The First Cup of Sanctification

Luke 22: 17-18

Friday evening the fifteenth of Nisan

DIG: What does sanctification mean? How did it apply to Yeshua here? What is the Kiddush? What kind of wine was used? What does the phrase the fruit of the vine refer to? What as special about it? How many cups of wine does the Seder require? Where did we get that specific number? When Jesus said: I will not drink the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes, what did He mean?

REFLECT: In your walk with ADONAI, how are you being set apart for His purposes? Think about how you’ve grown in your faith since first accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior. What are some examples of you being set apart for His purposes?

Jesus was being sanctified, or set apart, for the purposes of God the Father with His upcoming crucifixion. Today, believers are also sanctified for the purposes of ADONAI. This does not mean that we are sinless or perfect by any means. But it does mean that we are a work in progress. Our holiness is being worked out and is a process that takes a lifetime. The result of our being set apart is peace with God, fruit of the Spirit and honor to YHVH.

When the Passover began, the head of the household, or leader of the company, took the first cup of wine in his hand and gave thanks. This is the Kiddush, which means sanctification. The famous messianic believer Alfred Edersheim (1825-1889) gives us an example of the spirit and direction of the prayer rather than the exact words when he wrote: Blessed are You, LORD our God, who has created the fruit of the vine! Blessed are You ADONAI our God, King of the Universe, who has chosen us from among all the nations, and exalted us from all languages, and blessed us with Your commandments! And You have given us, O Shaddai, in love, the solemn days for joy, and the feasts and appointed seasons for gladness; and this the day of the feast of unleavened bread, the season of our freedom, a holy observance, the memorial of our departure from Egypt. For You have chosen us; and Your holy feasts with joy and gladness You have caused us to inherit. Blessed are You, ADONAI, who set Isra’el apart and the appointed seasons! Blessed are You, King of the Universe, who has preserved us and sustained us and brought us to this season!1381

The drinking of the first cup of wine followed the blessing of sanctification. This was alcoholic wine, not grape juice. Diluted by today’s standards, but wine nonetheless. The phrase: the fruit of the vine refers to Passover wine. It had to be prepared in a special way, with natural fermentation, not with leaven. Kosher Passover wine has no sugar added to speed up the process.

The Seder requires four cups of wine. They would drink the first and second cups before the main meal and the third and fourth cups afterwards. The Gospels discuss the first and third cups, not the second and fourth cups. Each cup is identified with one of God’s promises in Exodus 6:6-7:

Therefore say to the children of Isar’el: I am Adonai, and (1) I will bring you out of Egypt; (2) I will deliver you from Egyptian slavery; (3) I will redeem you with My power; and (4) I will take you as My people and I will be to you a God.

When ADONAI said that He would bring the Israelites out of Egypt, He separated them for His purposes and therefore sanctified them. Thus, the cup of sanctification.

After taking the first cup, He gave thanks and softly said: Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes (Luke 22:17-18 CJB). By this He meant the wedding feast of the Lamb that will take place on earth after the Second Coming. Therefore, the wedding feast will start the messianic Kingdom (Matthew 22:1-14, 25:1-13). Then all four stages the Jewish marriage system will be complete (see my commentary on Revelation Fg - Blessed Are Those Invited to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb).

Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
borei peri hagafen.
Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Creator of the fruit of the vine.

They drank and, as the cup was passed, glances of envy were passed among the talmidim because each one felt that he should be close to the Master. The glances were followed by whispered words and then the words became louder. Some boasted, as men under tension will do at times, of their individual service and piety, and a few began to count their great accomplishments and moments each had lived with Yeshua. The suffering Servant observed closely. At first He said nothing. But then He did something highly unusual.


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