Jesus, life, Light

Six Stone Jars and a Cup of Forgiveness

I heard something beautiful in church yesterday as we read the story of Jesus’s first recorded miracle at the wedding in Cana. If you know the story, you know that there was a wine shortage.

Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons…

Jesus instructed servants to fill those six stone jars with water and they did – to the brim.

The water became wine. Abundant wine. As the pastor called it, “An overabundance of wine to make the heart of mankind glad.”

Except, he said, he has been a pastor long enough, and walked with enough struggling people to know that an overabundance of wine – alcohol – does not bring happiness. It brings trouble.

So what kind of wine was this?

Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  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.’”

The blood of the covenant, poured out for the forgiveness of sins.

An overabundance of forgiveness makes the heart of mankind glad.

It’s the cup of forgiveness, not alcohol, that brings happiness to mankind, to marriages, to all relationships.

Pairing the abundance of wine at the wedding feast with an abundance of forgiveness was brilliant.

Jesus’s very first miracle, which on the surface seems to be about averting a faux pas, was actually a foreshadowing of His last and greatest miracle – the pouring out of an overabundance of forgiveness. The pouring out of His blood for our purification.

It’s been way too long since I heard a fresh insight on a Sunday morning and boy was it refreshing. And thrilling.

In describing His actions at the last supper, the pastor said Jesus lifted the cup that was reserved for Elijah and said, “This is the blood of my covenant…”

I had never before heard that Jesus lifted Elijah’s cup. It seems to me Jesus would raise His own cup, the one His Father gave Him to drink. The one from which, He later confessed, He did not want to drink. Even so, “if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.

But regardless of whose cup it was, I was thrilled once again. Because I have been to a Seder, and I know that a place is set for Elijah, and I know that the last supper was at Passover, but it hadn’t occurred to me that, because the last supper was a Seder feast, a place would have been set for Elijah.

A new insight, something to ponder and investigate…It was a really good morning.





6 thoughts on “Six Stone Jars and a Cup of Forgiveness

  1. Alma Mater says:

    What significance do you find in the fact that Jesus did not at first want to get involved at Cana, but was influenced to do so by his mother? This is given great significance by Catholics, who use it to show that he “will not deny his mother anything,” and to justify bringing their petitions to Mary to bring to Him. I do not agree with this, as there is no mediator between God and man except Jesus. I do not believe that we have any need of a mediator between Jesus and us. But as my mother says, if this story is not meant to show us that Mary is a Mediatrix (as the Roman Catholic Church calls her), then why is Mary a part of that story? Just wondering if you had any thoughts on that. I haven’t been able to come up with anything really satisfying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve often wondered about that and I don’t have a definitive answer but I do know two things:
      Jesus said that He could do nothing by Himself, He could only do what He saw his Father doing. On another occasion He said He didn’t speak on His own, He only said what His Father commanded. So when He told his mom that His time had not yet come, it must have been because His Dad wasn’t doing anything yet.

      The fifth commandment says, “Honor your father and mother.” So now the will of His earthly mother is at odds with the timing of His heavenly Father. So who does He honor? I think His Father must have given Him the go ahead. So He could set a good example. So He could keep all the commandments perfectly, be a Lamb without blemish. (Not that obeying every whim of one’s mother = honoring her. Rather acting honorably in all situations and not bringing shame upon her = honoring her.) OR perhaps the Father used the mother, put the words in her mouth. Because He does that, He lets us participate in what He is doing.

      However it happened, I agree, the only mediator we need is Jesus. Thanks for the insight into Catholicism.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed this perspective on the wedding at Cana Julie! I know Jesus’s intention was not to fill limitless cups of wine for the attendees to get drunk and throw a wild party around him, but I always had this image in the back of my mind whenever I read that passage and it didn’t jibe at all with the message. Now limitless cups of forgiveness however makes much more sense.

    Liked by 1 person

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