Continuing our way through Thomas Watson’s The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper
(2.) Let us prize Christ’s blood in the sacrament. It is drink indeed, John 6:55. Here is the nectar and ambrosia God himself delights to taste of. This is both a balsam and a perfume. That we may set the higher value upon the blood of Christ, I shall show you seven rare supernatural virtues in it.
[1.] It is a reconciling blood. “You that were sometime alienated, and enemies, yet now hath he reconciled through death,” Col. 1:21. Christ’s blood is the blood of atonement. Nay, it is not only a sacrifice, but a propitiation, 1 John 2:2. which denoteth a bringing us into favour with God. It is one thing for a traitor to be pardoned, and another thing to be brought into favour. Sin rent us off from God, Christ’s blood cements us to God. If we had had as much grace as the angels, it could not have wrought our reconciliation. If we had offered up millions of holocausts and sacrifices, if we had wept rivers of tears, this could never have appeased an angry Deity: only Christ’s blood doth ingratiate us into God’s favour, and make him look upon us with a smiling aspect. When Christ died, the vail of the temple was rent: this was not without a mystery, to show that, through Christ’s blood, the vail of our sins is rent, which did interpose between God and us.
[2.] Christ’s blood is a quickening blood. “Whosoever drinketh my blood, hath eternal life,” John 6:54. It both begets life, and prevents death. “The life of a thing is in the blood,” Lev. 17:11. Sure enough, the life of our soul is in the blood of Christ. When we contract deadness of heart, and are like wine that hath lost the spirits, Christ’s blood hath an elevating power, it puts vivacity into us, making us quick and lively in our motion. “They shall mount up with wings as eagles,” Isa. 11:31.
[3.] Christ’s blood is a cleansing blood. “How much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience!” Heb. 9:14. As the merit of Christ’s blood doth pacify God, so the virtue of it doth purify us. It is the King of heaven’s bath. It is a laver to wash in. It washeth a crimson sinner milk white. “The blood of Jesus cleanseth us from all our sin,” 1 John 1:7. The word of God is a looking-glass to show us our spots, and the blood of Christ is a fountain to wash them away, Zech. 13:1.
But this blood will not wash, if it be mingled with anything. If we go to mingle anything with Christ’s blood, either the merits of saints, or prayers of angels, it will not wash. Let Christ’s blood be pure and unmixed, and there is no spot but it will wash away. It purged out Noah’s drunkenness, Lot’s incest. Indeed there is one spot so black, that Christ’s blood doth not wash away, and that is, the sin against the Holy Ghost; not but that there is virtue enough in Christ’s blood to wash it away; but he who hath sinned that sin, will not be washed; he contemns Christ’s blood, and tramples it under foot, Heb. 10:29.
[4.] Christ’s blood is a softening blood. There is nothing so hard, but may be softened by this blood; it will soften a stone. Water will soften the earth, but it will not soften a stone; but Christ’s blood mollifies a stone, it softens a heart of stone. It turns a flint into a spring. The heart which before was like a piece hewn out of a rock, being steeped in Christ’s blood, becomes soft, and the waters of repentance flow from it. How was the jailor’s heart dissolved, and made tender, when the blood of sprinkling was upon it! “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:30. His heart was now like melting wax, God might set what seal and impression he would upon it.
(5.) Christ’s blood cools the heart. 1. It cools the heat of sin. The heart naturally is full of distempered heat; it must needs be hot, being set on fire of hell. It burns in lust and passion; Christ’s blood allays this heat, it quencheth the inflammations of sin. 2. It cools the heat of conscience. In time of desertion, conscience burns with the heat of God’s displeasure; now Christ’s blood being sprinkled upon the conscience, cools and pacifies it. And in this sense Christ is compared to a river of water, Isa. 32:2. When the heart burns, and is in an agony, Christ’s blood is like water to the fire, it hath a cooling refreshing virtue in it.
[6.] Christ’s blood comforts the soul; it is good against fainting fits. Christ’s blood is better than wine. Though wine cheers the heart of a man who is well, yet it will not cheer his heart when he hath a fit of the stone, or when the pangs of death are upon him: but Christ’s blood will cheer the heart at such a time. It is best in affliction, it cures the trembling at the heart. A conscience sprinkled with Christ’s blood, can, like the nightingale, sing with a thorn at its breast. The blood of Christ can make a prison become a palace. It turned the martyrs’ flames into beds of roses. Christ’s blood gives comfort at the hour of death: as a holy man once said on his death-bed, when they brought him a cordial, “no cordial like the blood of Christ!”
[7.] Christ’s blood procures heaven. Israel passed through the Red Sea to Canaan. So through the red sea of Christ’s blood, we enter into the heavenly Canaan. “Having boldness therefore to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,” Heb. 10:19. Our sins did shut heaven; Christ’s blood is the key which opens the gate of paradise for us. Hence it is Theodoret calls the cross the tree of salvation, because that blood which trickled down the cross, distils salvation. Well then may we prize the blood of Christ, and, with St. Paul, determine to know nothing but Christ crucified, 1 Cor. 2:2. King’s crowns are only crosses, but the cross of Christ is the only crown.
Previous posts from The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper by Thomas Watson
- Part 1: A Foretaste of Heaven
- Part 2: The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper
- Part 3: The Manner of Institution of the Lord’s Supper, Part 1
- Part 4: The Manner of Institution of the Lord’s Supper, Part 2
- Part 5: Guests & Benefits
- Part 6: A Love that Passes Knowledge
- Part 7: The Infinite Love of Christ Displayed
- Part 8: The Exhortation of the Lord’s Supper