We learned several really interesting things about Jesus' death and the Lord's Supper.
When Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday it was "the tenth day of the month when Jewish families picked Passover lambs of sacrifice."He wept when Jerusalem came into sight -Luke 19:41 "And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it saying, 'If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes"--He proceeded to tell them about the destruction of Jerusalem that would occur in 70 ad...."The Messiah who came on 'Lamb selection day to establish His kingdom by being a servant and giving up His life as the Lamb of God, wept for the people of Jerusalem when they didn't receive Him as God's Messiah and rejected the deliverance He offered."
The blowing of a shofar-- "During old Testament times, perhaps even going back to the time of Moses, the Jewish priests traditionally slaughtered the Passover sacrifice at 3:00 in the afternoon after blowing a shofar--a special horn. They then offered the sacrifice at 3:30, following the daily sacrifice. Both the daily sacrifice and the Passover sacrifice were offered to symbolically cleanse the nation of Israel of its sin." "At exactly 3:00 (the 'ninth hour" as the Bible puts it in Luke 23:45), just as the Passover lamb was being killed, Jesus looked up into heaven and said, 'Father , into your hands I commit my spirit." And having said this, He breathed His last.'"
The symbolism of the cup. The marriage cup. "During biblical times, a young man who wanted to marry would accompany his father to the chosen woman's house, where she and her father would be present. They'd negotiate a steep 'bride price'--the money or physical items that the woman's father would ask for in exchange for giving up his valuable daughter. Then the young man's father would hand his son a cup of wine. The son, in turn, would offer it to the woman and say, 'This cup I offer to you.' In effect he was saying, 'I love you, and I offer you my life. Will you marry me?' If she drank it (sealing their engagement), she accepted his life and gave him hers. If not , she simply declined."
"The Passover Cup. During the Passover liturgy of Jesus' day, participants would drink from four cups of wine at different times. The third cup was called the cup of salvation. While celebrating the Passover with His disciples in the Upper Room, Jesus offered them the cup of salvation and said, 'This cup is a new covenant in My blood.' He was saying, in effect, 'I love you. I give you My life. Will you marry Me? Will you be My spiritual bride? Will you give your life to Me? So every time we drink from the Communion cup when the minister says, "This cup is a new covenant in my blood," God is saying to us, 'I love you. I invite you to be My spiritual bride.' And every time we drink it, we are in effect saying to Him, 'I accept your gift, and I give You my life in return."
"The Cup from Which Jesus Drank in Order to Become Our Spiritual Husband. Jesus asked His Father the night before He died, 'If it is possible, may this cup be taken from me' (Matthew 26:39). He knew the high price He would have to pay to purchase His bride and become our spiritual husband."
(quotes from Ray Vander Laan's Faith Lessons) These really make the understanding of Jesus' death and the communion service even more meaningful.
(picture from flickr