Week after week Pastor Leithart or I stand here and repeat the words of Christ that this cup is the new covenant in the blood of Jesus for the remission of sins. And if we remember our Bibles well, we know that Jesus originally said these words before he was betrayed, before he was falsely accused, before he was spat upon, beaten, mocked, and scourged. He gave his disciples this cup of forgiveness in his blood before he was crucified like a common criminal. And he gives it to us to drink. And this goes in two directions. First, while the text doesn’t tell us explicitly, it is most likely that Jesus drank the cup first and then handed it to his disciples. This follows the Jewish customs of celebrating Passover, and it fits with Jesus’ previous question regarding whether his disciples were able to drink the cup that he would drink. Jesus sets the example, he drinks the cup of forgiveness first and then offers it to us. He goes to the cross first, and calls upon us to follow him there. And this is because when we have been wronged, when we have been cheated, lied about, mistreated, abused, and hurt it is death to forgive. To forgive scoundrels, to forgive dogs, to forgive enemies and even friends who have hurt us deeply, to forgive them is to go to the cross. It is to die. And Jesus did it first. He took the cup and drank it for us first, and then he hands it to us and says drink it, all of you. Secondly, we can never forget that the forgiveness that Jesus drank includes our own forgiveness. Jesus drinks first because we must be forgiven first. Jesus suffers and bleeds and dies for our failures, our lies, our slander, our cowardice, our abuse of others. And then he offers us the cup, and he says, do you believe that you forgiven? Can you drink this cup? This is the cup of forgiveness. Drink it all of you. You are drinking the forgiveness of God. The blood shed for the remission of sins. Jesus knows that you have failed, and he lifts this cup and says this is for you. Jesus knows what you’ve done, and he knows what’s been done against you, and he says come and drink. If you have been hurt, if you have been wronged, and you need the strength to forgive, then this cup is for you. And if you have been the one in the wrong, if you have inflicted pain and sin, then likewise, this cup is for you. This is the cup of forgiveness, and because it is the cup of forgiveness, it is also the cup of joy and salvation. So come and rejoice.