This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf.
The end was soon coming to the old Law covenant between God and natural-born Israelites. It would be replaced by a new covenant between Jehovah and Jesus’ anointed followers. Jesus was deeply concerned about the welfare of this new spiritual nation. Natural Israel was hopelessly divided religiously and socially, bringing great reproach on God’s holy name. In contrast, Jesus desired that his followers remain perfectly united so that they could work harmoniously together to bring glory to God’s name. So, what does Jesus do? He offers the most beautiful prayer that any human will ever be privileged to read. We are in a position to look back and ask, “Has God answered Jesus’ prayer?” We should also examine ourselves and ask, “Am I acting in harmony with it?”
Mere moments after Jesus uttered his beautiful prayer he was arrested by the mob Judas led. Then the remaining eleven apostles were scattered. When Jesus died that following afternoon all the disciples were grieved, perplexed and confused.
Although Jesus had explained to them on numerous occasions that he was going to be handed over to the Jews and put to death the disciples could not comprehend what he was saying. It was only after Christ was resurrected and began appearing to them in various guises, opening their minds with God’s powerful spirit and word, that they were finally able to understand.
On one occasion three days after his death a few disciples were walking on the road and Jesus came alongside them, pretending not to know the events that had transpired in Jerusalem. Not recognizing it was the Lord they explained to him that they had hoped the man would be the Messiah, then Jesus said to them: “‘O senseless ones and slow of heart to believe all the things the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?’ And starting with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them things pertaining to himself in all the Scriptures.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses are in the same situation today, as were the disciples before Christ was executed and raised up again. The Governing Body boast about having organizational unity, just like Peter boasted that he would never stumble, only to deny knowing Jesus mere hours later.
The problem with the disciples was, as Jesus said, they were slow in heart to believe the Prophets. So is the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Just as the disciples could not imagine that Jesus was going to be handed over, Bethel cannot fathom the organization crumbling at any point in the future and not serving as the beacon on the hill. Ultimately, they cannot imagine being rebuked by Jesus as being senseless and slow in heart.
Yet what does the prophet say? “‘O sword, awake against my shepherd, against the man who is my companion,’ declares Jehovah of armies. ‘Strike the shepherd, and let the flock be scattered; and I will turn my hand against those who are insignificant.'”
While the prophecy applied initially to Jesus when he was literally struck by the Jews and Romans before they took his life, the ultimate fulfillment has to do with the second coming of Christ. That is evident from the context, which segues into Jehovah going into battle with all the nations, his holy ones being with him — an obvious parallel with the war at Armageddon.
It is only in the aftermath of the coming crash that true unity will prevail — not under the authority of the Watchtower, but in the Kingdom of God.