On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” John 2:1-3

Pinot noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc. All are specially crafted. All are favored by some. All are wine. Perhaps you are quite the connoisseur, able to tell various types and makes of wines apart. Or, perhaps you are like me, and couldn’t tell a good wine from a poor wine. This one thing I do know, where there is a special occasion or party, it is likely that you will also find wine among the guests.

Such was the case at the wedding at Cana. Jesus’ mother was in attendance at the event, and Jesus and His disciples were invited as well. I love that one of the first places we see Christ on the scene is at a party!

Before long, though, there is a HUGE problem; the hosts have run out of wine. In our modern context, this doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Our weddings are short compared to the feasts and celebrations in the Bible. However, in this time and culture, to run out of wine would have been a branding of lifelong shame upon the family. In the culture of this particular bride and groom, wine was strongly connected to life. It was considered a mark of joy (Ecc. 9:7).

Though Jesus remarks later in the text that this calamity was not really His problem and that His time had not yet come, Jesus yet has compassion on the situation and performs His first public miracle, changing water into wine.

How like Christ to reach into our shame and instead bring about life! It’s interesting to note that, years later, Jesus would hold His own cup of wine and use it as the symbol for His blood shed for us. Leviticus 17 reminds us that “life” is in the blood. Such a fitting metaphor for Christ to use to commemorate the ultimate life-giving act, for “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.” – Hebrews 9:22

With either a journal, more creative means like paint or even marker, or just verbally, take some time to express your gratitude for the forgiveness of your sins. How do you feel knowing that Jesus didn’t leave us without wine “life” or with “shame”, but that He came to bring us “new” and “best”? Perhaps, as you worship, listen to the song “New Wine” and ask God to bring new life to you today.

By Sheila Rennau