The Four Cups of the Seder

The Four Cups of the Seder

Why should we study the Seder at all? I mean the Seder is an Old Testament practice, right? Well, it is indeed a prescription from our Friend Moses, the Servant of God. However permit me to suggest three things to remind us how rich and relevant the Seder is for Believers.

  • You and I are rooted and part of Israel
    • Some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree – Romans 11:17
  • It is helpful for Believers to have knowledge of the Halakhah
    • This word is usually translated as “Jewish Law,” although a more literal (and more appropriate) translation might be “the path that one walks”
    • Three sources: from the Torah, from laws instituted by the Rabbis, and from long-standing customs
  • And most importantly, as a pointing or blueprint of Jesus. In the words of Chuck Missler
    • The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed
    • The Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed

Central to the Passover Meal, four (4) Cups are especially treated and celebrated – each has been labeled with Name:

  • The Cup of Sanctification, or the Cup of Consecration
  • The Cup of Deliverance, or the Cup of Plagues
  • The Cup of Redemption, or the Cup of Blessing
  • The Cup of Praise, or the Cup of Restoration

These names take on special significance when taken in light of this key text from the Book of Exodus – note the four actions I’ve highlighted for us:

  • I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.  I will rescue you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God – Exodus 6:6-7

Let’s look to combine these four actions with the Names of the Cups of the Seder:

  • The Cup of Sanctification, or the Cup of Consecration
    • I will bring you out
  • The Cup of Deliverance, or the Cup of Plagues
    • I will rescue you
  • The Cup of Redemption, or the Cup of Blessing
    • I will redeem you
  • The Cup of Praise, or the Cup of Restoration
    • I will take you

In our verse above, the Holy Spirit has given life to the four Cups of the Seder. Sanctification is to be set apart – to be brought out. Deliverance is the act of being rescued. Redemption and Blessing is the revival and renewal of the Believer, and Restoration is the completion of the earthly journey and the beginning of the heavenly one. All four of these are the exact process for all who recognize their need and accept the healing work of the Redeemer. Let’s explore this idea of the Cups and Jesus by examining His actions at the Last Supper – the Passover Meal celebrated by Jesus and His disciples in the Upper Room.

By way of instruction, the sequence surrounding the first two cups of the Seder differ from the sequence of the third. In the first two cups, the wine is offered first, then the bread. In the third cup (which follows the meal) the bread is offered first, then the wine. This is significant, because when we read the Gospel accounts, the disciples are eating the meal and the Lord Jesus begins with the Bread, then the Wine. This informs us that He is on the Third Cup of the Seder – the Cup of Blessing.

  • While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” – Mark 14:22
  • And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” – Mark 14:23-24

And from here it gets interesting. There is every indication that He stops the Seder at this point; that He does not conclude with the Fourth Cup, the Cup of Restoration. The Word tells us that after the Third Cup, Christ proclaims He will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until He drinks it anew with all Believers in heaven. And after saying so they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives:

  • Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God. After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives – Mark 14:25-26

The Last Supper ends with the Third Cup, the Cup of Blessing – as underscored by Paul:

  • Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? – 1 Corinthians 10:16

The first three Cups – Sanctification, Deliverance and Blessing are fulfilled in the first Advent of the Christ. The last Cup, the Cup of Restoration is yet to be fulfilled when He comes again. Note the words “caught up” from the text below. This from the Greek word to snatch, to grab. This is in direct fulfillment of the promise of the Four Cup – “I will take you”

  • For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

The Cups represent the journey we all must take. They point to the process which the Lord God has ordained to pull you and I out of our hopeless condition and into the light of life through faith in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Follow along with me here:

  • The Cup of Sanctification, to be called out by God
    • But God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb, and called me through His grace – Galatians 1:15
    • Even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles – Romans 9:24
    • It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ – 2 Thessalonians 2:14
  • The Cup of Deliverance, our rescue through the Resurrection
    • The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen – 2 Timothy 4:18
    • For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son – Colossians 1:13
    • For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life – Romans 5:10
  • The Cup of Blessing – Walking the Jesus Path to serve others.
    • Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life – Romans 6:4
    • Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come – 2 Corinthians 5:17
    • Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share – 1 Timothy 6:18
    • He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need – Ephesians 4:28
  • The Cup of Restoration – the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
    • Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” – Revelation 19:9
    • Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming – 1 John 2:28
    • Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy – Jude 1:2

The Passover Meal, the Seder is rich with indicators of what we in the Modern Era have seen fulfilled in the message and actions of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is He alone who has mapped our way to Him – and it is through Him alone that all peoples can follow and find themselves in His saving and caring Arms. It is our prayer at Restart Church that you have benefited from this study – and that you might yourself seek the Grace and Peace of life with Him.

Please follow the link below to open a dialog with me.  I stand ready to share the Good News of love and redemption through a personal relationship with the One who was Himself the Passover Lamb. Feedback to Pastor Bob

One Comment

  1. Michael Robert Reiner

    God’s word that came through you were enlightening and made sense to me. You are a blessing.
    Thank you,
    Love Always, Michael

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