The 1918 Armistice was a contract between the Allies and the Germans. In that upper room Jesus took a cup – a cup full of awful pain and shame. He said that this cup represented his blood, the blood of a new contract. He told his disciples, “Drink this cup.” Participate in the contract, in God’s one-sided cease fire. This contract is for the forgiveness of all wrongs. And for something even more positive.
He was about to pay – within hours – for the forgiveness of the sins of others. The troops on both sides and from all over the world – by contrast – had been prepared to kill and be killed for their rights, their nations and their freedoms. Given these contrasts, where was the LORD God during the First World War? What do you think?
Jesus there in AD 30 Jerusalem may well give us an answer because, after inviting them to participate in his broken bread and his awful cup he says this to them, “I tell you, I shall not drink ever again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it with you new in My Father’s realm.”
The vine in the Hebrew Bible mainly represented the Israelites, God’s chosen people. An early reference is to a choice vine; later references are to a wild vine. In between they had turned away from the LORD God and towards their own interests, while maintaining an outward religion.
They had wanted freedom from the LORD God. Their starting point of no longer serving the LORD God was the appointment of a powerful fighter as their king. Relying on him they went to war. They too became “troops” -prepared to kill and be killed for their rights, their nation and their freedoms.
The crowning fruit of the wild vine which was the Israelites in AD 30 was to kill their own long-promised Messiah, Jesus.
“I tell you,” Jesus said “I shall not drink ever again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it with you new in My Father’s realm.” The cup he was about to drink was the fruit of the wild vine: the fruit of getting and keeping and living for themselves by their own (supposed) powers.