According to the Mishnah, Rabbinical teachings on the Torah, the Passover meal was eaten with a “hin” (10 pints) of red wine. [see Rev. Dr. Edersheim. “The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, as They were at the Time of Jesus Christ.” revised. Fleming H. Revell Company, London: unknown) page 204.]
“Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed.” – 1 Corinthians 5:7
A “Hin” of Wine
Although wine was not part of the original Exodus it was part of the celebration in Jesus’ day and spoke of “His blood.”
In the same way He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” [NASB20 1 Corinthians 11:25]
The wine mixed with water was poured into four (4) cups drunk at different times during the Passover meal. Why four? Well, it’s complicated—as they say. It depends on which Rabbi you ask, but I know of no Biblical significance. Nonetheless, Jesus would have honored the rabbinic tradition since He and His disciples were accustomed to it and scripture does not challenge it.
- After the first cup, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. [Luke 22:17; John 13:5].(Edersheim . page 205)
- Jesus would have sung Psalm 113:1-9 & Psalm 114:1-8 before drinking the second cup (Edersheim . page 207)
- “The cup of blessing” was third. (see 1 Corinthians 11:24) (Edersheim . page 209)
- The fourth cup was drunk singing the second portion of the “Hallel,” (Psalm 115:1 – 118:29) (Edersheim . page 210)
Interesting fact: The adult human male contains between 1.2 and 1.5 gallons of blood (A man weighing >=150 pounds or approx. 10% blood by weight. If a “hin” is 10 pints of wine and the wine represents our Savior’s blood, this suggests His weight at the time of the Cross was a little over 156 lbs. This is realistic since the average Jewish man was about 5’6″ tall and Jesus Himself was under great stress during the final year of His life before His death.
Was it significant, then, when the soldier struck the spear into the Savior’s side [John 19:34] and blood and water came out? Most assuredly! As the song writer penned, “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” His death by the shedding of His blood was important in the plan of God for our salvation [Luke 22:20].
He didn’t just shed His life’s blood from the crown of thorns on His head or from the flesh laid open by the lash. When the spear struck, Jesus in a most literal and complete sense, gave His all for our salvation.