the First Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“This do in remembrance of Me.”
The same night in which he was betrayed our divine Lord instituted the sacred Supper, which is to his people the perpetual memorial of his death, and is to be celebrated till he shall come again.
And as they were eating that is to say, while yet the Paschal feast was proceeding; so that the one feast might melt into the other
He could not have meant that the bread was actually his body, for in his body he was sitting at the table, and he could not have two bodies. Nobody could misunderstand these words of Jesus unless they wished to do so, or were too devoid of reason to comprehend anything. Jesus meant evidently the bread represented his body, and should be to them in future the sign that he was really incarnate.
As if he foresaw that the Papists would take away the cup from the people, he expressly bade them all drink of it. The plainest language of command is no bond to those who are given over to the delusions of Rome.
The cup was the instructive token of his blood, for it was filled with the blood of the grape. Jesus is meat and drink to his people; their necessary food, their dainty luxury; their staff of life, their exhilaration and joy. How sweet to reflect that the memorial of our dying Lord is not a funeral wailing, but a festival of rest; not a superstitious rite, but a simple, joyful commemoration. It is a pity that by kneeling some of our brethren have missed the instruction which an easy reclining or sitting posture would have given them, in Jesus, believers have entered into rest.
Symbols were not for him, though useful to us: we shall ere long with him enjoy the reality which the emblem could but feebly typify.
Brave was the heart which could sing with death before him: surely that hymn was a battle psalm defying death and hell. In like manner let us sing in all times of trial and temptation, and so glorify our God.
1 Corinthians 11:23-29
The apostle Paul gives us a full account of this Supper, which he received by express revelation. He thus writes: 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.
1 Corinthians 11:29
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily without faith, reverence, and sincerity of soul
1 Corinthians 11:29
eateth and drinketh damnation or condemnation
1 Corinthians 11:29
He insults the ordinance by staying in the emblem and seeing no further; his heart is not occupied with the death of Jesus, he does not use the Supper as the Lord intended. Let us pay great attention to this, and mind how we behave at the Lord’s table.
According to thy gracious word,
In meek humility,
This will I do, my dying Lord,
I will remember thee.
Thy body, broken for my sake,
My bread from heaven shall be;
Thy testamental cup I take,
And thus remember thee.
“Let not your heart be troubled.”
After the supper was over our Lord addressed his disciples in language full of loving concern for them. He knew that his absence would greatly distress them, and therefore he poured forth a stream of consolations. How many thousands of tried believers have been comforted by these gracious words? All Scripture is as a garden of sweet flowers, but this passage may be compared to the rose, for its marvellous beauty and sweetness.
Though I die do not doubt me, rest in your Saviour as you do in your God.
His absence would not grieve them if they remembered the errand on which he was gone. We may well spare the bodily presence of Jesus from this world now that we know he has gone to prepare our eternal resting place.
Probably his notion was that our Lord would go to Nazareth or Galilee or some remote place to be anointed king, and prepare places for his followers, and therefore in his cool, thoughtful, practical way he sought for information. He did not know that the Lord referred to his return to glory.
Here another good disciple betrayed his ignorance, he had not yet grasped the idea of the essential union of the Father and the Son.
Till the Spirit of God illuminates the mind we learn little even from the best of teachers. God was in Christ most evidently, and yet Philip did not perceive it.
John 14:10 , John 14:11
What meaning can there be in these words if Jesus be not Divine, and one with the Father? No clearer statement of his Godhead could be given.
As God, the Lord Jesus not only had infinite power in himself but he was able to delegate it to others. His apostles wrought great miracles, and his believing disciples worked mighty spiritual works, so that more converts were brought to the faith by their testimony, than were called by the personal ministry of the Lord himself; and this, because through the Lord’s ascension into glory the Spirit of God was more fully given.
John 14:13 , John 14:14
“Good prayers,” says Bishop Hall, “never come weeping home. I am sure that I shall receive either what I ask or what I should ask.” If the best of blessings are to be had for the asking, he who will not ask deserves to go without.
Can we mourn as broken-hearted,
We who hang upon thy love,
Jesus for our sake departed
To thy Father’s house above?
Source of all our consolations,
There we our Forerunner see:
In those lasting habitations
Thou hast found a place for me.
All our hopes and souls we venture
On thy never-failing word,
Sure into thy joy to enter,
Sure to triumph with our Lord.