THE NEW COVENANT – The Cup of the Blood
In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
1 Corinthians 11:25
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
They said to Him, “We are able.” Mat 20:22
*All scriptures are taken from the NKJV, unless otherwise stated.
There is no other way nor are there other thoughts by which to define Christianity except by the life, lifestyle, death and resurrection of Christ, in whose name Christianity was created. Any other pattern that goes against these, is nothing but that of the anti-christ. Period.
That the church has turned to a large chamber of commerce wrapped in the cloak of religious gatherings on Sundays or week days does not change what the original intention of the mind of God was concerning those that followed Christ in the days of His flesh and those that follow Him now. That the Bible has been split into hundreds of translations does not change the original thoughts of God. True Christianity is simply about life and death, death and life in and with Christ.
The former sacrifice
God’s ways have not changed so much over time except in giving clearer meaning to things that were hitherto not complete having not been seen in their true context. For example, see the words of Jesus in Mathew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Again in the same Mathew 5:21-22, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” He changed the entire narrative from that which is physical or done on the outside to that which takes place on the inside, in the heart.
My point is this, the former pattern of relating to God was majorly rested on physical works and bloody sacrifices which scriptures say had no power to truly cleanse or make anyone clean. “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” (See Hebrews 10:1-4)
In plain language, God made sure the scriptures made it clear what the change of pattern was about and what the new must be like.
The new sacrifice
Having put an end to the old pattern of sacrifice, God introduced a new pattern of covenant which begins with the sacrifice of the Christ and flows into His resurrection and Kingship over the kingdom of God and how every man is given the opportunity to come to God by the effectual working of this sacrifice of Jesus, which takes away righteousness by works of the flesh and brings in righteousness by faith and love. I believe much has been said and written about this reality already, so I won’t dwell so much on it. But see what Hebrews 10:5-10 says,
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’ ”
Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Thus, in Christ, all have been sanctified and given the chance to come to the truth of who God is and how He longs to dwell among His people. And also by this sacrifice of Jesus, made once and for all, the concept of tithe, offerings which come in the form of sin offering, wave offering, thanksgiving offering, first fruits etc which often always were animal sacrifices, have all been annulled as part of the annulment of the old covenant which is by the law and the new covenant which is by faith and love for God is introduced. Meaning that, nothing in the new covenant compels you to give tithe, wave offering, sin offering or whatever offering except the love of God in your heart and the direct obedience to the will of God in the giving of these things. Meaning, it is a lie for any pastor or bishop or whomever to compel you to give tithe and offerings or say you are cursed because you didn’t give them. Jesus is the end of all sacrifices, all curses, all offerings, all tithes, but obedience to the Spirit to give any of these is considered love for God.
Dying to self
As against what most grew up knowing from church teachings, Sunday school and all that, the cup of the new covenant in the blood of Jesus which He commanded us to continue drinking is not really talking about the “Holy Communion” we take in church maybe once in a month or when there are special services or when the pastor feels that the congregation needs some “new cleansing”. It’s never about this and will never be. In almost all the cases that I experienced such services while in church some years ago, I would see this atmosphere imbued with the sanctimonious attitudes from congregations that wanted to present themselves worthy of the blood and flesh of Christ but with no real conviction of the heart towards God. For that which we call the Lord’s Supper in which we use wine and bread is an indication of something much more dangerous, daring, and deadly, a “ritual” which most would not want to partake of if shown the real meaning of.
The pattern of life Jesus lived shows us very clearly what His command about the cup of the new wine is talking about. “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”, is not talking about the cup of communion that we call the last supper, even though it is used as a symbolism, but it is about the death of Jesus which He clearly made reference to when He asked the Father in the garden if it was possible for the cup of death (not the cup of wine) to pass over Him. In other words, Christ was pointing us to something in Himself which is death to self and life to the will of God. So how did we make it about glasses or plastic cups of wine, biscuits and wafers? No wonder the Apostle Paul said “I die daily”. Meaning, I give myself daily as a living sacrifice in self denial, for the will of God to prevail over my own will.
The new covenant in the cup of the blood of the Lord is the covenant that works according to faith, the heart towards God, the shedding of blood by self sacrifice on our cross of obedience to the will of God. It’s a pattern of dying daily and conquering daily in our flesh those things that want to take our hearts and attention away from the crucified and risen Lord. That the Lord Jesus asked James and John if they were willing to drink of the cup which He was meant to drink (His death on the cross), shows clearly that when He mentioned the cup of His blood as the new covenant, He wasn’t talking about a physical cup of wine but a “spiritual cup of blood” which is however represented in the physical as death to self-will and surrender to the will of God the Father just as Jesus did. For if the old covenant was about cutting off of the foreskin which spills blood, killing of animals for blood sacrifices and the new covenant, was instituted by the blood of Christ, then that means everything about Christianity or the return of man to God, was connected to blood or sacrifice. But in this case, the blood is that of Christ and the sacrifice of man’s self will on the altar of the cross. It is not as the modern day church have painted it as luxury, money, wealth and every other thing that has gone wrong in the church. I have heard several “men of God” say things like “if you come to my church and your life doesn’t change in three months, then you can go somewhere else”. Hearing such statements, you will think they are talking about something useful or something that has eternal value. Not at all, for what they call ‘your life will change in three months’ is only tied to more money, more contracts, breakthroughs and the stupid things they call the testimony of ‘God’s goodness’.
The cup of the Lord is the cup of the new covenant of living in the Spirit. The nourishment is to eat His flesh (His Word) and drink His blood (His Spirit), for the Spirit resides in the cup of His suffering which we must remember whenever we suffer too. For the same cup that ran over for David in Psalm 23, is the same cup of suffering that Jesus drank from and also showed us how to drink from and the same He will drink afresh in His Father’s kingdom, but this time, not unto suffering, but unto victory over death. For if Jesus was killed from before the foundation of the world, it means that, that cup has always been there before He introduced it to his disciples on the night of His capture. Meaning that right now, that same cup is before our very faces but not as a monthly church Holy Communion service but as a command to pick up our crosses of self denial unto death and follow the Lord to wherever His Spirit leads, even unto death.
Rise in Christ
Every death leads to life and every life or living leads to death and some form of dying.
Every true follower of Christ must understand the days we are in and how all things must come into culmination in Christ. And just as He said it is finished on His cross of culmination of the first phase of His assignment, so have we come to that place where we must also declare that it is finished with our flesh on the cross of our sufferings for Him. We must come to where Jesus came to when He said, the ruler of this world comes, but he has nothing in me. It’s the place of it is finished with the works of darkness and an entry into the place of light. This is important if we must rise into newness with Him. For no longer is it ok to celebrate our weaknesses and constant failures, as if those weaknesses and failures are what make us worthy of God or that because of them God looks at us with pity and then brings us to Himself. Not at all. For before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs, before we ever knew good or evil, God knew us and called us unto Himself as sons. It is time to say it is finished with the works of flesh and darkness so that life will flow through us.
The days are upon us
Dear overcoming sons of God, know that the time is upon us for which all that was promised of God will be fulfilled. We can longer be carried away with life, government policies that have no bearing on the mind of God, family unions that takes us away from the true family of God, businesses that glorify Babylon, lifestyles that don’t measure up with the mind of Christ and all those things that easily beset us. As you face your daily trials and temptations, take courage in the truth that the Lord Jesus had gone through all these too and came out on other side triumphant, and so shall you too, if you do not give up. For by grace we have been called to come into the place behind the veil where we are made to conform to Him who sits at the right hand of the Father.
God bless you. From your brother.