Matthew’s Pasion: The cross is forgiveness

Matthew’s Passion: Take and remember

40 Blogs of Lent: 15

Matthew 26: 26-30

Something strange

Jesus has already spoiled what is supposed to be a party by talking about being betrayed. Now we move on to something even stranger. Four cups of wine are drunk at a Passover meal, which tie in with the Exodus. The four cups are drunk as toasts as the following words are said.

  1. I will take you out
  2. I will save you
  3. I will redeem you
  4. I will take you as a nation

The fourth cup is drunk to the psalm, so what Jesus does strange happens when the third cup is drunk, towards the end of the meal.

Jesus says that the bread and wine are his body and blood. As Christians, we are used to hearing this language frequently at a Communion service. But imagine that you are one of the disciples hearing Jesus say this for the first time. Even if you have heard Jesus using hyperbole in his teaching before, like saying a man had a wooden beam in his eye, this would be weird. The disciples did not have the hindsight that we have and did not understand that in the next few hours Jesus would be arrested, tried and executed.

The meaning of the cross here is twofold:

The cross is forgiveness

Jesus says the cup is his blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. This is not for the few, this is for many. Are you feeling guilty for something? Does someone have a grudge against you? Do you bear a grudge? Come to Jesus for forgiveness.

The cross is victory

Jesus says he will drink wine again when he comes with his Fathers Kingdom. Through the victory on the cross, Jesus will come again and set up his Fathers kingdom. Jesus will return, the victory already completed.


26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 26 ESVUK

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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