It will all be okay!

It will all be okay!

Mark 14: 55 – 65

55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. 57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65 Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him.

 

Think on this:

Peter is approached by a servant girl and under a small threat to his life he denies ever knowing Jesus.  Yet … Jesus is before the most powerful Jewish rulers at the time and at risk of his life, knowing it would lead to his death and he declares who he is.

As today begins once more I am reminded of how my hope is not in people or leaders, it is not in whether I will succeed or fail in this life and it is not even in the Church. My hope is in Jesus Christ.

Who he is determines my life.

My hope is not in what he has done or his sayings, Jesus doesn’t defend himself over those things. But it is in who He is. This is when Jesus spoke to defend His identity.

62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Why did he say this?

He is definitely referring to Daniels vision of a heavenly being in the likeness of a man who comes to rule forever and lead the people of God to share in His rule. He is who Daniel saw 600 years previously, the Son of Man.

Daniel is clear that the Son of Man was human and distinct from God but he is also fully God himself. Jesus is being tried for blasphemy and yet those who stand before him will stand with the nations of the world before Him when he comes back to this earth.

Let me quote here chapter 7 of Daniel:

“As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened…

13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.

14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

What does Daniel’s vision tell us?

  • His clothing is as white as snow; unlike the kingdoms of this world he is clothed in righteousness.
  • The kingdoms of this world are caught up with fighting for power, authority and activity of all kinds but the Ancient of Days is seated and in control.
  • Daniel who so often is a figure isolated, standing for God in the midst of evil society – God has an army.
  • 1000’s upon 1000’s ministering before Him.
  • 10,000 x 10,000 standing before Him.

 

Some will be facing trials today fearing what may happen to them.

Some will be feeling a failure of what has happened.

Some will feel lonely having seen their friends desert them at the crucial hour.

So what is the message I am seeing this morning?

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Ultimate victory is not only God’s but in Christ it is ours too.  v27 “the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.”

And so the purpose of our life is not here, it is where the Ancient of Days is on his throne.

We don’t need to fear this life.

These are uncertain days but Christ is coming back, the Son of Man, and we will see him, the Ancient of Days on his throne.

 

 

 

 

From a distance

From a distance

Mark 14: 53-54, 66-72

They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together. 54 Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire… 66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. 68 But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway. 69 When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” 70 Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” 72 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.”

 

How did Peter move from “even if all fall away, I will not” (v29) to breaking down and weeping?

It was in the positioning of his life.

  1. Peter followed at a distance

After deserting Jesus with the rest of the team, Peter stops in his tracks and turns around and follows again. But the man who was one of the 3, who witnessed the transfiguration, who was called to watch and pray in the garden, is at a distance.

How big is the gap? How far is the distance between the Church and Jesus?

When the Church are not praying then there is distance.

When attendances to Church services are alternated with trips to Ikea then there is a distance.

When disciples are not making disciples then there is a distance.

 

  1. While Jesus is upstairs being interrogated, Peter is downstairs in the courtyard.

Being in the gallery is not the same as being in the dock. One watches and waits the other receives the interrogation. Being a spectator is not the same as taking part. Cheerleading is done for the crowd not for those in the game. If Jesus is upstairs then don’t stand in the downstairs courtyard. Church is not a place for you to ask ‘what am I getting out of it?’ you are the Church.

 

  1. He sat with the guards

Peter wasn’t standing he chose to sit. And he sat next to the ones who had arrested Jesus in the first place. We are called to the world not to sit in the seat with the mockers but to make a stand, a difference. We are not to blend in but to stand out.

 

  1. Warmed himself by the fire

Peter would soon experience tongues of fire but this night he was warming himself at the enemy’s fire. There is a fire for Jesus and it is standing outside the door of the High Priests court trying to get as near to Jesus as possible, being counted in his sufferings. Then there is a fire to keep you from being cold. How many have played with this fire and got burnt. Rather be cold than be singed. Rather not have love than the wrong love. Rather not have material things than be tempted to have it all but lose everything.

