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Seeking the Family of God

  1. Am I In Christ?
    7 Digging Deeper
  2. What is the Kingdom of God?
    3 Digging Deeper
  3. What is the Church?
    5 Digging Deeper
  4. Why Are There So Many Different Christian Religions?
    6 Digging Deeper
  5. How Can I Know the Will of God?
    4 Digging Deeper
  6. How Do I Pray?
    5 Digging Deeper
  7. What is Worship?
    6 Digging Deeper
  8. What is the Significance of the Lord’s Supper?
    5 Digging Deeper
  9. How Do I Become Like Christ?
    6 Digging Deeper
  10. What if there is no New Testament Church Near Me?
    5 Digging Deeper
Lesson 8, Digging Deeper 2
In Progress

Jesus commands us to remember his blood as we drink of the grape juice. What is the significance of Jesus’ blood?

Jesus called the cup “the fruit of the vine.”  This phrase includes all liquids made from grapes.  According to Jewish practice, this was referred to as red wine.  The red wine puts us in mind of the blood that was splashed on the doorposts of the Israelites in the exodus.  Life is in the blood.  The price for sin is death.  Thus the sacrifice of blood is required to cancel out the dept of sin and death.  Only Jesus’ sinless blood had the power to forgive all of mankind from our sins.

The words of institution vary slightly in the four records in the New Testament.  The writers are summarizing what was said and adding their understanding of the implied meanings.  These type of summaries with implied meanings are commonly used today in reporting conversations and statements.  These New Testament accounts are complimentary, not contradictory.

In Matthew, Jesus said, “This cup is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).  According to Luke, Jesus said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20).  In Mark’s gospel, Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many” (Mark 14:24).  Paul quoted Jesus as saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (1 Corinthians 11:25).   All four records mention “the cup,” “blood,” and “covenant.”  Matthew says this blood was “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”  Luke says the cup is “poured out for you” and it is “the new covenant.”  Mark says, “The blood of the covenant is poured out for many.”  Paul records Jesus’ words, “Do this in remembrance of me” after both the bread and the cup.

The cup of grape juice is the color of blood and is a good representation of the blood Jesus shed on the cross (John 19:33-34).  To counteract the claim of false teachers who denied that Jesus came in the flesh, John writes that Jesus came both by water (in baptism) and by blood (on the cross) (1 John 5:6-8).

Jesus is “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The blood of Jesus is like the shedding of the blood of animal sacrifices.  The first covenant was inaugurated with the blood of animals sprinkled on the book and the people (Hebrews 9:18-21).  “Under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (9:22).  We “were ransomed” from our futile ways, “not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).  Jesus is the “propitiation” (atoning sacrifice) for our sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10, 14).  Paul writes, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:23-25).  The last book of the New Testament, Revelation, twice uses the imagery of our sins being washed away in the blood of Christ.  The righteous are those who “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb” (7:14).  The closing beatitude states, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates” (22:14).