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To be continued...

"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.” Matthew 26.29

And, with this, Jesus breaks off the Passover Meal he shared with the disciples as their Last Supper together before his passion and death. Traditionally four ceremonial cups of wine are shared on this occasion. The cup which Jesus re-dedicated as the "New Covenant in my blood " was the third - the cup of redemption - and it is at this point that Jesus makes his enigmatic remark (above). which is suggestive of a very different ending to what might have been expected in the circumstances. Far from bidding everyone farewell, Jesus looks forward to a more glorious future.

With the benefit of hindsight we know how the mystery is resolved: his death on the cross is not the ignominious end everyone must have thought at the time. Three days later he rises again and, insofar as his triumph marks out a further and vital incursion of the Kingdom of God into the affairs of the world, Jesus comes good on his promise and his disciples' joy is complete. Yet still we look forward because the Kingdom of God has yet to come in its fulness, which awaits the return of Jesus in glory. But this time we are not so sceptical. We have learned to trust Jesus, however unlikely his promises, because we know that, for God, all things are possible.

Whenever we break bread and share the cup in Holy Communion, we "proclaim the Lord's death until he comes...". And so we add our voices and our witness to the continuing significance of Jesus' life, death and resurrection and of our expectation of his imminent return...



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