And Last He took the Cup
In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:25-26 ESV
While we listened to quiet music, preparing to receive communion last Sunday, my mind turned back fifty years to memories of a farm where we once lived. In those days, my mornings began at a quarter to five. In the chilly darkness, I would stumble out to the barn where, our cow Blondie waited for me to bring her ground corn and hay. As I went about my work, she contentedly munched on ground corn and Kansas City, our cat watched expectantly hoping for the few drops of milk I sometimes sent her way. Twenty minutes later I would return with a bucket of warm fresh milk. This was poured through cheese cloth and allowed to settle, till the cream rose to the top. That cream we skimmed off and set aside. That very best part of the milk we saved for last.
And saving the best for last, is exactly what Jesus did at the very first communion table. While the disciples were still arguing over which of them was most important, Christ took the precious bread and the cup to try and show them what must soon happen on a terrible cross, waiting just up the road for Him. After three years, during which they had shared countless adventures, sailed through storms and seen miracles, the disciples still had much to learn. So, as they sat together at the Last Supper, Jesus gave thanks, then took the bread saying, “This is my body,” and then the cup, saying, “This is the new covenant in my blood.”
Two thousand years later it is no different. We still have the privilege with uncounted millions of others who have believed before us, to drink His cup, and remember that for Jesus, it meant the cross. For Him that cup was filled with suffering, but He drank off its bitterness and left for us the sweetness of the best for last. This New Covenant cup, bought with His blood, for us is filled with mercy, love and eternal life. All that Jesus asks us is that as we receive, we remember Him – until He comes again!