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free bing silver cup

We are in a truly special and holy season of the year; one of the most exciting as well. But the excitement and holiness does not center around a bunny who lays eggs nor new dresses nor fancy hats nor colorful baskets nor ham dinners. And really, all of that is not just for fun either. Historically all of those details are rooted in the Babylonian Mystery religion that goes as far back as Nimrod and his mother/wife Semiramus and the tower of Babel. And as a matter of fact, the name Easter is in reality the name of a Babylonian fertility goddess whose symbols were the bunny and the egg: the bunny because of how quickly they propagate and the egg represented reincarnation.

The origin of Easter egg hunts and wicker baskets come from the yearly celebration of this fertility goddess’ reincarnation. It was thought that the first to find an egg would be blessed by the goddess. Furthermore, it was said that the egg of the goddess was to descend into a wicker basket. And thus the reason for the use of baskets in modern times when looking for hidden eggs at Easter time.

The origin of Easter bonnets and new clothes also stems from the occult following of this fertility goddess. Every spring at this festival the women would wear new bonnets (that looked more like baby bonnets) and the men would be dressed in white new clothes.

As for the ham dinner, that too comes from this fertility cult following. For, it is believed that the goddess’ son, Tammuz, was killed by a wild bore. Thus, every year the worshipers of the goddess would kill a pig on behalf of her dead son and eat ham.

Though paganism has always attempted to overshadow the holy throughout the centuries, the holy still shines more piercingly than ever. For God ordained from before the foundation of the world that His only begotten Son, the Lamb, would be slain. And God created His own calendar of His own divine appointments and called His own people to celebrate each one in a certain way at specific time of year. Jesus therefore fulfilled every detail of God’s spring calendar of events including the feast days of Passover and Unleavened Bread. Jesus came as the Passover Lamb whose blood would take away the sin of the world, and also came as the sinless unleavened bread that was striped, pierced and bruised for our salvation. Thus, Jesus is the reason for this season of the year, and the cross combined with the empty tomb is the central attraction.

Elements Of The Last Supper

Every holiday has specific food related to it. When we think of our national Thanksgiving day we think of turkey dinner. When we think of Independence day we think of barbequed hamburgers or hotdogs. When we think of birthdays we think of usually think of cake. Even so, with God’s holidays there are certain foods that were eaten. This was not just tradition. The food actually had meaning.

The Passover supper consisted of bitter herbs, matzah, charoset, lamb, and wine. Since Biblical times, the Jews have added other elements that also have meaning, but the ones that God attributed meaning to are most important.

We have already covered the lamb and the unleavened bread. Today we will explore the significance of the wine.

Usually during God’s feast days there are two cups of wine at the table. However, during Passover there are four. In Luke 22:14-17 we catch a glimpse of two of these being served: namely the second and the third. And the one we are most familiar with is the third cup that Jesus raised up as the cup of a new covenant in His blood. Did you know that that cup was a part of Passover?

The first cup of Passover is referred to as the cup of sanctification, the second as the cup of deliverance, the third as the cup of redemption and the fourth as the cup of acceptance and hope. In these cups of wine, we can see the amazing picture of God’s ultimate salvation through Jesus.

The Four Cups of Passover

The concept of these four cups is found in Exodus 6:6-8 which reads,

6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord.’ ”

The picture conveyed here is that of a slave who is carrying a monstrously heavy burden –just think of something too heavy to carry and it is placed on your shoulders, that’s what it means. Not only this, but the slave is in thick chains and is trapped in slavery in a foreign land to a cruel taskmaster with no hope of freedom, ever.

The Cup of Sanctification

So, what does God say, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians…”

This is the phrase associated with the first cup: the cup of Sanctification. Essentially the Hebrews had cried out to God because they were weary of the uncomfortable burden of their cruel enslavement to a hard taskmaster. Physically they were weary; emotionally they were exhausted. But…they in desperation cried out. And so God came down to investigate, and upon doing so, promised to change their status from that of heavily burdened to unburdened, to set them apart as His own. This was not just for the sake of doing it, but as God stated time and again to Pharoah, it was so that the Hebrews might worship Him. For indeed the concept of servitude in the Hebrew language has to do with worship. This unburdening was all about the transfer of their service from Pharoah to God. Thus, God unburdened them and sanctified them which means that He set them apart and made them holy that they might worship Him.

Thus, the burden was gone and they were made holy for God’s service, but they were still chained and under the authority of Pharaoh in a foreign land.

