The Kiddush Cup

We have a guest blogger today who has some great information and insight on that silver cup that is mentioned in Rachel and was part of the contest giveaway in February. Her article is a delight. Please enjoy~ Silver-Plated-Stemmed-Kiddush-Cup-with-24K-Gold-Plated-Interior-and-Matching-Saucer-Grapes_largeThe Kiddush Cup

by Terri Gillespie

Right now in homes around the world, families and friends and cherished invited guests, will gather to celebrate a festival commanded by God Himself, and fulfilled in Jesus—Passover.

One of the important elements of this feast is the Kiddush cup.

At first glace, many may think the cup bears a resemblance to the Communion cup used in churches. This is not a coincidence—but more on this later.

mealKiddush is Hebrew for sanctification. So literally it is the Cup of Sanctification[2]. Traditionally the Kiddush cup is used for all festivals (Leviticus 23) except Yom Kippur—the Feast of Atonement—because it is a day of fasting and prayer.

Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus) used the cup in one of the most important of all Biblical festivals, Passover. During this meal, which was His Last Supper before His crucifixion, He and the disciples ate the lamb (Luke 22:8), bitter herbs (Matthew 26:23), and matzah/unleavened bread (Matthew 26:26) and then drank from the Kiddush cup four times[3].

Drinking from the cup(s) each time traditionally represented four promises of God as listed in Exodus 6:6-7: Sanctification—to set the Jewish people apart from the nations; Plagues—for His deliverance from the plagues; Redemption—deliverance from bondage to freedom; and Praise—for His love and mercy to redeem them.

77f8c16b2bee5a5242e224f8b20460caWhat is fascinating is that these four cups or sips of wine shared during the first night of Passover were added to the traditional Seder long before Yeshua came to earth as a Man. It was this third cup that He used to memorialize not only the Jewish people’s redemption from slavery, but to ratify the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31ff) promised to Israel and the world. He came to fulfill that prophecy spoken so long ago.

It is that “Last” Passover Supper of matzah, bitter herbs, and wine that Jewish and non-Jewish believers in the Messiah Yeshua would partake of to remember all that He did to redeem us—His suffering, death, and ultimate triumphant resurrection and ascension to heaven.

There is some debate among Jewish and non-Jewish believers whether or not the Passover should now be celebrated as the traditional Communion ceremony. Much of this centers around 1 Corinthians 11:26: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.”

Personally, I love to celebrate Passover—and the other Biblical festivals—as they are very meaningful and point me to Jesus.

However, remember earlier I wrote that the Kiddush Cup—the Cup of Sanctification—was used in all the Biblical festivals[1] (except Yom Kippur)? The first festival listed in Leviticus 23 is the Sabbath. Yes, God considered the Sabbath as a Biblical feast. A weekly holiday!

Traditionally, for thousands and thousands of years, the Jewish people have celebrated the Sabbath in their homes with bread and wine, in the Kiddush cup. And today, in Messianic Jewish homes and synagogues, that tradition continues each week.

Coincidence? I wonder.

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you His shalom—His peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)

Terri Gillespie is a wife, mother, author, and speaker. She is the author Making Eye Contact with God—A Women’s Devotional, and the novel, The Hair Mavens: She Does Good Hair. She is the creator and head writer for the Restoration of Israel Minute heard on 25 stations in 11 states and Canada, has contributed to other books, magazines, and newspapers. In August she celebrates 40 years of wedded, mostly bliss to her best friend, Miracle Bob. They have one daughter.


[1] Read more about it: God’s Appointed Times, by Barney Kasdan. The Messianic Passover Haggadah, by Barry and Steffi Rubin.


[2] Sanctification. I don’t know about you, but I was always confused by the difference between righteous and sanctification. Someone explained it like this: When we ask Jesus into our heart, He places His robe of righteousness around us. We can stand before our Heavenly Father wearing His robe and God sees His righteousness. Sanctification is what we do under that robe—how we work to be more like Jesus.

[3] Four Cups? In some homes, families use four cups.