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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood

 

The Third and Fourth Cup

Feb. 23, 2014

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “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.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Mark 14:24-26, NIV)

I have had the privilege of taking the Passover meal with Jewish friends. Four times in the dinner a cup containing the fruit of the vine is drunk; at the beginning of the meal, before eating the lamb, and the third time after the lamb. In between the third and fourth cups, the liturgy lengthily concentrates on the coming of Elijah and the Messiah. The meal ends by singing the Hallel (Psalms 113-118), and concludes by drinking the fourth cup.

Jesus finishes the Hallel without taking the fourth cup, the cup of consummation. Deliberately Jesus appears to have prematurely ended the Passover meal. Why? Because the third cup we drink in all our Communion services is yet the cup of redemption — setting forth the Lord’s death until He comes. (See 1 Corinthians 11:26.)

When will we finish the meal and drink the fourth and final cup, the cup of consummation? Not until the Church is all together in one room again.

The Day of Pentecost was the last time the Church was under one roof, but we will soon all be in one place again — at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9).

Picture that banquet hall, so vast it stretches as far as the eye can see, but so intimate each feels a part. Look at the tables set with linens, dishes and utensils of heaven, ornamented with dazzling elegance and beauty. Banners stream from the vaulted ceilings, and visual delight presses on the senses from rainbows of color fashioned from the palette of the Master Artist. The room is breathtaking in its beauty.

Throughout the banquet room, orchestras are playing instruments known and unknown with such symphony in praise. Harps are singing, cymbals flashing, trumpets sounding, wind chimes ringing. Bells and horns, lutes and violins, dulcimers and clarinets. From time to time, the instruments die down so the vast angel choirs positioned throughout the assembly room can break in with such melody of joy and praise to God as to banish every memory of the pain-filled night of earth.

A powerful angel steps to the rostrum and announces to the assembled crowd: “Please stand at your places. I present to you the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus of Nazareth!”

Trumpets begin their fanfare, and myriads of angels lift their harmony of hallelujahs.

Then He enters, majestic in His beauty. The Son of Man, The Son of God, strides to His place of honor. Silence falls. His voice breaks the stillness: “Welcome to My Marriage Supper. Let us take the cup of consummation.”

And together with Him, saints of all ages, nations, languages, cultures, from villages and cities, farms and desert places — all will take the chalice and lift our golden cup in toast to Him and His finished work. And in that moment as we drink the fourth cup — the cup of consummation — redemption’s saga is complete, and the eternal age has opened before us.

The invitation is still open. The guest list is yet incomplete. Will you be there?

A prayer of response

Lord Jesus, we drink the cup of redemption in memory of You, anticipating the day when we drink the cup of consummation in Your kingdom!



DR. GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

 

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