Continuing our way through Thomas Watson’s The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper as we meditate on the Lord’s Supper
“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26–28, ESV)
See in this text, as in a glass, infinite love displayed.
- Behold the love of God the Father, in giving Christ to be broken for us; that God should put such a jewel in pledge is the admiration of angels; “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” John 3:16. It is a pattern of love without a parallel; it was a far greater expression of love in God to give his Son to die for us, than if he had voluntarily acquitted us of the debt, without any satisfaction at all. If a subject be disloyal to his sovereign, it argues more love in the king, to give his own son to die for that subject, than to forgive him the wrong freely.
- Behold, the amazing love of Christ, “His body was broken.” The cross, says St. Augustine, was a pulpit in which Christ preached his love to the world. Let us see a holy climax or gradation of the love of Christ!It was wonderful love, that Christ, who never had the viper of sin fastened on him, should be reputed a sinner. That he who hated sin should be made sin, 2 Cor. 5:21. That he who is numbered among the Persons of the Trinity, should be numbered among transgressors, Isa. 53:12.
- That Christ should suffer death. “Lord,” says Bernard, “thou hast loved me more than thyself; for thou didst lay down thy life for me.” The emperor Trajan rent off a piece of his own robe to bind up one of his soldier’s wounds. Christ rent off his own flesh for us. Nay, that Christ should die as the greatest sinner, having the weight of all men’s sins laid upon him; here was most transporting love! It sets all the angels in heaven a wondering.
- That Christ should die freely; “I lay down my life,” John 10:17. There was no law to enjoin him, no force to compel him. It is called the offering of the body of Jesus, Heb. 10:10. What could fasten him to the cross, but the golden link of love!
- That Christ should die for such as we are. What are we? Not only vanity, but enmity. When we were fighting, he was dying; when he had the weapons in our hands, then had he the spear in his side, Rom. 5:8.
- That Christ died for us, when he could not expect to be at all bettered by us. We were reduced to penury; we were in such a condition, that we could neither merit Christ’s love, nor requite it: for Christ to die for us when we were at such a low ebb, was the very quintessence of love. One man will extend kindness to another, so long as he is able to requite him; but if he be fallen to decay, then love begins to slacken and cool; but when we were engulfed in misery, and were fallen to decay, we had lost our beauty, stained our blood, spent our portion, then Christ died for us. Oh amazing love, which may swallow up all our thoughts!
- That Christ should not repent of his sufferings; “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied” Isa. 53:11. It is a metaphor that alludes to a mother, who though she has suffered greatly, yet does not repent of it, when she sees a child brought forth: so, though Christ had hard travail upon the cross, yet he does not repent of it, but thinks all his sufferings well bestowed. He shall be satisfied; the Hebrew word signifies such a satiating, as a man has at some sweet repast or banquet.
- That Christ should rather die for us than the angels that fell. They were creatures of a more noble extraction, and in all probability might have brought greater revenues of glory to God; yet that Christ should pass by these golden vessels, and make us, clods of earth, into stars of glory – O the hyperbole of Christ’s love!
- Yet another step of Christ’s love, for, like the waters of the sanctuary, it rises higher! That Christ’s love should not cease at the hour of death. We write in our letters, “Your friend till death,” but Christ wrote in another style, “Your Friend after death!” Christ died once, but loves ever. He is now testifying his affection to us; he is making the mansions ready for us, John 14:2. He is interceding for us, Heb. 7:23. He appears in the court as the advocate for the client. When he has done dying, yet he has not done loving; what a stupendous love was here! Who can meditate upon this, and not be in an ecstasy? Well may the apostle call it, “A love that passes knowledge,” Eph. 3:19. When you see Christ broken in the sacrament, think of this love.