The Covenant Communion
Dr. Art Mathias
Wellspring Ministries of Alaska
PO Box 190084
Anchorage, Alaska 99519-0084
Copyright © 2014 Wellspring Ministries of Alaska
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I have chosen to use both Hebrew and English words throughout the text. The intent is that we will all become more familiar with the Hebrew language.
A few weeks ago we were finishing a School of Ministry at our facility in Anchorage and one of my responsibilities was to lead the group in Communion. In the past one of my staff members had always led this part, so in preparing I began to learn more about what we were really doing in a Communion service. It was shocking to me how we had really missed the point of what God was and is still asking us to do.
My study led in many different directions from several different sources. I learned that I needed to understand several Hebrew and Greek words to get their real meaning. I found that I needed a much deeper understanding of what a covenant really is and the types of covenants in Scripture. I learned that I needed to define who Israel really is. I needed to understand what was really happening in Exodus, chapters 19-24 at Mt. Sinai, which then helped me to understand some difficult words of Jesus. This process also helped me to understand that our Communion is just one part of Passover.
Putting this all together also led me to a deeper understanding of what we do at Wellspring Ministries and the incredible love of The LORD. When I presented The Covenant Communion to the group it was one of the most meaningful experiences we had ever experienced.
I took this study and have created this new booklet about The Covenant Communion.
I hope this journey is as meaningful to you as it is to me!
God Bless you and may He give you insight and understanding as you study.
Dr. Art Mathias
The Covenant Communion
Oftentimes, when the term “New Testament” or “New Covenant” is used, it infers that God has found a brand new way for instructions for life through “Jesus”- a collection of teachings that replaced the “Old Testament” Laws, a plan “B”. To support this, teachers extract interpretations primarily from Jeremiah Chapter 31 and the B’rit Chadashah book of Hebrews, Chapter 8. Other texts may include Matthew 26:28 and Luke 22:20. In this study we will look at these passages and these things called the “New Testament” or “New Covenant” and determine exactly what it is. In this process we will also discover the real meaning of Communion and Passover.
Let us start by first examining Jeremiah Chapter
Something New Is Coming
According to the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah in 31:31-32, God promised that He would do something wonderful and spectacular in regard to the enacting of a new covenant:
“Behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.”
Who is The LORD?
In most English translations the Hebrew word “Jehovah” (Hebrew Strong’s number 3068) is translated as LORD (all capitals). “Jehovah” is also an English transliteration of the YHWH when the vowel points are added. The LORD or Jehovah is the I AM, our Savior, Creator, Redeemer, Rock, Shepherd and the LORD-God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The LORD is Y’shua in Hebrew or Jesus in English. So as you read this study remember that every time you read the words “The LORD” it is Jesus the Word who is speaking. See John 1:1. For more information also see my book “The LORD-God Revelation.”
Who is Israel?
In the above passage Jeremiah says that this “new” covenant will be made with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. This leads us to the question, “Who or what is the house of Israel?” As we will learn The LORD has always called those people who chose to obey Him “His People” or “Israel”. One of the first references to Israel in Scriptures is found in Exodus 12. The LORD rescued His people (Israel) from Egypt by challenging all the gods of Egypt and demonstrated that He was the only true God. All those who obeyed Moses and put the blood of the sacrifice on their doorposts were saved. This included those who were called “Israel” and those we also called “Gentiles.” It is also interesting to note that only 600,000 Israelites obeyed. Not all that were called Israelites were obedient!
Exodus 12:37-38 says that 600,000 Israelite men and their families and a mixed multitude of Gentile men and their families left Egypt together. They all obeyed and put blood of a lamb on their doorposts. Then they continued to obey after they left Egypt and they all were baptized and circumcised and 5
partook of Passover as The LORD had instructed them. Then they were all called native born and Israelites. In the vocabulary of the Bible they were “born again”.
We will see, three months later they were are all at Mount Sinai receiving the written commandments from the LORD and they all said “I do” three times, committing to obey all the commands of The LORD who loves and cares for them. This was really a ceremony where the people agreed to accept the terms of The LORD’s Ketubah or wedding contract. At this point they became the bride of The LORD or Christ. They were legally married but the wedding was not yet consummated.
In this example and many others, Israel is always defined as those who chose to obey the only true God. It does not mean that they were perfect, but that they had made the choice to be obedient to The LORD. The LORD’s nature has been grace and forgiveness from the very beginning. He does not change.
We also need to understand that the prophecy in Jeremiah 31 does not and cannot involve the Christian church as we know it. If a Christian is going to appropriate the blessing of Israel associated with this “new covenant” idea from Jeremiah 31:31-32, then it is also necessary to assume responsibility for the “old” covenant laws given to Israel. Few people today obey the Torah or Written Word. Remember what Jeremiah said in 11:16, a position which Paul testified in Romans 11:21:
“The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.” (Jer. 11:16, KJV)
“…for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you.” (Romans 11:21)
If The LORD broke off the natural branches for disobedience to the Torah (Jeremiah 11:1-5), why would He then graft in unnatural branches (Gentiles) so that they too can live disobedient to the Torah? My point is this: The Tanakh, which is The Torah, The Writings, and The Prophets were not obeyed by the natural branches of Israel, so God broke them off like worthless “branches” of a lifeless tree. (Of course, He will reconnect them if they return to Torah—The written Word.) Since Christianity, as a whole, does not live by the Torah either, they too will suffer the same fate as the natural branches, unless there is a return to the Covenant of Sinai. If we assume any of Israel’s blessing (either present or future) from what is commonly called the “Old Testament,” or Tanakh we must also be prepared to accept its responsibilities.
