And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you…” (Matthew 26:27 ESV)
During his final meal with all of the disciples Jesus instituted what has since come to be known as Communion. It is observed as a way to remember the sacrifice that Christ made. He said a prayer of thanksgiving, and then passed the cup of wine for his followers to drink.
Jesus wanted them to drink from the cup. Why? A room full of people sharing a cup sounds kind of gross to our way of thinking. But the significance behind the act goes far beyond hygiene or etiquette. The cup he was passing was a symbolic reference to the blood he was about to shed in sacrifice. He was installing the idea that it is only by his blood that salvation comes.
Jesus’ blood is the catalyst for our salvation. It is because of his sacrificial death that we have the opportunity to experience renewed life with God. It is only ours when we drink from the cup he offers, not a literal cup, but an offering of life, death, and resurrection into life.