The Cup Bearer, Part 1of2, Pastor Phil Sessa

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done”, (Matthew 22:40-46, Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42)

Can you imagine having a job of tasting wine for a king? This was actually a very high profile job in biblical times. The cupbearer was one who tasted and served wine to the king. Ancient kings had to be very cautious about what they ate and drank. They used trusted servants to taste everything before they consumed it. If the servant lived or did not get sick, the king and queen then ate or drank. The “chief butler” in the Joseph account (Genesis 40) headed the king’s cupbearers. Nehemiah held this highly trusted position under King Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 1:11), influencing the king politically. King Solomon also employed cupbearers (1Kings 10:5). In modern times there are tests scientists and pharmacists can run to discover if something contains poison. One man had sole responsibility of being the one to test if the king’s wine was poisonous or palatable. This was a position of great trust I would imagine as the cupbearer may be killed in the service to the king. I am sure there were conspirators who attempted to take the life of the king through poisoning the wine. The trusted cupbearer would be the one to discover the true contents of the wine even at the cost of his very life. The cupbearer then was a high court official, one that was close to the king and having the trust of the king. The cupbearer would also sit at the right hand of the king. The cupbearer had to have the king’s best interest in mind, and not his own. This would be likened to the President’s bodyguard. The bodyguard, the cupbearer, may have to give his life for the sake of the king.

At the Last Supper, Jesus took the cup and said, “…Take this cup and drink from it all of you. This is the cup of the New Covenant, which is shed for you and for all.”

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus said, (Matt 22:40-46 pp—;Mt 26:36-46; Mk 14:32-42) Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Please meditate on this in your mind and spirit. Jesus Christ was ultimate cupbearer and yet the King simultaneously. The cupbearers throughout the Scriptures sat in the high, noble, and trustworthy position at the right hand of the king and placed their lives on the line for the King. Here in the New Testament Jesus Christ is the cupbearer that places His life on the line as the King of Kings (in His humanity) that God’s wrath might not come upon you and I. Christ submitted to the will of His Father and now sits at the right hand of His Father. Jesus was reminding the disciples that He would soon fulfill the ultimate role of the cupbearer.

This is why Paul makes such a big deal about the manner in which one takes communion. The cupbearer Jesus Christ, willingly, lay his life down for you (see 1Corinthians 11:27–33), lest one dare partake in His sacrifice in an unworthy manner. When you partake in communion, realize that in doing so it is not just some religious ritual, but a remembrance of what Christ did in the past, is doing in the present, and will do in the future, because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Thank the Lord today, and daily for even having the opportunity to partake in communion together. To continue, Blessings by Pastor Phil

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