The LORD said that He would make a “new” covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah in the coming days. If you are sincerely Torah practicing, keeping the Laws of our LORD as defined at Mt. Sinai, which is the written Word, then, by sheer definition, you are grafted into Israel. (Romans 11) Consequently, the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-32 has a direct application to your life. We must remember that believers are grafted into Israel rather than replace Israel.
Obedience is a serious issue. Let’s also look at Deuteronomy 13:1-4:
“If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or 6 dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.” NIV
These verses actually give us two tests for a false prophet or false teacher. First, even if what the prophet says comes true but he teaches us to obey another god or another gospel he is false. Satan and his “disciples” can perform what appear to be miracles. For example, Hindu witch doctors heal by negotiating with the demons which caused the disease. Second, God is testing us to see if we really love Him or not by seeing if we will obey all His commands. Therefore the prophet or teacher that is teaching us to disobey or disregard any of God’s commands is also false.
Remember Jesus said:
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15 NASB)
He did not say,
“keep some of my commandments.”
Also remember these verses in Matthew:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat. 5:17-19 KJV)
Jesus “fulfilled” the Law or Torah or His written Word in two ways. First, the Torah or Tanakh or the written Word is all about Him. Remember Jesus said that Moses wrote about Him. (John 5:46) What did Moses write? He wrote at least the first five books of the Bible, and He fulfilled portions of what Moses wrote in the “Old Testament” by coming as our Messiah, but there is much in what we call the Old Testament that is yet to happen. Second, He fulfilled the Law or Torah or the written Word by correcting the interpretations of the Pharisees. This is the duty of the Messiah and this is what He was and is doing in Matthew 5, Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians. The yoke (teachings or instructions) of the Pharisees was heavy because they had added so much to the written Word, no one could obey all of it. While Jesus said that His yoke or teaching or instruction was and is light because He only taught the written Word. (Matt. 11:30) We will also learn that Moses wrote down all the Words of The LORD, not just part of them.
Remember these passages:
“My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck.When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.” (Proverbs 6:20-23 NIV)
“Here is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God, we also do what he commands. For loving God means obeying his commands. Moreover, his commands are not burdensome, because everything which has God as its Father overcomes the world. And this is what victoriously overcomes the world: our trust.” (1 John 5:2-4 CJB)
New Vs. Renewed
Next, let us look at the term “new” as used in Jeremiah 31:31:
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.”
Jeremiah 31:31 uses the Hebrew phrase, “B’rit Chadashah” for the phrase “new covenant.” But does this passage refer to something “new” or merely “renewed”? In Hebrew, “Chadashah” denotes” renewed” or “repaired, rather than “brand-new and never before used.” Its equivalent in the Greek language is “kainos” (kahee-nos’) , Strong’s number 2537. Kainos in first-century Greek describes something fresh in quality, unworn, and renewed. Compare this with neos (neh’-os), Strong’s number 3501 which means something brand new primarily in reference to time.
Put another way, if you buy a brand new pair of socks never worn before, you would refer to them in Greek as neos. Now when that pair of socks gets dirty, you would wash them. The moment you take them out of the wash to dry, they are no longer new or neos. Rather, they are now kainos which means freshened and renewed, not worn down.
This is the same meaning behind the Hebrew term Chadashah. It is related to the Hebrew term chodesh, which many times points to the Hebrew term Rosh Chodesh or new moon. In 1 Samuel 20:5 we read this:
“So David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow is the chodesh (new moon), and I ought to sit down to eat with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field until the third evening.”
The word chodesh is a reference to the renewed (new) moon festival in Judaism. Approximately every 30 days, the moon cycles from dark to light and back to dark again. At the end of a 30-day monthly cycle, is the moon brand-new or is it merely renewed? The answer is obvious: it is renewed. True to Hebrew structure and prophetic context, the same is true of Jeremiah 31:31:
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a renewed and repaired covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…”
The renewed or repaired covenant will be different than the original because it will be “in” the blood of Y’shua instead of “in” the blood of bulls and goats. Remember; God Does Not Change!
What Is A Covenant? How Is A Covenant Different Than A Testament?
The LORD-God of the Bible is a God that makes and keeps promises. His promises are covenants that He binds Himself to. When we understand what He has promised to do and what our part is then there is great security in obedience to His promises. Covenants also represent relationship. The further we 8
progress in our walk or covenantal relationship with The LORD the deeper the relationship becomes. We learn to trust each other at deeper and deeper levels. This results in greater and greater assignments. (2 Tim. 2:19-21)
Many of us confuse covenant and testament. In fact, as was true of both Greek and Roman cultures, some dictionaries even today seem barely able to differentiate between the two. And yet, in ancient Hebrew society (the context in which the Bible was written), those two words never meant the same thing.
A testament is a Greek legal document that defines the lawful rights of all those to whom it applies. A Last Will and Testament, in which someone details his wishes for the disposition of his property after his death, is a prime example. In such a case, the Greek practice of giving greatest weight to the most recent such “testament” makes good sense. Legally, any new testament makes null and void any previous (i.e., “old”) testament by the same party. A newer will always supersede an older will. The same is true in our laws today that are based on precedents set in court cases.
By contrast, the word covenant defines an ongoing relationship with no appointed end. There is a beginning but never an end to a covenant. Rather than being a legal document, a covenant is a commitment to develop a certain kind of continuing relationship. By its very existence it implies a dynamic interaction between partners, a growing organic process. In other words an additional covenant builds upon the prior one—it does not replace it. Covenants provide a method for ongoing progressive relationships. Covenants also require at least two parties and have responsibilities for each.
Four Major Types of Covenants in Scripture
Each of the covenants represents a continuing and ever deepening dynamic relationship. As with any relationship that grows and becomes more and more meaningful, the relationship requires greater trust and greater responsibilities for all those entering into the covenants.
