The New Covenant Cup

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.


The letter to the Corinthians was written before any of the gospels.  Therefore, it contains the earliest reference to the institution of the Eucharist. The synoptic gospels tell the same story. Jesus takes the cup of wine and declares that it is the cup of his blood – the blood of the new covenant. The old covenant was ratified in the blood of animals sacrificed to God, but the new covenant is ratified with a cup of wine that has been transformed into the blood of Christ. In the old covenant, the blood is provided by the people who offer the sacrifice. In the new covenant, the blood is provided by God in Christ. The sacrifice is offered by Christ to the Father on behalf of God’s people. In Christ, a new relationship is established with God. By the shedding of his blood and our drinking from this cup, we are united to God in a new way.

The cup of the new covenant enables us to not only know God and to be God’s Chosen People. The cup of the new covenant unites us to God in a new way. Christ’s blood now flows throughout our bodies. Divinity itself dwells in us.

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