Matthew 26:27 MEANING

Matthew 26:27
(27) He took the cup, and gave thanks.--The better MSS. omit the article; thus making it, "a cup." In the later ritual of the Passover, the cup of wine (or rather, of wine mingled with water) was passed round three times in the course of the supper. One such cup had been passed round early in the evening (Luke 22:17); now another becomes, under a solemn consecration, the symbol of a diviner truth than had yet been revealed to the listening and wondering disciples.

Verse 27. - He took the cup. Many good manuscripts have "a cup," and some modern editors omit the article; but this cup was the only one on the table at the time; so the reading matters not. This was probably the third cup at the close of the Paschal meal (see on ver. 21). The wine of the country is what we call a red wine (compare "the blood of grapes," Genesis 49:11); it was mixed with a little water when used at the table. This third cup was termed "the cup of blessing" (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:16), because over it was spoken a special benediction, and it was regarded as the principal cup, following, as it did, the eating of the lamb. Gave thanks (εὐχαριστήσας). The thanksgiving was a blessing (see on ver. 26). The celebration of Christ's death and the remembrance of the incalculable blessings obtained thereby may well be termed the Holy Eucharist, the great sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Gave (ἔδωκεν) it to them. The aorist here used would imply strictly that he gave the cup once for all, herein differentiating the action from that employed in distributing the bread. St. Luke's expression, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves," refers to an earlier stage of the supper. In the present connection he nearly agrees with the other synoptists. It is possible that the cup was passed from hand to hand after it had been blessed by Christ. Drink ye all of it. St Mark adds, "And they all drank of it." Strange it is that, with these words written in the Scripture, any Church should have the hardihood to deny the cup to any qualified Christian. The Romanist's assertion that the cup is for priests alone, as it was given to the apostles only, and was destined for them and their sacerdotal successors, would apply equally to the consecrated bread, and then what becomes of the general use of the ordinance? If we would have life in us, we must not only eat Christ's flesh, but drink his blood. We need to be refreshed as well as strengthened in the battle of life, and it may well be that the mutilation of the sacrament carries with it spiritual effects that impede the soul's health.

26:26-30 This ordinance of the Lord's supper is to us the passover supper, by which we commemorate a much greater deliverance than that of Israel out of Egypt. Take, eat; accept of Christ as he is offered to you; receive the atonement, approve of it, submit to his grace and his government. Meat looked upon, be the dish ever so well garnished, will not nourish; it must be fed upon: so must the doctrine of Christ. This is my body; that is, spiritually, it signifies and represents his body. We partake of the sun, not by having the sun put into our hands, but the beams of it darted down upon us; so we partake of Christ by partaking of his grace, and the blessed fruits of the breaking of his body. The blood of Christ is signified and represented by the wine. He gave thanks, to teach us to look to God in every part of the ordinance. This cup he gave to the disciples with a command, Drink ye all of it. The pardon of sin is that great blessing which is, in the Lord's supper, conferred on all true believers; it is the foundation of all other blessings. He takes leave of such communion; and assures them of a happy meeting again at last; Until that day when I drink it new with you, may be understood of the joys and glories of the future state, which the saints shall partake with the Lord Jesus. That will be the kingdom of his Father; the wine of consolation will there be always new. While we look at the outward signs of Christ's body broken and his blood shed for the remission of our sins, let us recollect that the feast cost him as much as though he had literally given his flesh to be eaten and his blood for us to drink.And he took the cup and gave thanks,.... For the Jews blessed, or gave thanks for their wine, as well as for their food, and generally did it in this form (w):

"Blessed art thou, O Lord, our God, the king of the world, who hast created the "fruit of the vine".

Hence the phrase, "the fruit of the vine", in Matthew 26:29, not that we are to suppose, that Christ used or confined himself to this form of words: and it is to be observed, that they not only gave thanks for their wine before food, and whilst they were eating (x), but also after meat; and as this relates to the blessing of the cup after eating, or as the Apostle Paul says, "when he had supped",

1 Corinthians 11:25. I shall only transcribe what the Jews say (y) concerning that:

"When wine is brought to them after food, if there is but that cup there, the house of Shammai say, , "he blesses", or gives thanks "for the wine", and after that gives thanks for the food: the house of Hillell say, he gives thanks for the food, and after that gives thanks for the wine.

And as this was usual at ordinary meals, to bless or give thanks for the wine, so at the passover; and which our Lord continued in his supper, and is to be practised by us. It should be further known, that the wine at the passover, and so what Christ used at his supper, was red,

"Says R. Jeremiah (z) it is commanded to perform this duty,

"with red wine".

And elsewhere it is said (a),

"that it is necessary, that there should be in it (the wine) taste and look.

The gloss on it is, , "that it should be red": and which, as it most fitly represented the blood sprinkled on the door posts of the Israelites, when the Lord passed over their houses; so the blood of Christ, shed for the remission of the sins of his people. It is scarcely worth observing the measure of one of the cups, that was used at such a time: they say (b), that the four cups which were drank at this feast, held an, Italian quart of wine, so that one cup contained half a pint. More particularly, they ask how much is the measure of a cup? the answer is, two fingers square, and a finger and a half and the third part of a finger deep; or as it is elsewhere (c), the fifth part of a finger:

and gave it to them, saying, drink ye all of it; for this is not to be restrained from one sort of communicants, and only partook of by another; but all are to drink of the cup, as well as eat of the bread: whether here is not an allusion to the custom of the Jews at the passover, when they obliged all to drink four cups of wine, men, women, and children, and even the poorest man in Israel, who was maintained out of the alms dish (d), may be considered,

(w) Haggadah Shel Pesach. fol. 241. 1.((x) Vid. Misn. Beracot, c. 6. sect. 1. 6. (y) Ib. c. 8. sect. 8. (z) T. Hieros. Pesach. fol. 37. 3. & Sabbat, fol. 11. 1.((a) T. Bab. Pesach. fol. 108. 2. & R. Samuel ben Meir in ib. (b) T. Hieros. Sabbat, fol. 11. 1.((c) T. Bab. Pesach. fol. 109. 1.((d) Misn. Pesach. c. 10. sect. 1. T. Bab. Pesach. fol. 108. 1. Mitzvot Torah, pr. affirm. 41.

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