1. Blood Covenant
The first fundamental type is called the Blood Covenant, which is the beginning of the relationship or salvation. This covenant is also understood as “entering into a relationship of servanthood.” Thus salvation is really just the beginning of our walk or relationship with The LORD.
In virtually every pagan society there has been a form of a blood covenant, but they are fundamentally different. In the pagan societies the people offered their own blood or other human blood to appease their gods. While in the Biblical Covenant, The LORD provides the sacrifice and blood; His own! Accepting His offer of the Blood Covenant is what is really happening in salvation or becoming “born again”.
2. Salt Covenant
The second type of covenant is called Salt Covenant. Its name comes from an ancient practice when most people carried a small pouch of salt. When two or more men wanted to enter into this type of relationship with each other, the parties to the covenant would mix their salt in a common bowl, break bread, dip it into the salt, and eat it. When they were finished they would redistribute the mixed salt into their pouches. At that point, the only way to break the covenant would be to separate each grain of salt from the others and return it to its original owner. Since this was impossible, the established bond 9
had to remain… forever. This is a deeper, stronger covenant of friendship that increased the duties and responsibilities for all parties.
3. Sandal Covenant
The third type of covenant is Sandal Covenant, also called the Covenant of Inheritance. The ancient Hebrews used worn-out sandals to mark the boundaries of their property, partially covering them with rocks to hold them in place against the natural elements. However, any such “weighing down” was not intended to hold the sandals in place against human interference. Moving boundaries was strictly forbidden by divine command, as set forth in Deuteronomy 19:14:
“You shall not move your neighbor’s boundary mark, which the ancestors have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess.”
Every time human governments decide to move the boundaries of Israel they are violating The LORD’s Covenant. Over time, sandals themselves came to represent the inheritance concept. Thus the sandal covenant is a picture of the relationship of sons and daughters with their parents. Believers become joint heirs with Jesus, partners, not just servants or friends. Again there are increased duties and responsibilities that come with an increased or deepened relationship. Remember, covenants build upon each other; therefore the responsibilities and benefits of the two prior covenants still remain.
4. Marriage Covenant
Marriage represents the ultimate and most intimate relationship possible. The LORD desires that each one of us progress in our relationship with Him to this level. In Scripture He uses the symbolism of marriage to describe the relationship He desires with each of us. Once again with a deeper relationship there are increased benefits and responsibilities.
There is much more to discuss in these covenants but for the purpose of this study we see each of these covenants or relationships building on each other and they each have a beginning but never an end.
The deeper meanings of Revelation 3:20-21 demonstrate these four covenants that are also found in a Hebrew Ketubah or wedding contract. In this passage Jesus says:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Revelation 3:20-21 NKJV)
The simple or direct (pshat) meaning of this passage could be interpreted to mean a call to salvation. But a deeper or hidden (sod) meaning is found in the Hebrew Ketubah and covenants. Let me explain:
Jesus, who wants to be our husband is standing at our door just as a young Hebrew man, with his father, would stand at the door of the one he wanted to marry. They knocked on the door. If the young woman desired to accept the proposal she would tell her father to open the door. If she accepted and opened the door they were at this point engaged. They celebrated with a cup of wine to seal this betrothal or blood covenant. This cup was shared by the prospective bride and groom and their fathers.
This would be the first step in a Covenant relationship or Blood Covenant. In terms of our relationship with The LORD this represents salvation and the beginning of the relationship.
Next the two families would share a meal and as part of the meal they shared their salt establishing the friendship or Salt Covenant. This was also sealed by a cup of wine in which both families participated. The LORD Jesus is also inviting each of us to have “supper” with Him and grow in relationship.
During the meal the two families would work out the Ketubah which listed the responsibilities of both the bride and the groom. The bride is to make herself pure and holy and spotless. This is what it means to “overcome.” Y’shua referred to this in His letters to the seven churches in Revelation. While the bride is purifying herself, the groom is to go away to prepare a place for his bride. They completed the Ketubah with their signatures and seven witnesses or seals that only the groom could open. The bride and groom sealed the agreement with a third cup of wine which they alone shared. At this point they were legally married but the marriage would not be consummated until after the wedding which would take place sometime in the future when the groom’s father said that the home the groom was preparing was completed. At that time the bride had full rights of marriage including position and inheritance. A Ketubah was written in five sections or parts that also correlate with the Torah or the first five books of the Bible.
The fourth cup or Marriage Covenant would not be shared by the bride and groom until the actual wedding ceremony took place sometime in the future when the groom returned for his bride. This is also called the Cup of Praise. After the ceremony, when the marriage was consummated, the earthly groom could reject the bride if she were not a virgin—not pure. But Y’shua chose to pay the price with His own blood for our sins. This is an exact picture of our relationship with Jesus, our groom. We also need to make ourselves pure and Christ-like to be His bride. His Word gives us detailed instructions on how we can be holy as He is holy or Christ-like. My book “Biblical Foundations of Freedom” explains this in great detail.
I find this symbolism to be incredible!!!
These four cups are also the same cups that Y’shua celebrated with His disciples at the last supper or Passover. We need to follow His example and also keep Passover. I believe it is also good to participate in Communion often, if we truly understand what we are doing. The communion service we are accustomed to in our churches uses only one cup, the third cup which is the cup of redemption.
Hebrews Chapter Eight
Let’s continue our study by looking at the eighth chapter of Hebrews. Paul is writing to Hebrew people so we need to make sure we understand the culture and the context.
With this understanding of covenants let’s study portions of Hebrew 8. Hebrews 8:6-7 in the King James Version says:
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.”
