Fourth Cup of Jesus

I’ve read that the consecrated Blood in the Last Supper was the third cup of Passover, and the sour wine (vinegar) Jesus had on the Cross was the fourth, which is the last and thus He said it is consummated.

But at the consecration of the Last Supper, Jesus said: “And I say to you, I will not drink again from this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.” (Matthew 26:29)

Was the sour wine on the Cross the fourth cup, or has the fourth cup not yet been drunk until Jesus drinks it with us in heaven? Were all the four cups that Jesus had drunken recorded in the Gospels, or do we only know the last two?

From what I’ve read, the first cup mentioned in the Gospels at the Last Supper is what was drunk with the Passover meal. The second cup that was drunk is not mentioned, but is drunk in-between the Passover meal & communion. The third cup is what was eaten with the communion bread.

Jesus drank the fourth cup on the cross when the wine was lifted up to him on the cross on the hyssop branch, as described in Gospel of John. Immediately afterwards he said “It is finished”, thus ending the Passover sacrifice, and then he died. Presumably on that day he went down into Hell, freed the righteous, went up to Heaven with them and established his kingdom. Note that after Jesus died he’s outside of earthly time so all this stuff can be said to have happened on the same day (he also tells the Good Thief that “today” he will be with Jesus in Paradise).

Scott Hahn has a whole book on this called “The Fourth Cup”.


As @Tis_Bearself posted, Scott Hahn has a book called The Fourth Cup. I think EWTN has a series on it or one of his other books with Scott Hahn & Mike Aquilina.

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You beat me to it!

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But Jesus said He will drink that cup with the Apostles in heaven. Even if it’s the same day, He drank it before He entered heaven (as He is still alive on earth). Nor were the Apostles in heaven yet, not until they were martyred (or died naturally for John).

If you read his literal words, he said he wouldn’t drink again until “that day when” he established his kingdom. He drank again on “that day when” he established his kingdom. He didn’t say he would not drink again until he actually got to Heaven.

Also, the minute Jesus died his kingdom was established so he was in Heaven. He does everything in Heaven “with” the whole Church, which would include the Church Triumphant in Heaven and the Church Militant on earth, including the apostles. The apostles didn’t need to be in Heaven drinking with him. Jesus only needed to be in Heaven, and indeed he went there.

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According to theologians like Dr. Scott Hahn, the sour wine on the Cross was the fourth cup.

I think his argument make a lot of sense. However, I don’t think there is an official Church teaching on this.

God bless

Then what’s the significance of sayong that “He wouldn’t drink the cup again until that day”, if that day was just the same day? (Last Supper and Crucifixion happened on the same day, Nisan 14, in Jewish calendar)

No disrespect to Scott Hahn, but what I was taught in my 20+ years in Messianic Judaism and myself teaching on the Passover and hosting Passovers, the 4 cups of wine are drunk because of four promises in the book of Exodus. They are referred to as “The Four I Wills” (Exodus 6:6-7)

The first cup is drunk and represents the first “I will”: “I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.”

The second cup represents the second “I Will”: “I will free you from being slaves to them.”

The Third cup: “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm”

The Fourth cup: “I will take you as my own people”

The third cup was completed on the cross when Jesus died and “redeemed us with an outstretched arm”

But the Fourth cup, representing the Fourth I will, “I will take you as my own people” will be fulfilled when Jesus comes back, takes us to be his own people, and as he said, drinks the fourth cup with us in the kingdom of heaven.

This teaching would follow the meaning of the cups in the Passover. Scott Hahn’s idea perhaps has merit within its own self and ideas, but it doesn’t really follow the meaning of the cups as laid out in the Passover.

  1. I could be wrong, but, I don’t think the Jews in Jesus’s time used the Jewish calendar in day to day conversations. I think it was pretty liturgical at this point in history. Afterall, they were part of the Roman Empire, and the Roman Calendar was the official calendar.

I think the Jewish calendar was used in Jesus’s time the same way it’s used today in places like the United States.