 

  1. He went out into the entryway.

When the Church is not white-hot, passionately following Jesus, laying their lives at stake and being ready to die then they will drift further away even though they still say they are following. Being in the entryway is one perspective away from being at the exit door. Churches in my nation are only a few years, months and even weeks away from closing down because the entryway became the exit door in their thinking. Christians on the fringe will drop off if they stay there long enough.

 

The cock still crows today.

Today we need a move of every Christian to be up, close and personal followers of Jesus. We need die-hards. We need those who are not afraid of pain; who are sojourners in this world; who do not love their life so much as to shrink from death; who carry the word of their testimony in their hearts and mouths; who trust Jesus even if he is not doing what they really want him to do; who chase after Jesus and want to be known as belonging to him.

Christ is moving on this earth today by His Spirit. There is no doubt. It is a pre-cursor to His next big move in coming to the earth physically again.

And His Church is moving. There is no doubt. But how it moves and where it moves is varied.

Where is your Church today?

More importantly, where are we? Are we following from a distance?

The cock will crow one more time very soon and the new day will dawn ……

The shameful run

The shameful run

Mark 14: 50-51 “Then everyone deserted him and fled. 51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.”

 

Of course everyone speculates on who this young man was and of course we won’t know this side of heaven. But Mark alone includes this amazing story which is only 2 verses long but is compelling and impacting.

The Roman soldiers had come to arrest Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Judas had betrayed him. The chief priests and elders were pleased they were finally stopping Jesus. The band of brothers who had promised they would not let anything happen to Jesus have all fled the scene.

But a young man continued to follow, in the shadows of the night he had managed to stay unnoticed and he remained where the others had gone. That is until he was spotted and seized by the mob.

In the struggle he pulls away from his captors leaving the only item of clothing he was wearing behind. He is now naked and chooses to run away in shame than stay and risk his life.

That’s possibly the reason why Mark includes the story. Some people would rather choose shame than sacrifice their life for Jesus. The price to follow Jesus becomes too much for some.

Interestingly, a quick word search on ‘linen’ in Mark’s gospel shows us that he uses the word only one other time in 15:46 “So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.”

Is Mark telling the story of the naked man to show that actually Jesus’ sacrificed body was wrapped in the shameful cloth of his followers, that this was the purpose of the cross and the reason for him coming? If it is, then Mark has done a beautiful thing.

Today, even if the enemy has his hands all over you and the cost is becoming too much, don’t struggle and don’t turn back, don’t flee in shame, stay.

And if you have? Then realise that Jesus has come and taken your shame on himself. There is power in the cross, power to make you whole again.

Why did Judas kiss Jesus?

Why did Judas kiss Jesus?

Mark 14: 43-51

 43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him. 47 Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 48 “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled. 51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.

 

Why did Judas kiss Jesus?

What we know is that he had arranged for this as the signal for who Jesus was. It made sense for the Roman soldiers would not have known who he was, it was dark and difficult to see and some have even thought that Jesus looked similar to other disciples.

But it still doesn’t answer the question. Why didn’t Judas just point out Jesus? Why didn’t he just go up to Jesus and grab his arm and reveal to the soldiers who to arrest? Why kiss Jesus?

I don’t think this was a signal at all. Yes, that’s what he told the soldiers and it did act as such but that wasn’t the real reason for Judas. This was about him and Jesus only. This was about the mission.

  1. The disciples believed Jesus was a different Messiah than he actually came to be. They had heard his words of love and sacrifice but actually were still expecting him to lead a rebellion and overthrow the Roman Gentile oppressors bringing victory to God’s people. They still believed this even after the resurrection in some form (Acts 1:6). They had swords they carried and as the passage shows were ready to use them.
  2. Judas’ betrayal wasn’t trying to end the ministry of Jesus (though that is what Satan who had entered Judas wanted to do). It was to provoke it to move faster and become the revolutionary ministry that everyone wanted.
  3. The kiss was Judas showing the same cultural respect and love for his leader. “I am with you, I am one of your team, look at who is here, they have come to arrest you so now let’s fight, let’s do this, let’s overcome the oppressors, let the revolution begin!” Later, realising that Jesus was actually going to go through with what he said and willingly die, he couldn’t cope with what he had done, he realised he had badly misunderstood his friend.