Here is the same passage from the NIV, RSV, and NASB Bibles:
“But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.” (NIV)
“But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry which is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second.” (RSV)
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better
promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.” (NASB)
David Stern teaches in his commentary that,
“Unfortunately, the translation of the Greek presents an incorrect message. The word “enacted” in Greek is nenomothetetai, is a passive perfect-tense verb and compound term formed from “nomos” and “tithemi,” In Greek “tithemi” means to lay, put, place, or make,” while “nomos” means Judicial law in general but in many cases it refers to the Mosaic Torah specifically.
But “nomos” is also the word used in the Septuagint and other Jewish literature written in Greek to render the Hebrew word “Torah.” Since the New Testament was written by Jews, the word “nomos” or any of its compounds must always be checked wherever it appears to see whether it refers to “law” in general or “Torah” in particular. The word “nomos” appears 14 times in the book of Messianic Jews (Hebrews) ; and every time, without exception, it means “Torah” [God’s Word] and never merely ‘law.’”1
Stern is teaching that the Greek language is a poor substitute for the Hebrew language. The Greek word “nomos” is only translated as “law” and therefore does not distinguish between God’s Word or Torah, civil law or the law or legalism of the Pharisees, which is their oral traditions they added to the written Word. The Greek language used by the translators does not have a word for legalism.
Stern shows that the verb nenomothetetai in Hebrews 8:6 also appears in James 4:12 and Romans 9:4 as a noun describing the character of God and the Torah (His Word), respectively:
“There is only one Lawgiver (nomothetes) and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?”
“… who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the Giving of the Law (nomothesia) and the temple service and the promises.”
Now, back to Hebrews 8:6 and the verb nenomothetetai. Interestingly, this verb is again used in Hebrews 7:11:
“Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law, what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron?”
In Hebrews 7:11, the context is obvious—it is referring to the Torah of Mount Sinai. However, the same word that appears above and is translated as “received the Law” (the Torah) is also in Hebrews 8:6 but is translated “and has enacted” or “and has founded.” From this Greek word comparison between Hebrews 7:11 and 8:6 we can clearly see that the Mosaic Torah was given as a renewed covenant. Thus, here is how Hebrews 8:6 should read:
“But now the work Yeshua has been given to do is far superior to theirs, just as the covenant he mediates is better. For this covenant has been given as Torah on the basis of better promises.” (CJB)
It is crucial to understand that Paul is teaching to Hebrew people in the book of Hebrews and that the New or better stated Renewed Covenant is given as Torah. He is teaching the Hebrew believers that his words are directly from The LORD and carry the same weight as the Torah and Tanakh they were used to. Not that it was enacted on better promises! In reality there is no difference between what we call Old and New Testaments—it is the Bible! God’s Torah is in reality the entire Bible! This is another perfect example of the huge mistakes that have been made when we do not consider the Hebrew roots of our faith.
In Hebrews 8:7-8, we have one more tragic example of someone tampering with the text to make it say something that it does not say:
“For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them [the people] He says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new (renewed) covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”
The opening part of the above passage appears to explain that the first covenant (the Mosaic Covenant) had fault. How can Jesus who is the Word be at fault? (John 1:1) But then, it goes on to clarify that God was going to establish a renewed covenant because He found fault with the people. Is this a contradiction? Yes, of course. In truth, the Mosaic covenant was not at fault. The fault was with the people—not God’s Word. This concept perfectly lines up with the LORD’s words in Jeremiah 6:16:
“Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it: and you shall find rest for your souls.But they said we will not walk in it…”
Here we learn why The LORD had to establish a renewed covenant. Israel was disobedient to the Mosaic covenant, and thus the LORD broke off the disobedient branches (Jeremiah 11:1-8) and issued, according to the Torah or Law or The Written Word (Deut. 24:1), a legal certificate of divorce. God drafted up what is called in Hebrew, a get, a written document dissolving God’s legal marriage to disobedient Israel. Remember “Israel” consisted of both Jews and Gentiles that came out of Egypt.
According to present day orthodox Jewish thought, God would never have divorced his People. Rather He merely wrote out a get but never actually gave it to Israel. In essence, you could call this a divine threat to break off relations. But many believe that God wrote and issued a legal and binding divorce certificate (get), only to nullify it through Jesus. By annulling the divine get, The LORD was able to forgive the sin of His people for violating His Covenant established at Mt. Sinai, redeem them (purchase them back from their self-imposed slavery to harlotry and idolatry), and thus He was able to renew the Mosaic marriage contract through His death on the cross. I believe that this is what Jesus was referring to on the cross when He said “It is finished.”
This fits in with Y’shua’s (Jesus) words in Matthew 26:28 and Luke 22:20 and (Rabbi) Paul’s words in Colossians 2:14 and Romans 7:1-4. Therefore, correctly understood, Hebrews 8:7-8 should read as follows:
“For if the Mosaic Torah had not found the people violating it, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with the people, He says, “behold, days are coming, says The LORD, when I will affect a renewed (marriage) covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah ….”
The Hebrew name for the “New Testament” is B’rit Hadashah (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The Hebrew word B’rit means covenant,” which is further defined as “to eat together, to share food, to prepare a banquet.” What comes to mind is a picture of friends and family interacting and sharing a meal together. The ancient Hebrews recognized their responsibility to provide a meal whenever a guest entered their homes. They were also responsible to protect the life and possessions of anyone who came inside their home.
B’rit also means “to cleanse or make pure,” and “a son of the sign.” When God called Abraham into a deeper relationship, He asked him to circumcise himself as a sign of the covenant relationship between them (Genesis 17:11). Circumcision was also an outward sign of the purity (i.e., the holiness) that God imputed to Abraham at that time. Thus, Abraham and his descendants became “sons of the sign.”
