New Wine

NEW WINE

Pastor Sherri Drury

How awesome it must have been to walk with God in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden. How amazing must it have been to walk and talk with Christ while He was on earth. I think in particular of the intimate times the disciples had with Jesus, like at the Last Supper– gathered around the table, sharing food and drink, with John The Beloved leaning up against Him. 

We revisit this scene and quote Scripture when we take part in communion: “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 

However, there are some of Jesus’ words, that we don’t often quote during Communion: For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes” (Luke 22:18) or as Mark puts it, “until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God” (Mark 14:25). 

Bible Scholars argue what Jesus might have meant by these words. Maybe He meant that His time was short and He wouldn’t be able to drink with His disciples again until after the resurrection. Others think that He meant He wouldn’t be able to share intimacy with them again like that until after He ascended and His Holy Spirit came to dwell within them. To others, Jesus was explaining that He wouldn’t gather at a table like this with His followers until the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9) when Jesus comes back again to earth, ushering in the full and complete kingdom. 

I tend to agree with the third interpretation. It makes sense that The Passover pointed towards the Lord’s Supper (and then ceased to be necessary.) And that the Lord’s Supper points to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (and then will cease to be necessary). For me, it transforms communion into more than only a memorial. It weds reverent remembrance with eager expectation. And it is a thread pulling from the past into my present and on into our future. 

Let me point out one more important piece of this often overlooked and under-quoted lines from the Last Supper — it is found again in Matthew 26:29: I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” That “with you” is unique to Matthew’s gospel. And I relish this tiny phrase so much. This spoken and set plan of reunion brings me comfort with all of its inclusion, invitation and warmth. We are on His heart as we wait! 

Isn’t it interesting that He doesn’t say this with the bread, but only about the cup of wine. Just as bread signifies nourishment, wine signifies celebration. So we know that life in God’s Kingdom is not only about ultimate satisfaction, it is about joy! 

Both Matthew and Mark talk about drinking wine new. Biblically, new wine means the harvest has gone well. God spoke of new wine over and over again in the Word — promising it to His people when they settled into the abundant Promise Land he had prepared for and given to them. How fitting that he continues with his promise of abundance and joy with this same image of “new wine” when we will be reunited with Him in another “new land”. Of course, the joys of new wine will be elevated and superior in heaven — pleasures like we have never experienced before. 

Do you remember that Jesus’ first miracle involved wine and a wedding? In John 2, Jesus’ mother asks Him to help solve a problem — those throwing the wedding celebration had run out of wine. And Jesus obliged — he miraculously turned water into wine. At first, it seems a bit strange that this is the first miracle he pulls out of His bag. We soon see in the gospels that He is capable of much more–healing the lame, giving sight to the blind and raising the dead. But after our study here, it seems quite fitting. 

Check out John 2:9-10: Then he [the master of the banquet] called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now. Of course we know that it was not the bridegroom who deserved this compliment. It was Jesus. Jesus not only turned water into wine . . . . he produced really good wine. The best. 

When we gather with The Bridegroom at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, we will find out what those wedding guests found out so long ago. That Jesus still saves the best wine — the best joys — until last! My prayer for us is this: May we discover more and more about His heart for us. May we be drawn closer to Him as we realize how much He is looking forward to a celebration with us. And may we be blessed by His eager expectation to share abundance, new pleasures, and overflowing joy with us.

Please share your thoughts with us. We’d love to keep this conversation going.  What are your prayers after reading this blog?

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