 

Do we kiss Jesus this way?

So much about the story is foreign to us. We do not betray. We do not lead a crowd to arrest Jesus.

But let me ask again.

Are our kisses to Jesus true? Or are they loaded with what we want? If I kiss him then he will move in the way I want him to. He will do what I want.

I will worship Him for what I can get from Him. I want Him to bless what I am doing, to do what I think is the best action, “look Jesus here let me kiss you and show you my love, now move!”

Let’s make our kisses true and not manipulative.

How to survive your Gethsemane

How to survive your Gethsemane

Mark 14: 36-42

36 ” Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. 41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

It means oil press.

You will survive your Gethsemane once you learn the:

1. PRAYER OF DEPENDENCY

When Jesus called out Abba Father, it wasn’t ‘daddy’, for that’s not what it means.

It was a call to the Almighty, the all-powerful One.

To Him who placed the stars in the sky and created the gardens of Eden and Gethsemane. The Father of Jew and Gentile, of all.

It was a call to the Covenant-maker.

Jesus was fully aware of the prophecy of Jeremiah in 31:31-33 where God promises a new covenant, for the old was broken. That’s why Jesus personally battles with the cup before him. He has Isaiah also racing through his mind where the prophet is alarmed at Gods people drinking the cup of terror (51:17). He knows he will drink the cup of wrath and judgment in order to create the new covenant made with his shed blood.

The prayer of dependency is the prayer to your Almighty God the Father who is in control of your life and God the Son who made the new covenant relationship possible.

2. PRAYER DURING DISAPPOINTMENT

Three times Jesus finds his closest 3 disciples sleeping whilst he is going through his trials. Though there was little chastising by him we can sense the disappointment.

Surviving your Gethsemane will mean that you need to keep on praying despite even the closest disappointing you. The key is ‘the spirit is willing but the body is weak.’

Salvador Dali has a painting which looks really strange at first sight. He paints the Gethsemane scene and Jesus is the central and largest figure on the canvas. He paints him in such a way that it looks like his spirit is larger than his body, like it is enveloping it. He also has painted the 3 disciples in the bottom right hand corner as very small figures revealing the weakness of the body.

The prayer during disappointment is the prayer that brings the eternal part of you, the God-focused, Christ-centred, Spirit-dwelt part of you to the surface and to make this the loudest voice, the clearest vision and the most powerful thought over what your body is experiencing.

3. PRAYER OF DETERMINATION

When Jesus announces, “Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” He was not calling them to run for their lives. This was not a call to escape, ‘let’s get out of here!’. No, this was a call to run to the confrontation. Gethsemane gives such a determined approach. He has sacrificed his fears and has been strengthened in prayer and rises with determination to face the enemy, to be taken, to suffer and to die. The betrayer and the enemy do not spring on him as in an ambush. He knows. He understands the time and the season. He knows the moment.

Gethsemane will crush you. Your greatest trial to see whose will you follow, yours or His. Surviving Gethsemane is not to just come out of it but it is to submit to the destiny on your life. For that to happen you need to know the prayer of dependency, the prayer through disappointment and the prayer of determination.

Learn to fall

Learn to fall

Mark 14:35 “Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.”

Why did you fall to the ground Jesus?

I believe the He fell to the ground under the weight of carrying the price.  He has gone a little further and He is carrying the price, the burden.

Have you seen The Strongest Man programme? They carry heavy boulders and they have to go all the way.  After a little while you never see one of them fall with the stone – they just let go of it.  At some point of going a little further with God carrying the burden of death, the burden of the cross and the price of laying your life down, you will get to the point where something is going to drop.

Will it be the price or you?

Jesus refused to let go of the cost and fell to the ground with it. Many Christians have said ‘It’s too heavy, Lord –I can’t do that any longer. I cannot do what is expected of me. I want to go back’.

