Friday, 19 April 2019
Four cups and four promises
Question of the day: Exodus 5 ends with Moses accusing God of not keeping His promises. Exodus 5:23b "You have not delivered Your people at all." How does Exodus 6 pick up where Exodus 5 leaves off?
Answer: God makes more promises ... Exodus 6:1 "Adonai said to Moses, 'Now you will see what I am going to do to Pharaoh. By way of a strong hand he will let them go, and drive them out of his land.'"
We then come to Exodus 6:6,7 which is the Scriptural basis of the Passover Seder. From these two verses the rabbis have attached great significance regarding the 4 cups of the Seder. These 4 cups represent the 4 parts of the covenant God made with Abraham, Moses and the Jewish people and through the Jewish people to the whole world. Let me summarize them for you.
Part 1, the Abrahamic Covenant of separation: God said to Abraham, Genesis 12:2a "My heart's desire is to make you into a great nation."" Exodus 6:6a "I will bring you out ..." This is to be made separate, a holy nation.
Part 2, the Mosaic Covenant of law: Exodus 6:6b "I will deliver you from their bondage." Real "bondage" is slavery to sin. Deuteronomy 4:40a "You must keep His statutes and His mitzvot, which I am commanding you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you ..." This is also a part of the whole covenant (not separate unto itself) which is a covenant of grace. Grace and truth go together. Most people want to pick one or the other. John 1:17 "Torah was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Yeshua the Messiah."
Part 3: the first coming of Yeshua: this 3rd part is the cup of communion, after the meal. Exodus 6:6c "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm." Isaiah is referencing this verse when he says, Isaiah 53:1b "To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed?"
Part 4: the second coming of Yeshua: this 4th part is the cup of victory and celebration. Exodus 6:7 "I will take you to Myself as a people, and I will be your God." We read 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 "For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the blast of God's shofar, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left behind, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air - and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words."
There you have it. One night that takes us from the first promise made to Abraham until it is made complete at the second coming of the Son of God. Bo Yeshua bo.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,