Someone once warned me that if I ever take part in a real Passover ceremony, I should first look at how big the wine cups are. That seems an odd warning, but if you understand the Passover, you understand why. The Passover ceremony includes drinking four cups of wine, and this does not include anything you drink during the supper. These cups correspond to four statements of God from Exodus chapter 6: (1) “I will bring you out” (2) “I will free you” (3) “I will redeem you” (4) “I will take you as my own”.
The first two you drink at the beginning of the supper. The third and fourth come after the meal has been eaten.
“After the supper, he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood…” Which cup? It would be the cup that comes right after the supper, the third cup, the cup of redemption.
In that moment with his disciples Jesus made it clear that redemption is inextricably, intimately, miraculously intertwined with his blood. Redemption is found in his blood alone. Receiving his blood is to receive redemption.
There are no accidents.