Jesus is calling you and me to such radical living that you will hold on to Him and the price of living the walk so that even if it means you drop to your knees – you drop there, holding on to the burden of carrying the cost.

Where is the army of God? Where is the soldier who never runs away at any price?

He fell to the ground in absolute submission. That is what knees do.

You drop to your knees because you are saying ‘I am willing to trust You. I trust you with my life. I am not sure where it is going and it is mightily uncomfortable right now and I wish I could live a different type of life and I wish you would take this away from me if you were asking me for a choice but I fall on my knees in submission because I surrender to you, whatever you have got – it is Your will over my will and

“I surrender all to Jesus

All to Him I freely give”

Don’t let go. Learn to fall.

Go further

Going a little further

Mark 14:32-35

32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.

Paul says in Philippians 2:8 “and being found in appearance as a man He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.”

What took Jesus home to be with His Father was just sheer obedience: pure, unadulterated obedience.  No compromise, no deals, no negotiation.  “going a little further.” Obedience is exactly that; it means going a little further.

Are you willing to go a little further?  That is what the Father is asking of you. You may have done a lot and come a long way in your walk with God but still the call comes from the Holy Spirit – will you go a little further?  If you will you are going to experience pain – for every time someone decides to go a little further there is a stage of pain that they need to break through.  A stage of discomfort; an area of feeling ‘I’ve never been in this place before in my life.  I feel so uncomfortable right now it is on the point of the pain barrier and I am not sure if I can go any further’.

He has taken His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane and has said to the majority of them ‘Will you stay here because I need to go a little further’.

He takes Peter, James and John and as He goes a little further He tells them ‘my friends, I need to tell you something – we are going a little further and there is something about me that you need to know. I know that you are with me but My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. My soul, that inner being, right now, is being swamped. I am so overwhelmed I can hardly breath – it almost feels as though I am going to collapse and die right now.  I am not sure if I want to go a little further but I know that you guys are my best mates and I want you to be around me and I want you to help Me go a little further right now’.

And He went a little further and we are so glad He did.

The unbelievable thing at that moment in time was this. He gets an understanding that He still needs to go a little further.  He says to Peter, James and John ‘You stay here, I’ve got to go a little further’.   Doctor Luke is more detailed, ‘being in anguish He prays more earnestly and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.’ (12;44) He went a little further.

You want to be like Jesus?  Will you go a little further?  You have got to leave some of the disciples and go away and experience the pain and then leave maybe your best three friends and experience a pain that is so deep.

There is a certain obedience that can never be found in groups.  I am talking of a different level of obedience where you have got to leave your loved one because there is a certain obedience that is only alone.  That is what God is calling you to do so that you get to a place where there is only you and God and there is no one there to soothe your pain but you are being obedient to the point of death and crucifying your flesh and all your earthly desires and all the strong temptations and the pulls of the paths of life and you are dealing with it.

There is an obedient place in God that is solely reserved for one.  Loneliness is not a bad thing, sometimes we are afraid to be lonely, but Jesus knew the times of loneliness on the mountain and in the garden of Gethsemane. There is safety in groups and sometimes that’s the problem.

Can you go further? Or do you go a little while and then it has fizzled out and you go back to how things were because it’s just too difficult to keep going further, to walk with God; to walk with God in holiness; to walk with God in such a way is so hard.

Today, go further.

Read MORE

Scripture quoting

Mark 14:27

‘You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:” ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”

Have you ever had a meeting with someone and all they do is quote Scripture within their conversation?

How did it make you feel?

Did it make you relieved you had learnt John 3:16 a long time ago?

Did it make you want to punch the said person on the nose?!

Jesus had not only read but memorised the Old Testament Scriptures and he would apply those passages to his context.

He actually quoted from:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Psalms (10 different ones), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea, Micah, Zechariah and Malachi. That’s 13 different books and by my count 37 different quotes. He did all this without a cross-referenced Bible or google.

Why did he quote so much?

