Will You Marry Me?

Easter Communion

Let us be glad and rejoice, cialis canada pilule and give honor to Him, for the marriage of the Christ (Lamb) is come, and his wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:8

Easter is just around the corner with all its great accounts of what Christ did for us all two thousand years ago. I’ve tried writing on at least one of these every year. If interested in reading some, go to my web site www.tmoments.com. Open up the category Articles, go to Holidays, and then to the Easter file. “All is lost, all is Found,” “The folded Napkin,” and “Silent Saturday” are just a few to read and think upon this Easter.

It seems that every year I write an Easter article that has special meaning to me; this one is no exception. For in preparing it, my wife came close to losing her life in an auto accident a few days ago. Miraculously, she hit a pole which stopped her car from entering oncoming freeway traffic. The highway patrol officer said she was very lucky, we know it was more than that. So I dedicate this article to Myrna, who for 39 years has safeguarded me from many collisions in my own life, and I’m not talking about the traffic ones.

The Last Supper is the focus of this article, which occurred midway between Palm Sunday and the Resurrection. Somewhere around Wednesday of that week, Jesus gathered with His disciples to celebrate the Passover feast. During this traditional dinner, He shared with them about His coming sacrifice and New Covenant, which had never been taught before. His message was so profound and memorable that Christians still recite and repeat it over and over again today in every part of this world.

The four accounts of Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22:26, Luke 22:14-20 and I Corinthians 11:23-26 that record the Last Supper, each add slightly different detail. . So that you can see all of these details together, I have merged these accounts into one, paraphrasing where needed. I have also included in this the background and meaning of the four cups of wine Jesus presented during the Last Supper. These cups were an integral part of a Passover Dinner, particularly the third one which Jesus used to pass to the disciples saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood, drink in remembrance of me.”

The Last Supper

In the night which Jesus was betrayed, He sat down with the disciples for dinner and told them He desired greatly to eat this Passover feast with them before He was to suffer. Jesus then said, “I won’t eat it again like this until the kingdom is fulfilled.”

The first cup of wine called the Kiddush was offered to get the Passover dinner going and consecrate the rest of the evening to God.

The second cup of wine was then offered as the meal arrived. It was like a blessing we’d offer to God before eating.

While they were eating, He took some bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to the disciples saying, “This is my body which is given for you, take and eat in remembrance of me”

The third cup called the cup of redemption, salvation, or grace was offered. It was the most significant of all because it represented being forgiven and united with God.

He took a cup, gave thanks and passed it to the disciples. Jesus then took the cup, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you and the many who have sinned is the New Covenant in My blood. Drink it in remembrance of Me.” Afterward He said, “I will not drink from it anew with you until My Father’s Kingdom comes.” “And as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, remember you proclaim My death until I return.”

The fourth cup was the last to be offered, it was called the cup of benediction, ending the dinner and their time together.

After singing a Hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Although all four cups were important and had their symbolic meanings in a Passover dinner, it was the third that was the most significant. Not only because of what it meant, but what Jesus said after offering it to the disciples. The cup was called the cup of redemption, salvation, or grace. It was a reminder of God’ continuing desire and plan to forgive man of his sins and return him to His presence. All he need do was repent and believe, even under the Old Covenant filled with many laws and demands.

But after drinking this third cup, Jesus spoke of a New Covenant to replace the Old, one to be drenched in His blood, a Covenant or agreement based on faith in Him alone. This agreement had to be purchased, though, to atone for all of man’s sin. A sinless life was the payment, making Jesus who lived such a life the only one who could. And He did, two days after this dinner with the disciples; He gave His life on the cross. The minute He did the New Covenant was available to all who believed, for nothing else was required. Like a marriage proposal given to a young woman, all she need say was “Yes!” For you that yes means I repent and believe.

Ray Vander Laan, a noted Bible teacher who authored the video series, “That the “World May Know” illustrates this exchange very well, particularly in respect to taking communion. For he compares the New Covenant Jesus talked of with the New Covenant agreement two Jewish young people seek when wanting to marry. The process wasn’t easy, taking a great deal of patience, especially if young and deeply in love. It began with the couple expressing their desire to marry with each family, the boy with his, the girl with hers. If all went well, the father of the young man set up a meeting with the girl’s father at her house. On the day of the meeting the young man and his father went to the girl’s home to meet with her father. The girl was not a part of the meeting, but sat in a room nearby, most likely with her mother for awhile. As the three men gathered only the fathers talked. Conversations varied from family to family, but at the end a bride price had to be arrived at between the fathers. This didn’t mean the girl was being sold, but because of the girl’s value to her own family, compensation for such a loss was needed and required. That price in some cases could be having been as high the cost of a new home. I remember when giving this message at my own daughter’s wedding before communion; I looked at Shannon and said before all, “You are worth a city of homes to our family. And she was!

After the agreement was struck, the men took a cup of wine and drank from it to seal the deal. The young man’s father then gave the cup to his son to take to his bride to be. The cup was called the Covenant or New Covenant cup. Upon finding her, he needed to say nothing, for the cup said everything. When lifting it up and offering it to her he was saying, “I love you, the price has been paid, I will give my life for you, and will you marry me?” The girl needed to say nothing either, for if she took the cup and drank from it she was saying, “I love you, I accept your offer of marriage, I will be faithful to you all the days of my life.”

And so when Jesus raised the third cup and said to His disciples, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood, was He not saying, ” I love you, the price has been paid, will you be my bride, will you marry me? And when you respond at your next communion when you drink from the cup, as the disciples did here, are you not saying, “I do love your Lord, I accept your offer of marriage, and I will be faithful to you all the days of my life. I pray so!

God speed! May this Easter remind you more than ever before of the love Christ had for you when He bought you with His life on the cross.

How Beautiful

“Says it all”

How Beautiful the hands that served
The Wine and the Bread and the sons of the earth
How beautiful the feet that walked
The long dusty road and the hill to the cross
How Beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

How Beautiful the heart that bled
That took all my sins and bore it instead
How beautiful the tender eyes
That choose to forgive and never despise
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

And as He lay down His life
We offer this sacrifice
That we will live just as He died
Willing to pay the price
Willing to pay the price

How Beautiful the radiant bride
Who waits for her Groom with His light in her eyes
How Beautiful when humble hearts give
The fruit of pure love so that others may live
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

How beautiful the feet that bring
The sound of good news and the love of the King
How Beautiful the hands that serve
The wine and the bread and the sons of the Earth
How Beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ

by: Twila Paris