The Father’s Passover table has four cups, but why? What purpose do they serve and how does Jesus fit into this “Jewish” holiday?
Join us as we answer these questions, learn the significance of Passover for Believers, and discover the power God places in four cups!
Why Should Believers Observe Passover?
Passover is considered by many to be a “strictly Jewish holiday,” however when we examine the Word we find that is not true.
Passover was set in place by God for His people to follow throughout all generations… as an everlasting ordinance. From the exodus out of Egypt, to the days of the kings of Israel and Judah, and on to today, Passover is as relevant as when God first called us to observe it!
“So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.”—Exodus 12:14
One reason for the relevance of Passover is found in the nine blessings that come when we place our feet under God’s Passover table. Yet, those blessings are not the only things we can take away. There are lessons in the traditions that renew and prepare us for the greater purpose and calling each year brings…
During the first years after Jesus’ death and resurrection—even going into hundreds of years—Believers from both Jewish and Gentile backgrounds worshiped and fellowshipped together. Just as God designed!
These Believers celebrated many holidays that we often think of as being “strictly Jewish” today, including Passover and the other feasts of the Lord. This was the One New Man Jesus desired… but it was not long before confused and corrupt religious and political leaders chose to separate Jew and Gentile.
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”—Ephesians 2:14-18
Slowly these leaders turned away from holidays and behaviors they deemed “too Jewish” and began to force Jewish Believers to choose between their corrupt ideas and those set down by God—those which Jesus Himself observed.
To make the erasing of God’s ordinances more palatable, many of the biblical holidays were replaced… unfortunately taking away not only God’s perfect design in the process, but also connecting them to pagan holidays that had previously been used for false gods!
Passover was “replaced” with a pagan holiday “made Christian,” thereby birthing what we now know as Easter…
But to achieve an easy transition, these early leaders thought it necessary to dissect Passover… picking and choosing which aspects within God’s Passover to save and which to throw away, creating a new and “perfected” and decidedly “Christian” holiday. Yet, in spite of coming away with some merit for Easter, by removing Passover along with other “Jewish” feasts, they “cherry-picked” from God’s Word… as though His Word somehow was not perfect. As if they somehow knew better than God…
And for Believers, this has been a terrible blow. It has shifted us from God’s heart… removing those pre-appointed moments of time where we are meant to draw near to God, to reset us as He blessed us uniquely, and richly.
What was appropriated? Why should appropriation matter to us?
One example of this selective appropriation by religious and political leaders can be found in the taking of communion…
Both the consuming of bread and taking of the cup being a small part of the Passover table.
Now, this is in no way saying that communion is wrong or without benefit… for there are MANY reasons why it possesses power in its own right. However, when it is used to try to REPLACE Passover, then a problem arises. Because firstly, God established Passover and never told us to stop observing it. And the four cups of Passover were also made to serve specific functions when taken AT Passover. So while we benefit from taking communion year-round, we miss out when we do not use all four cups at Passover as well… both in terms of blessings, but also in our relationship with God and understanding of the bread and cup themselves.
So, what are the four cups? What are we missing out on by not taking them at Passover?
What are the ‘Four Cups’ of Passover?
There are four cups traditionally consumed at Passover, these include:
- The Cup of Sanctification
- The Cup of Plagues
- The Cup of Redemption
- The Cup of Praise
Of the four cups, we take “The Cup of Redemption” for our communion cup.
Yet, four cups were set in place and each serves a purpose. And while communion is a wonderful and important part of our faith, allowing us to partake of the many third cup blessings year-round… there is a reason for the presence of all four cups at the Passover table, just as there is a reason for Passover.
The Cup of Sanctification | The First Cup
“This cup represents holiness and the cleansing we need to be able to receive from the Lord.”—Curt Landry, Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage
To be sanctified by God means we are cleansed, forgiven, and made holy. Sanctification allows us to enter into God’s grace for the year. To answer our call without the enemy retaining a legal right to stop us. To be the light God desires us to be.
As God’s sanctification rests upon us, our relationship with Him is able to grow. The power of His love and glory are able to become stronger in our lives, and we can enter into the next season as our best selves.
The Cup of Plagues | The Second Cup
“This cup reminds us of the deliverance of the plagues of Egypt, but it also represents healing from sickness and disease.”—Curt Landry, Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage
When God heals us, we are able to walk in boldness. We are able to walk joyfully in ALL that God would have us do, with the health and physical provision to do it.
God believes that our walking in health is important enough that He not only seeks our healing in this second cup, but also within the nine blessings of Passover!
If we desire to answer a higher call each year, we cannot expect to do so without God-given health.
The Cup of Redemption | The Third Cup
This is the cup Jesus—Yeshua—was holding at the Passover table just prior to His death and resurrection when He said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20).
This is also the cup the religious and political leaders took with them when they separated Jewish and Gentile Believers from one another. It is the cup taken at communion.
Yet, the Church has taken this cup and run with it… in many ways away from where it was intended to be. Even from what it represents.
It has become an often somber remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion and death rather than of the joyous redemption it proclaims. We have made it less of a celebration, a communion—true communion with fellowship—and instead a sad dirge, at best tinged with hope…
Yes, our redemption comes through Jesus’ sacrifice… but NOW He sits at the right hand of the Father! He is alive! This cup is meant to remind us of redemption—the redemption only God can give. Not by mourning Him, because He LIVES!
“…when Yeshua came to be baptized by John the Baptist, John had proclaimed by the Spirit, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1:29). So, when Jesus now said, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me,’ [Luke 22:19] He was not cancelling Passover, but embracing it. Because this was the Passover, He empowered the cup of redemption as only the Messiah could do—by His soon coming death on the cross and resurrection from the grave.”—Curt Landry, Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage
The true redemption Jesus gave to us was freedom from the curse we accepted in the Garden that separated us from Him… allowing ALL to know Him!
Taking this cup allows a unique redemption to answer the higher call God has set before us!
The Cup of Praise | The Fourth Cup
Of all the cups of Passover, this was the only one Jesus did not partake of at the Passover just prior to His death and resurrection. It is therefore a cup which many Believers who observe Passover choose not to take, because of the belief that it is for Jesus to give…
“I believe this is the cup we will receive from Yeshua Himself as we enter into heaven. He will hand us a wedding cup (or ‘Kiddush’ cup) and say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ It is important to understand that in a Jewish wedding, the groom extends this cup to the bride, and she drinks from it as a sign of her acceptance of the covenant being offered. Her acceptance of the cup seals the marriage.”—Curt Landry, Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage
As a result, many at Passover will leave the fourth cup unemptied; learning from it, but not partaking of it. Praising God and celebrating with joy all that He has done and is doing, and all that we will one day know of Him…
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”—John 15:11
Enter In | Passover
Our Father desires us to join Him at this table so that we can not only remember what He has done… but so we can also prosper in all He has prepared for us! To this end, He has prepared for us a host of blessings, lessons, and tools to step out in power, confidence, and love…
God wants us to thrive! He wants us to prosper! And a wonderful way to allow Him to do this is by joyfully sliding our feet under the table He has prepared for us.
Are YOU ready?
Join us online at curtlandry.com/live on Friday, April 15th, at 7:45 PM CT!