New Wine and Old Wineskins
For the longest time this concept confused me.
The confusion came because I didn’t have the revelation of Jesus as the New Wine of the New Covenant.
The scripture reads like this in Luke 5: Nobody puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins-the wine will be spilt and the skins ruined. No, new wine must be put into new wineskins (JB Phillips).
There was also some confusion because I didn’t have practical knowledge about how wine is made. I knew I liked a good Malbec and have yet to find a Cabernet I dislike, but as far as the science behind winemaking was concerned, I knew nothing.
Grapes that are crushed (and some other liquids added in) have to have time to ferment. The fermentation process is fairly simple. The sugars break down, gasses escape, and the liquid becomes bubbly and delicious.
The point here is this: fermentation causes wineskins to stretch. This is why new wine cannot be placed in old wineskins. The fermentation will cause the skin to expand and it’ll burst open.
If you would like to learn more about winemaking, check this video out:
Jesus is the Wine!
Now, Luke was not just giving us the best recipe for wine in Luke 5. Like everything in the Bible, this was a scripture pointing to Jesus and the message of the finished work of the cross.
Jesus is the wine of the new covenant. He is the new thing! Back in Luke 5, Jesus was the new kid on the block with a radical message of salvation. He was stirring up religious people and causing all kinds of trouble.
This new wine didn’t fit in the old skin of religion. Jesus burst the old skins of religion and sent them flying in all directions!
Before Jesus came on the scene, salvation was achieved through work and sacrifices by keeping the law. Jesus’ message was clear: if you are going to try and save yourself through keeping the law, you’re going to have to dismember yourself and keep very very busy sacrificing and keeping up with your sins because you’ll be a slave to sin and have a sin nature under the old covenant.
Jesus had a different plan for salvation: Himself!
The master plan was for Jesus, Mr. Merry, to offer himself as a final sacrifice once and for all. He was planning on taking us all into the House of Wine and locking us inside forever!
He was removing the old way of the old covenant and introducing everyone to the better way, the new covenant, or the new wine.
Luke 5 in the JB Phillips continues this way: Of course, nobody who has been drinking old wine will want the new at once. He is sure to say, “The old is a good sound wine.”
Jesus, in all his skirmishes with the religious people of his day, which, by the way, are not at all different from the religious people of our day, knew that there was going to be a lot of push back and resistance at first. He was radically shifting everyone’s paradigm over night! Jesus was moving everyone’s cheese and not apologizing for it!
He knew that the religious would be peeved that there was even the mention of a new covenant. They were perfectly content drinking the old stuff!
But Jesus has never been content with what is old! He doesn’t want any of that old time religion, he is looking ahead toward the new because he is the new!
Be encouraged in this today:
Jesus broke the mold when he came on the scene preaching salvation that didn’t require sacrifice other than himself. He told everyone to eat of himself, knowing full well that the Jews were going to be thinking cannibalism. He wasn’t polite about this message, he wasn’t politically correct, and he didn’t care how much hot water he got himself into.
Jesus is the new wine! And he broke the rule, too! He put himself in the middle of the old covenant, or the old wineskin, and the thing broke into a million pieces. Some in the church have been trying to find the pieces and put the ol’ thing back together ever since!
We don’t live by the law any longer, but we live under grace. That’s not to say that you can do what you want like some have slanderously accused us of saying. That’s to say that you are under grace, not law, and you drink deeply from the new wine.
Enjoy Jesus today, folks. Enjoy him and drink deep from the wine he’s offering! You are saved by grace through faith. Jesus is the best news anyone has ever heard of!
Take a listen to Godfrey Birtill sining about this wine that’s alive: