The fruit of the vine—wine or grape juice—served two separate purposes during the ancient Seder service. It serves the same purpose today. The first glass symbolizes rejoicing for freedom won. A blessing is pronounced on the wine or grape juice:
“Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the produce of the vine. Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has … sanctified us with His Commandments. And Thou hast given us, O Lord our God, in love, … the Festival of Matzot [unleavened bread], the season of our freedom … and hast given us for our inheritance Your appointed holy times in rejoicing and gladness.” 7
The Messiah did not bless this first cup in the traditional manner. Instead, he “took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:
“For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.” (Luke 22:17–18.)
There would be no joy for the Savior until his mission on earth was completed, until he returned a glorified, resurrected being who had conquered all things in behalf of his sin-bound brothers and sisters.
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