March 05, 2014

The Kingdom of God Has Come

Mark 14:25; 15:36-37

“I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
—Mark 14:25


While talking with his followers at the last supper, Jesus said that the next time he would drink from the fruit of the vine, it would be in the kingdom of God. That must have stirred the hearts of his disciples. The kingdom of God was ready to be revealed!

This text is often applied to the teaching about the new heaven and earth that will come with Jesus when he returns. But I think this verse must be tied to Jesus’ drink on the cross. Mark teaches that the kingdom of God comes surprisingly in Jesus’ suffering. On the cross just before Jesus gives up his spirit and dies, he drinks in the new kingdom of God (see John 19:28-30).

The kingdom comes through Jesus’ death and resurrection. In Jesus’ death we have already been judged and not condemned (John 3:18); in Jesus’ resurrection we have been raised to new life (Colossians 3:1). Thanks be to God!

Eating and drinking with each other implies the closest fellowship possible. Joy and merriment are always associated with the fruit of the vine. Our fellowship with Jesus can be much deeper and richer than we can imagine. Joy unspeakable, intimacy with the divine, table fellowship with Jesus—all of these are realities of the kingdom that Jesus achieved at the cross. So we can begin to celebrate already in this life!

Thank you, Jesus, that we do not have to wait for eternity to know that our sins are forgiven and that we can experience the joy of the kingdom now. Praise your name! Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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