So I think you are taking this a little too literal.

  1. I don’t think Jesus wanted to advertise to his apostles “hey guys - FYI, I’m going to be kidnapped tonight and killed tomorrow. So I’ll drink this final cup when I get to Heaven at 3PM.” :slight_smile:

God Bless

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I don’t remember exactly what Dr. Hahn says, but he points out his theories of when the first three cups were drank from Scripture.

NOTE: I’m not saying he’s right or wrong. It’s just a theory he has.

Didn’t Jesus drink three cups at the actual meal though? How did you get from two cups to the cross?

I remember glancing through Scott Hahn’s book, and from what I remember, he bases a lot on Jesus’ statement that he wouldn’t drink from the cup again until he drank it in the kingdom of heaven.

The gospels aren’t really meant to explain the exact order of the rituals in the Passover meal which Jesus ate, so it can be hard to follow. This is especially seen in Mark’s Gospel, when in Mark 22:17 it says, "Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you that from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” But then later on, in verse 20 it has him drinking from the wine again after the meal. (Both the third and fourth cups are drank after the meal.)

I also remember…I think it was in Scott Hahn’s Introduction to his book, that he says that some people wouldn’t agree with his theories on this, so to me, like you’re saying, his book is just his theory.

… I hope this answers your question, too, @Tis_Bearself, that the gospels don’t really show everything at the Passover meal or their exact order.

I think for the meal description I would tend to follow John because he was there. (Assuming that John wrote the gospel of John, which is a whole other discussion we could have, but I prefer to just keep things simple.)

Another problem arises from the Gospel of Matthew:

I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. (Matthew 26:29)

The sour wine Jesus drank on the Cross didn’t seem very new. I was thinking, if it is possible, that Jesus didn’t actually drink it. The Gospels only said He received it, but He could’ve took it into His mouth without drinking it, just to taste the sourness, like the time when the soldiers gave Him wine with gall. (Matthew 27:34)

But then we have to explain another question: What does “It is finished” mean, if that wasn’t the fourth cup? His sacrifice wasn’'t finished yet, He was still alive, and yet death was a part of the sacrifice. Nor was salvation finished yet, since His resurrection is also part of it. Could it possibly mean that what He can do for human race in His earthly life was all finished?

Another problem arises also because there is a fluid ounce requirement the cup must hold and one must drink in order to qualify as a cup of wine.

Cup Requirements : The cup must hold at least a reviis of wine (3.8 fl. oz., or 112 ml).

**Minimum to drink to fulfill the commandment: One must drink at least 1.9 fl. oz. (56 ml) for each of the four cups.

By the time of Christ, requirements for the Passover had already been laid down. I don’t see how taking a little vinegar from a sponge would qualify as drinking a cup of wine.

IDK, this whole thread seems to be getting into letter of the law stuff rather than focusing on what was actually happening. Does it really matter if Jesus said “It is finished” 10 seconds before he died rather than after he died? He clearly meant that his sacrifice was finished as he was about to die. I don’t see a point to picking it apart further, sorry.

I thought the point of Hahn’s book was that Jesus himself is the fourth cup. His own blood in the paschal mystery.

It’s kind of unpreventable to go into details when it comes to apologetics. If we only look at the big picture without seeing the details, there is no meaning for apologetics, since the big picture is pretty obvious and the Church has explained a lot about it. If we are eager to know what Jesus actually did and why did He do so, it is important to look for details and their linkage with the Jewish customs.

Whether it is 10 seconds earlier or later does consitute a difference in understanding and theology developed by these understanding. The wages of sin is death, and so Jesus paid this price by dying on the Cross. Death is part of His redemption, therefore salvation has not been finished. Therefore the meaning of “It is finished” is not referring to salvation itself. If we do not consider these details, we are left with no clue on how to narrow down the possibilities of the meaning of the Last Words of Jesus. (“It is finished” seem pretty straightforward to you, but not for all. There has been several threads on CAF discussing this with different posters suggesting different possible meanings.)

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