Again in Hebrew, Hadashah means “renewed” or “a cycle of restoration,” or “to return to a previous state.” The same word is also used in reference to the lunar cycle, meaning that we don’t get a new moon every month—the old one just gets restored to a previous condition. The same thing is true of B’rit Hadashah, meaning that somewhere in the history of covenant we’ve been here before!
Once again, a more accurate title for the New Testament would be the “Renewed Covenant,” or “Renewed Relationship,” not “New Covenant” as the original Hebrew in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is commonly mistranslated.
Again, this means something entirely different from what we imply when we call the last twenty four books of the Bible by their Greek based title, “The New Testament.” For unlike a testament, in which the legal aspects of contract are everything, covenants contractual elements play only a small part. Our 14
arbitrary attempts at organizing Scripture into two halves also have no real significance. From The LORD’s perspective there is no such thing as what we call the Old Testament and the New Testament. He created Scripture to define His all-inclusive, all-encompassing plan of redemption as an ongoing covenant between Himself and us. The defining document for that single, unified, divine plan is the Holy Bible.
Throughout history The LORD has renewed His covenants with His people many times. When Adam sinned The LORD started a renewal process with the use of animal skins. The LORD established a covenant with Abraham and gave him, as a Sign of the Covenant, the illustration of the sands of the sea. When Abraham forgot, The LORD renewed the Covenant with the sign of the stars of the heavens. Then once again Abraham forgot and broke it with Hagar, The LORD renewed it with the sign of circumcision. The LORD established a covenant with His people at Sinai and as we know they broke it many times. In Jeremiah 31, The LORD is once again promising to renew it, which He did on the cross.
Each time The LORD renewed His covenants he made them harder to forget. With Abraham the sign went from sands, to stars, to circumcision. Each was more obvious to Abraham. In Exodus Moses verbally repeated The LORD’s words the first two times and then in Exodus 24:4 he wrote down The LORD’s words and then read all of them to the people. In Jeremiah 31, The LORD promises to write His Words on our hearts, so that we will never forget His Torah. In Acts He sends His Spirit to live in us and guide us and teach us to never forget. But we are a stubborn people and continue to forget and even teach that we do not need His Covenant or instruction any more. Thus, many of us have become false prophets or teachers destined, at best, to become the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mat. 5:19)
Luke Chapter Twenty Two
As we begin our study of Luke 22 and the Passover or Communion service let’s first read Luke 22:15-20:
“and he said to them, ‘I have really wanted so much to celebrate this Seder with you before I die! For I tell you, it is certain that I will not celebrate it again until it is given its full meaning in the Kingdom of God.’ Then, taking a cup of wine, he made the b’rakhah [blessing] and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the ‘fruit of the vine’ until the Kingdom of God comes.” Also, taking a piece
of matzah, he made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to them and said, “This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.” He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you.” (CJB)
In the modern Seder three pieces of matzah (unleavened bread) are placed in a three-part cloth bag called a matzah tash. Early in the service the middle piece of matzah is broken. Half is divided into enough pieces for everyone at the table and eaten. The other half, called the afikoman, is hidden, to be found by children later and eaten by everyone as the last food of the meal. While in modern Judaism the three matzot are taken as representing cohanim (priests), L’vi’im (Levites) and Israel (everyone in Israel not in the first two categories). For those who accept Jesus as the Messiah, the three matzot represent Father, Son and Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).
The second or middle and broken matzah-represents the Son, who called himself the “bread of life” (John 6:41, 6:48) and who says that this matzah, “is My body” which is broken for all and given to all symbolically representing His death for all mankind.
Yet there is a mystery, a hidden part, similar to the hidden afikoman; like the middle matzah at the Passover (Pesach) meal. The Messiah appears twice in history, in a first and a second coming. All of these symbolisms are hidden from non-believers, who have suppressed them and substituted others. But, like the afikoman, these truths about the Messiah will eventually be found. Luke 22:19 says:
“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Do this in remembrance of me
– Here are some of the things that we recall at Passover and Communion remembering what our Messiah has done for us:
- 1. The exodus from Egypt.
- 2. The dividing of the Red Sea.
- 3. The giving of the Law.
- 4. The sufferings of the Messiah.
- 5. The resurrection from the dead.
- 6. Healing that is in the atonement.
- 7. Forgiveness
- 8. Etc.
Now let’s continue on with verse 20.
Take This Cup
On the eve of Messiah’s crucifixion, Y’shua gathered His talmidim around him and said these words in Luke 22:20:
“This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
As we have already discussed, Jesus Y’shua was not establishing a brand new covenant. He renewed the covenant He established at Mt. Sinai. To really understand that He was really renewing a covenant and this time establishing it in His blood, instead of the blood of bulls and goats, we need to return to the declarations of Moshe [Moses] in Exodus 24. Here, you will find a fascinating and colorful explanation of Y’shua’s terminology in beautiful imagery founded on Torah, which is His Word.
Before we study chapter 24 we need to set the stage, first by remembering, “The LORD” referred to in these passages is Y’shua. Jesus is the Word according to John 1:1. In Hebrew the “LORD” is Jehovah, who is described as The I Am, Savior, Redeemer, Creator, Shepherd, Rock, and many other names of our Messiah.
Secondly, we need to set the stage by reviewing chapters 19-23.
In Exodus 19:1-3, we learn that it was three months after the Red Sea and leaving Egypt, when Moses went up to The LORD and received His Words. Verses 4-8 say:
“You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you will pay careful attention to what I say and keep my covenant, then you will be my own treasure from among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you will be a kingdom of cohanim for me, a nation set apart.’ These are the words you are to speak to the people of Israel.’ Moshe came, summoned the leaders of the people and presented them with all these words which The LORD had ordered him to say. All the people answered as one, “Everything The LORD has said, we will do.” Moshe reported the words of the people to The LORD.”