The Cup of Deliverance

Continuing on with Exodus 6:6-8, it says, “I will rescue you from their bondage… And so we come to the second cup: the cup of Deliverance. The definition of this word is actually “to rescue or to snatch away.” The powerful reality conveyed in this sentence is this: the Hebrews were utterly helpless to deliver themselves. There was nothing they could do. Nothing. They were chained. They were powerless. And these chains were not merely physical chains nor political chains nor ethnic chains, but were the chains of idolatry. Though the word for bondage is often a common word for work, in this verse, “I will rescue you from their bondage” there is more to it than work. For indeed, the word for “bondage” actually carries in its definition the concept of worship. “Israel surely needed to be “rescued” from the “service” of Egypt, because the tentacles of idolatry had already entwined and penetrated her national consciousness” (Hegg, pg 3). In other words, what had been happening in Egypt was not merely physical, but spiritual. The chains were not just on their feet; the chains were on their minds and hearts as well.

So, God promised to unburden them and make them holy for worship and to unshackle them that they might worship Him. But, they were still owned by Pharoah in a foreign land.

The Cup of Redemption

Continuing on with Exodus 6:6-8 we read, “…and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.” And so we come to the Cup of Redemption. How was God to redeem them? With an outstretched arm and great judgments. In the Hebrew language there are two words for redeem. The word used here is a familial one. In other words, the one being redeemed was family. God even tells Pharoah that Israel is His first born son. Furthermore, redemption always requires payment. Thus, God was essentially buying back Israel from Pharoah. And God redeemed them with an “outstretched arm”. When in Hebrew the term “outstretched arm” is used, it “pictures power at it’s zenith—extreme power. This metaphor is used in connection with creation…” (Jeremiah 32:17). Though creating the world with an outstretched arm could be said to have cost God nothing, the redemption of Israel came at the cost of blood.

The Cup of Acceptance and Hope

At this point, God’s promise was for Israel to be unburdened, unshackled and paid for with blood, but they were still in Egypt. The last two verses of this passage in Exodus 6 essentially constitute the fourth cup at the Passover supper: the cup of Acceptance and Hope. For God accepts Israel as His own people, and promises them a home in the Promise Land. But, the Promise Land would not be reached immediately, for the Israelites had to travel the long journey through the Red Sea, across the desert, through foreign lands, and finally through the Jordan River. For indeed, Redemption guarantees the final destination, but the journey is still necessary.” (Hegg, pg 5).

The Christian Application

These cups, however, are not just for the Jew. Through Jesus, the beautiful symbolism of these cups becomes our own.

For in the The Cup of Sanctification we recognize that God has lifted our burdens and sanctified us to live holy lives of worship for Him. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, 28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” And furthermore, we are God’s workmanship created for good works in Christ (Ephesians 2:10).

In the The Cup of Deliverance we agree that we too were helpless to free ourselves from the shackles of sin and so God Himself rescued us from our idolatrous chains. How this same picture fits each and everyone who is born from above! Our bondage to sin has left us unable to rescue ourselves. We simply cannot find our way to freedom because we are shackled by the chains of self-centeredness, which is idolatry. Our only hope is that One stronger than our fetters should come in and deliver us from our prison. Paul speaks of this when he writes in Colossians 1:13-14: For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Hegg, pg 3). “8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”

In The Cup of Redemption we find that the price of redemption is always blood, for without blood there is no remission of sin. Jeremiah 31:31-34 says, 31 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ” declares the LORD. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people…“I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” The old covenant established on the continual death of goats and lambs was crucified with Christ, and God saved us through the blood of His only begotten Son, once for all. Jesus said that this third cup of the Passover supper was a cup of the new covenant in His blood.

And last but not least, in the fourth cup, The Cup of Acceptance and Hope we recognize that right now in this world we as Christians are pilgrims and strangers. Though completely accepted by God as His people, we still await the city whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11). We still await the mansions that Jesus promised that He is building for us (John 14). We still await our Savior’s return to snatch us away to our eternal home where there will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more death. That He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

As we approach the day of Passover and Resurrection, may our minds not be filled with bunnies and eggs and ham dinner, but rather, let us reflect on the fact that Jesus is our sanctifier who unburdened us, our deliverer who unchained us, our redeemer who paid for us with His own blood and our blessed hope that He is returning SOON!

Sources:

Youtube “America’s Occult Holidays” By Doc Marquis, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMWaX7sLakU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm_7DAlcgRY

“The Pagan Origins of Easter,” by David J. Meyer, www.Lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract1.html

“The Four Cups,” by Tim Hegg https://torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Four%20Cups.pdf

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