“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’ Then they said to Him, ‘Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?’ And He said to them, ‘Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.’ Then He spoke a parable to them: ‘No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better’” (Luke 5:31–39, NKJV).
Christ came to cleanse and fill; to heal and to bless. He came to make broken men new vessels for new wine. Nothing could be done for the self-righteous. They were old wineskins full of themselves, full of pretentious piety and the fermentation of pride. No amount of new wine would sooth their sole; not as long as they remained old wineskins.
When we are filled up with ourselves, the newness of life in the Spirit will ruin us. We must first die to self. Before pentacost, the cross! Before the infilling of the Spirit, the emptying of self! Before new wine, a new creation: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17, NKJV).
To be in Christ, to be become a new creation, is to be crucified with Christ. Jesus said, “anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27, NIV).
Our Lord also said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23, NKJV).
This is why Paul declared, “I die daily!”
Daily death is the only way to become a new wineskin. There is no room for the Spirit in a living vessel. As long as part of me is alive, new wine will burst my bubble. But if I am dead, than the promise of Romans 8:10-11 applies: “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:10–11, NKJV).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I choose death today. To all my sin and all my shame. To self. To my will. Lord Jesus, Thy will be done. I don’t feel this Lord. There is a part of me that questions if I’m holding back. But Jesus, I’m begging You, let me die. Let me die to myself, and let Your will be done in me today.
I want to be a new wineskin, Jesus. I want the life blood of Your sacrifice to pulsate through my veins. I want Your heart pumping in me. I want Your love coursing through my arteries. O Lord, make me a wineskin of grace, a vessel of Your holiness.
Let Your Spirit spill out of me like an artesian well bringing refreshment and joy to whomever You will today. Fill me so You can spill me. Pour into me that You might pour out of me.
You know my frailty, my insecurity, and my angst… Let it all die in the love of Your goodness and grace. Be glorified in me, Lord Jesus. Be magnified. Be lifted high!