This is the first time that all the people said “I do.”
In chapter 20 The LORD gives the people the Ten Commandments. Remember this is The Word Y’shua, Jesus who is giving us His instructions in how to have an abundant, healthy life. In chapters 21-23 He gives them further instruction to help them in their lives. Remember His Word is a light to our path and health to our bones. This is the six hundred and thirteen positive and negative commands from The LORD. The first ten are the Ten Commandments and the remaining six hundred and three help us to fulfill the first ten.
This brings us to chapter 24. Let’s read the first 8 verses:
“Now He said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. And Moses alone shall come near the LORD, but they shall not come near; nor shall the people go up with him.” So Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the LORD has said we will do.” And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD. And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.” And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.” (Exodus 24:1-8 NKJV)
In Messiah Y’shua’s renewed covenant terminology, there are two interconnected ideas being presented. First is the “new” covenant. Second is the cup which is poured out, or, according to the Greek, distributed largely. To understand Y’shua’s Words and intent let us begin by turning to Exodus 24:3:
“And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, all the words which the LORD hath said will we do.”
Through community ratification, all the people of Israel agreed with one voice to do the words of The LORD’s Laws. They did not say, “We’ll think about it” or “We’ll consider our options” or “We will obey some.” No! Together they said, “All the words which The LORD hath said will we do.”
Next, Moshe wrote down all the words of The LORD so the people would never forget them and have a complete copy of them. Then we learn that he built an altar at the mountain with twelve pillars for all the tribes of Israel (24:4). After completing this task, Moshe sent some Israelites out to offer burnt offerings and shalom (peace) offerings to The LORD (24:5).
In verse 6 we learn what Moshe did with the blood from the offerings of verse 5:
“And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that The LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!”
Let us examine the above passages in their Hebraic context.
Blood in the Basins
“And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins….” (Ex. 24:6a)
Here, we learn that Moshe took half the blood from the burnt offerings and shalom offerings, and put it into basins. We will come back to these basins of blood shortly.
Blood on the Altar
“… and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.” (Ex. 24:6b)
Here, we learn that Moshe took the other half of the blood of the offerings and sprinkled it on the altar he built in verse 4. In Exodus 26:30, we discover these words:
“Then you shall erect the tabernacle according to its plan which you have been shown in the mountain.”
In Judaism it is commonly taught that there is a divine Temple in Heaven. This was to serve as the original pattern for the temporary Mosaic tabernacle (and later Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem). As a result, Moshe received detailed instructions from the LORD on how to build the temporary tabernacle, and all the elements contained within it, including the altar.
When Moses took the blood of the sacrifice and poured half on the altar below Mount Sinai which presumably was a copy of the one in Heaven’s temple, he was establishing a legal and binding contract with The LORD on behalf of the 12 tribes of Israel. On the earthly altar, he was sealing, in the blood of bulls and goats, Israel’s vow, that they would honor the divine covenant based on their own promise saying, “All the words which the LORD has spoken we will do!” Later, Messiah Jesus models Moshe; but instead of pouring out blood on an earthly altar He pours out His own blood on the heavenly altar.
Recounting the Book of the Covenant
Progressing to Exodus 24:7, after Moshe poured out the blood of the offerings on the altar, the following occurred:
“… he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. “
And again, they responded with one voice, saying “All that The LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” Without hesitation, the Israelite community made a decision, in substance, agreeing to the following:
“We promise to live by these words of The LORD and to be obedient, and to do everything we have been commanded to do.”
Because the people had made a vow, The LORD held them accountable, and this was best stated by Y’shua who said: “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God [Himself] and do it.”
Now, let us return to Exodus 24:7 and the phrase “Book of The Covenant.” The “Book of The Covenant” or, in Hebrew, Sefer HaBrit, was and still is a very significant phrase because it refers to the whole body of judgments, testimonies and decrees, Oral and Written, that descended with Moses at Mount Sinai. In Judaism, the phrase Sefer HaBrit is oftentimes abbreviated as simply habrit or “The Covenant.” Remember Moses wrote down and read the entire covenant. He did not leave anything out that needed to be carried forward in an oral tradition or teaching.
With this understanding, let us turn to Luke 22:20:
“And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the renewed (new) covenant in my blood.”
Here, Y’shua, probably speaking Hebrew, took the term “habrit” and then added the word “Hadashah” or “renewed” from Jeremiah 31:31, saying that He was making a renewed covenant between Israel and Himself. Remember previously, we learned that the word “new” in this verse in Greek is the word kainos (kahee-nos’) which means something fresh in quality, and unworn, and renewed. So the message is the same in either Hebrew or Greek.
Let’s now go on and see the imagery that Y’shua was painting in His words.
A Covenant in My Blood
One of Y’shua’s most powerful expressions of the Mosaic contract had to be in His words, “This cup which is poured out for you is the renewed covenant in My blood.” No doubt He was drawing a parallel with Exodus 24:5-6. Remember what Moses did with half of the blood from the offering:
“And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins….” (Ex. 24:6a)
And what did he do with the other half of the blood?
“..and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar” (Ex. 24:6b)
In 24:7, we learn that Moshe did the following:
“(he).. .took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!”
This is the third time all the people said “I Do”. There will be four “I Do’s” just as there are four covenants. Those that purify themselves and thus prepare to be His bride will again say “I Do” at the marriage ceremony when our groom returns.