The foundation of the people he lived with were the first five Books of Moses, the Prophets and the Writings, our Old Testament. They based their values, standards and expectations from those books. Jesus did this also. Whether he was being tempted or teaching or going through his trials like the one walking to the garden of Gethsemane where he quotes Zechariah, his thoughts were, ‘what has been written about this?’ He was a Jew and the Scriptures were life itself. Not to be quoted at people to impress though that has always been the case to the present day, but to be used for guidance, for help and understanding.

If you live amongst Muslims, where should you quote from?

If working with young people, where should you quote from?

What is foundational to the people you are trying to reach, love and serve?

Of course for us, we have the New Testament to also memorise and quote from.

I think we should:

Read and quote more from the Bible than we do into the context of our lives.

Read more widely and be able to quote from other sources depending on who we reaching.

When the shepherd is struck

When the shepherd is struck

Mark 14:27-31

27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:” ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” 30 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “today-yes, tonight-before the cock crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” 31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

Jesus didn’t go into his darkest time unaware of His Father’s will. He had studied the Old Testament. He knew the prophecies of the Messiah, of himself. He had read Zechariah’s prophecy many times and quotes it here as they walk to the garden of Gethsemane.

The striking of the shepherd in Zechariah 13 is used by Jesus as he is only hours away from the cross.

What does it reveal:

1. Jesus knows that though he would be handed over to men he is actually in his Father’s hands, that the striking would be God. When struck, knowing there is a God-plan behind it will strengthen you.

2. Jesus knows that his disciples will desert him. Zechariah says there will be a purging. Everyone believes they are stronger than they really are. All sin and fall short. We all turn back at some point. But the purging is to bring us home again. You may know some today who have scattered because of the falling of a shepherd, we must believe they will return. Zechariah says they will.

3. Jesus never speaks of being struck without also referring to the resurrection. He tells them he will go ahead and presumably wait for them in Galilee, the place of ministry, the Galilee of the Gentiles. Today some may not have returned, they may have still fled, but Jesus is waiting for them, he has a plan for their lives.

Have you been struck today?

Are you running away?

He is alive and waiting for you.

Will you take the cup?

Will you take the cup?

Mark 14: 22-26

22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” 23 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.” 26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

I am becoming more energised with the Gospel as I see that the amazing love story of God and mankind mirrors the Jewish wedding.

Here at the Passover meal as they celebrated Gods redemption of His people from Egypt entwined within the event is the wedding ritual.

Others will write more eloquently and with far greater detail but let me explain something so that today you will pause to marvel at the invitation God gives through Jesus.

The Wedding

1. The dowry is presented at a meal of the 2 families who come together to formalise the plans for the agreed marriage.

2. This agreement is copied onto 2 small pieces of identical pottery, one for each family. This is more than an agreement or a promise. It is a covenant which spiritually forges the blood of the bride and groom together, it could not be broken.

3. The bride and groom do not see each other until the ceremony. Instead they go through a water cleansing ritual to spiritually cleanse them.

4. The family and friends gather with loud music and singing in the town under a shelter erected for what is called the betrothal. This legalises the marriage but does not consummate it. Here the marriage covenant is read out by the groom’s father and the father of the bride holding his piece of pottery reads out the dowry and the dowry is then exchanged.

5. The groom hands his bride a gift. He then takes a jug and pours her a cup of wine and offers it to her. This is her opportunity to stop it all. She could reject the cup or drink from it signalling her willingness to marry. Once she drinks from the cup, he also drinks. Then the groom will say these words:

I WILL NOT DRINK THIS CUP AGAIN UNTIL I DRINK IT ANEW WITH YOU IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE.

Sat around the table that night there are so many things happening. The Judas story, the exodus, the sacrificial lamb. But in the mind of Christ when he picks up the cup of wine there is this thought, “this is all worth it”, for there is coming a day when the wedding will take place and this love story will be fully consummated and God will be with His people and they will know Him.

So the next time you take communion or whatever you call it and are handed the cup of wine have the image of your groom, Jesus, offering you relationship, a marriage that is coming very soon.