-giving bread, the everlasting “manna”. He is the sustaining bread of the Passover. He is the Presence of the “Bread of Presence” in the Temple. At this time, during the Passover dinner, a hymn is sung (Psalms) which signifies the beginning of the recitation of various other Psalms, bringing up the fourth cup -the birth of a new nation. In the Last Supper’s account, the hymn observance does not occur, the fourth cup is not consumed; the Passover observance is suspended:
Matthew 26: 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
The Jews of the day would notice the lack of completion; however, they would recognize the continuance of the Passover ritual as Jesus begins to speak on the Cross.
Jesus offers a reference as to how the next cup (the Fourth Cup, the cup of the new nation, the Kingdom of God) is to be consumed. In the garden at Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, Mt 26:39 "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me." After He was captured, Jesus asked Peter, Jn 18:11 "Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given Me?"
Later, after Jesus has suffered the scourging and while he is being crucified on the Cross, the Passover sequence continues with the recitation of Psalms. Jesus begins reciting Psalm 22. More Psalm verses continue in events or Words which recall the prophecies regards the occurring events.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:46 says, About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' - which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'
Bible Prophecy: Psalm 22:1-2 says, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent."
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:35 says, The soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross
· Bible Prophecy: Psalm 22:16 says, Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:41-44 says, In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 'He saved others,' they said, 'but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, I am the Son of God.' In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him."
Bible Prophecy: Psalm 22:7-8 says, All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: 'He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.'
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:48 says, Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.
Bible Prophecy: Psalm 22:15 says, My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
Fulfillment: John 19:23 says, When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
Bible Prophecy: Psalm 22:17-18 says, I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
Fulfillment: Luke 23:39-43 says, One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
· Bible Prophecy: Psalm 22:23 says, You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
The fourth cup of Passover now occurs:
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. 49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. 50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
Luke 23:36-30 36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”; and in
John 19:28-30 28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Reference to the the Passover meal, when the Jewish priest completed killing the last lamb of the Passover, he uttered the Hebrew word Kalah, "it is finished."
The fourth cup is the cup of remembrance of the establishment of a new nation and a new covenant. In Exodus, after the Passover meal, the Israelites leave Egypt, and are subsequently chased into the desert. Once there, God establishes a new nation and on Pentecost (50 days after the Passover) the Israelites receive the new law (the 10 Commandments). In Acts of the Apostles, after the crucifixion (the fulfillment of the Passover meal), 50 days later on Pentecost, God establishes a new nation, the Church, and the members of the new nation receives the new law (the Holy Spirit) which is not written on stone tablets, rather, on the living heart.
The Fifth Cup and the continuation of the Passover significance to the Crucifixion continues in Part 3
Excerpts from: Michael J Heiman Religious Mysteries and Other Questions Revealed ©2018