Then in 24:8, we learn that Moses:
“Took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “behold the blood of the covenant, which The LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
As we have studied, about 1,500 years later in Jerusalem, Jesus taught His talmidim that He was re-establishing the Mosaic Torah for them and for the generations which were to follow in their footsteps. Consequently, Y’shua modeled Moshe by pouring out His blood, not on an earthly altar, but rather, on the genuine heavenly altar.
Also, Y’shua sprinkled” His blood” on His disciples, establishing or renewing the Mosaic covenant, only this time it was “in His blood”. Since Torah forbids the ingesting of actual blood, Jesus merely took wine, symbolically attached it to His sacrifice and said these words to His disciples in Matthew 26:27:
“Drink from it, all of you….”
As Y’shua’s talmidim drank the cup of wine symbolizing the blood of His sacrifice, they were also in a sense permitting themselves to be sprinkled with the “blood” as all Israel had literally allowed Moshe to do to them. Put another way, Jesus’s disciples were entering into a covenant with The LORD just as their forefathers had done when Moshe, acting as The LORD’s intermediary (with power of attorney), took the basins of the blood of the covenant, and sprinkled on them in Exodus 24:8.
After Y’shua’s resurrection He then took the blood of His sacrifice, entered the Temple in heaven and poured it out on that altar—re-establishing what Moshe did on the earthly altar at Mt. Sinai. This gives us insight into John 6:53
“Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.”
This echoes the words of Moshe in Exodus 32:47 concerning the Words of The LORD:
“For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life…”
Paraphrasing, Y’shua was saying to His talmidim, “You will have no life in yourselves unless you enter into this renewed covenant of Torah through the blood of the covenant and the blood will be mine. As Moses came to bring Israel to The LORD so also I have come to bring you to The LORD (Me) through this, My blood of the covenant. By drinking of this wine and eating of this bread, you obligate yourselves and all who accept your words to obey My Words in the renewed Mosaic Torah.”
The above concept is a stunning truth in light of Hebrews 10:28-29:
“Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses [the Words of The LORD] dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant (HaBrit) by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?”
With a small addition to this, Matthew 26:27-28 paints this scenario:
“And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, 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 the forgiveness of sins.”
Covenant of Blood for the Forgiveness of Sins
“… for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”
Here, in Matthew 26:28, what exactly did Y’shua mean when He said that His blood was poured out for many for the “forgiveness of sins”?
The answer is found in the words of Jeremiah 3:8, 50:1, Hosea 2:7, and Jeremiah 31:31:
“And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce….” (Jeremiah 3:8)
“Thus says the LORD, “Where is the certificate of divorce, by which I have sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.” (Isaiah 50:1)
“And she will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; And she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband. for it was better for men then than now!” (Hosea 2:7)
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a (re)new(ed) covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 31:31-32)
Again, when the Torah covenant was given to Israel at Mount Sinai, it was like a bridegroom marrying his bride. Under that mountain chuppah or canopy, Israel said to The LORD in the form of a vow, “I do. “She had promised fidelity to her husband and faithfulness to the marriage bond. But, after centuries of willful rebellion against The LORD and His good Laws of Sinai, Israel’s sins of unfaithfulness kept mounting higher and higher, and yet The LORD kept forgiving and forgiving.
Finally, after generations of continued rebellion, The LORD was left with no other choice; He sent His bride away under the terms of Torah Law in Deuteronomy 24:1. God issued Israel a certificate of divorce, a get or sefer keritut. But this was only meant as a measure to bring about Israel’s repentance and cause her to see the loss of her relationship with the Almighty, as is evidenced by these words in Hosea 2:7:
“Then she will say “I will go back to my first husband (the husband I had at first), for it was better for me then than now!”
When Y’shua HaMashiach came as God’s sheliach or Sent One, His mission was to restore Israel back to The LORD and the Torah, abolish the get, the written document of divorce, and reestablish the original marriage contract (Ketubah) of Sinai. Through His blood, He purchased Israel back from the pagan life to which she sold herself:
“Thus says The LORD, “Where is the certificate of divorce, by which I have sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? Behold, you were sold for our iniquities, and for our transgressions your mother was sent away.” (Isaiah 50:1)
Through Messiah, the high-handed sins of Israel’s forefathers were erased, and instead, God issued an invitation to return to Him with a “clean slate.” Again, why was this necessary? Because, Israel breached The LORD’s marriage contract when three times she promised the following:
“All that The LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” (Exodus 24:7)
Thanks to the work of the faithful Messiah, Israel was repurchased, the written divorce document nullified, the original marriage certificate renewed, and the broken promises of Israel’s previous generations wiped out. This explains Colossians 2:14:
“…having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having it nailed it to the cross.”
The certificate of debt (an I.O.U) was stipulated in Israel’s Ketubah (marriage contract) and expressed-‘through’ the written divorce document. Many teach that The LORD’s Word or Law is hostile to us. This is not or ever could be true of His Words, which are the Law or Torah. The Words of the LORD are holy and pure and just. (Romans 7:12) They are a light to our paths and health to our bones. They teach us the difference between good and evil.
The LORD’s people could not possibly pay The LORD for all He had done since the days of Avraham [Abraham]. Have you ever gone so deep into debt that you did not have enough assets to cover your obligations? Even so, nothing could compare to what Israel owed God. We could never find enough of anything to be able to pay The LORD back and return to Him the numerous things He gave us, not to mention His continued faithfulness and mercy, generation to generation. So, The LORD forgave the debt, canceled the divorce document, issued a renewed Ketubah, and proclaimed a year of Jubilee. Perhaps His words could be put like this:
“You have been forgiven your numerous sins of marital infidelity and violations of Torah when your forefathers promised to keep My covenant at Mount Sinai, a contract they made for themselves and all future generations of Israelites. However, if you wish to enter into a renewed marriage contract with Me and wish to again enter into the previous promise made by your ancestors at Mount Sinai, I will accept your words through My mediator Y’shua, chosen for such a time as this. Through My Y’shua you will find forgiveness and rest because by His faithfulness, your previous debt to Me has been paid in full. Today, I am offering you a fresh start. The choice is yours.
