“But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine,
until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29).
Do you remember how galling it was to see your brother finish picking his row of beans, only to drink lemonade under the shade as you continued to sweat out your row? Granted, he had finished his row, and deserved to relax. Moreover, your thoughts were not free of selfishness, but rather envied his cool conditions. Sin reigned on both sides, but still…is there not something missing on the part of your brother?
According to the Scriptures, “Wine…maketh glad the heart of man” (Psalm 104:15). The cup that Jesus offered is a cup of celebration, an occasion to rejoice. Given the fact that it represents the blood of Christ, we might be tempted to grieve, in light of His violent death; however, Jesus described the cup as “my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Instead of emphasizing the death in itself, Jesus emphasized its significance for us–the true, spiritual liberation of our souls from our sins. In that light, He hands us the cup again and again in communion, in effect saying, “Rejoice! Your sins are gone! In love, I have done this for you.”
In contrast to our celebration, Jesus denies Himself the privilege of celebration until we are all with Him in His Father’s kingdom: “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29). How amazing! If anyone had the right to sit down and enjoy the fruits of His labor, it was Jesus. Having done all that the Father commanded Him to do, His row of beans was picked; and sitting at the right hand of the Father, He has every right to enjoy the fullness of joy in His Father’s presence (cf. Psalm 16:11). He wants to. He will. But for now, He foregoes, and chooses rather to bear our sicknesses and carry our pains in intercessory prayer, as He continues to “be touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15).
Do you see the contrast? Do you see the love? Instead of basking in His glory, Jesus is laboring with us in prayer, and fighting our battles with us as if He were still here on earth. Foregoing the joyful cup, He continues to go out again and again into the fields of life to bring us the cup of joy in the remembrance of His cross. While not allowing Himself the joy, He desires and even commands us to take the joy again and again, saying, “This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:25). We need the refreshment, and He is glad to give it.
It is just as the hymn writer testified, “For me He died, for me He lives; and everlasting life and light He freely gives.” Both! Neither in His death, nor now in His life, is He living for Himself. As He died for us, so now He lives for us, to make intercession for us, until the Day when we all join Him for the celebration in the Kingdom. Then He will drink the cup new with us–and oh, what a joyful taste that will be for Him. All glory to Jesus, and to the Father in Him! Amen.