In summary, Communion and Passover are a renewal of our wedding vows to obey all the Words of The LORD our Groom. They are not something to be taken lightly or by rote. We need to fully understand what we are doing so that we honor the sacrifice our LORD and Savior has made for us. In accepting a relationship with The LORD we are promising to obey ALL His Words. He asks us to do this as our part of the Covenant with Him. He asks us to obey Him because He only wants the very best for us. He wants us to know the difference between good and evil that only His Word reveals. He wants us to live a powerful and abundant life and the only way we can do this is through obedience to His Word, because His Word is a light to our path and health to our bones.
As we have seen over and over again obedience is required. 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 says:
“Therefore, whoever eats the Lord’s bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of desecrating the body and blood of the Lord! So let a person examine himself first, and then he may eat of the bread and drink from the cup; for a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. This is why many among you are weak and sick, and some have died! If we would examine ourselves, we would not come under judgment. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined, so that we will not be condemned along with the world.”
The reality of these verses is seen daily at Wellspring Ministries every day. When we live in anger, resentment, bitterness, fears and worries, as believers we are cursing the blood of Jesus which He gave to set us free from these bondages. The failure of self-examination (1Cor. 11:27-29, 1Cor. 11:31) opens one to demonic attack (compare 1Cor. 5:5, 1Cor. 10:20-22, which can cause sickness or death (1Cor. 11:30). This is a good place to be reminded that the root meaning of the Hebrew word for “to pray,” l’hitpallel, is “to examine oneself.”
Our God wants us to obey Him because He only wants the best for His children. His rules only bring life and health. Bitterness, anger, hatred, fear, jealousy and envy etc. only lead to every evil thing including every disease. (See my books Biblical Foundations of Freedom and In His Own Image) So I suggest that we all pray or examine ourselves to make sure we are worthy as we prepare ourselves for Communion or Passover. Here is a suggested prayer: LORD, I purpose and choose to forgive all (be specific) who have hurt me. I release them and cancel their debts to me. Satan, in the name of Jesus, I cancel your authority over me in this memory. LORD heal my heart tell me Your truth about this memory.
LORD, I repent for _________. Forgive me! And I purpose and choose to forgive myself. Satan in the name of Jesus I cancel your authority over me in this memory. LORD heal my heart and take the shame and tell me Your truth about this memory.
It is helpful to understand that the communion service is usually just one of the four cups of Passover or the Lords Supper. In this service we will partake of two cups, the Cup of Blessing and the Cup of Redemption.
Read the passages from Luke:
“And he said to them, “I have really wanted so much to celebrate this Seder with you before I die! For I tell you, it is certain that I will not celebrate it again until it is given its full meaning in the Kingdom of God.” Then, taking a cup of wine, he made the b’rakhah [blessing] and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the ‘fruit of the vine’ until the Kingdom of God comes.” Also, taking a piece of Matzah, he made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to them and said, “This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.” He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, “This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you.” (Luke 22:15-20 CJB)
“Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the renewed covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:15-20 NKJV)
“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:53-54 KJV)
“Then Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life — that is, I will raise him up on the Last Day.” (John 6:53-54 CJB)
This is what we do at Passover and Communion. We eat His flesh in the form of Matzah; remembering all that He has done for us. And we drink His blood in the form of wine, re-establishing our commitment to do all that He has commanded us to do, just the same as at Mt. Sinai. We are either establishing or renewing our wedding vows to our LORD and Messiah!
Begin with a cup of wine—The Cup of Blessing:
In a Seder or Passover service there are four cups of wine. Today we are going to celebrate two: the first is from Luke 22:17
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
The Bread or Matzah
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
This do in remembrance of me – What we do at Passover and Communion is remember what the Messiah has done for us:
- 1. The exodus from Egypt.
- 2. The dividing of the Red Sea.
- 3. The giving of the law.
- 4. The sufferings of the Messiah.
- 5. The resurrection from the dead.
- 6. Healing that is in the atonement.
- 7. Forgiveness
- 8. Etc.
Blessed are you, O LORD our God, King of the universe. You set us apart as your people and command us to eat unleavened bread. We thank you for bringing us out of bondage, and helping us get rid of the sin in our lives.
The Cup of Redemption:
Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the Covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
LORD just as your people at Mt. Sinai agreed to do all you had commanded I also agree to do all that you have commanded. Just as you sprinkled the blood from the basins on them, I drink this wine which represents Your blood and Your sacrifice to seal our Covenant. I acknowledge that I have no life in myself only through You and Your blood and Your sacrifice do I have life. I accept both the privileges and the duties and obligations of this Covenant i.e. the entire Bible.
(Hold up the cup)
Blessed are You, O LORD our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine and who gave His own blood to renew our covenant. We commit ourselves to being your bride. We will do and we will obey all your commands.
And they sang a song together…..
- Mathias, Art, The LORD-God Revelation, Wellspring Publishing 2002, 2005, 2009
- Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible
- Mordechai, Avi Ben, Messiah, Vol. 2, Millennium 7000, 1997
- Stern, David H., The Complete Jewish Bible, Jewish New Testament Publications, 1996
- Spears, Adam and Klein, John; Lost in Translation Vol. 1, 2007
- Trumbel, H. Clay; The Blood Covenant, Impact Books, Inc., 1975