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selves are witnesses of its completion at this very moment.
The next remarkable occurrence in this chapter is the institution of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper by our Saviour, when he was eating the passover with his disciples.
The passover was one of the most solemn and sacred feasts of the Jews.
It was so called because it was established in commemoration of the deliverance of the Jews from their bondage in Egypt, at which time the destroying angel, when he put to death the first-born of the Egyptians, passed over the houses of the Israelites, which were all marked with the blood of the lamb that had been killed and eaten the evening before in every Hebrew house, and was therefore called the Paschal Lamb.
This great festival our Saviour observed with his disciples the evening before he suffered, and with them ate the paschal lamb, which was a prophetic type of himself. For he was the real paschal lamb that was sacrificed for the sins of men. He was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world *;
* Rev. xiii. 8.
the lamb without blemish and without spot *, as the paschal lamb was ordered to be f. There can be no doubt, therefore, that the paschal lamb of the Jews was meant to be an emblem of our Lord. The slaying of that lamb prefigured the slaying of Christ upon the Cross; and as those houses which were sprinkled with the blood of the lamb were passed over by the destroying angel, so they whose souls are sprinkled with the blood of Christ are saved from destruction, and their sins passed over and forgiven for his sake. And it is a very remarkable circumstance, that our Saviour was crucified, and our deliverance from the bondage of sin completed, in the same month, and on the same day of the month, that the Israelites were delivered from the bondage of Egypt, by their departure from that land. For the Israelites went out of Egypt, and Christ was put to death, on the fifteenth day of the month Nisan.
I have premised thus much respecting the passover and the paschal lamb, because it will throw considerable light on the true nature and meaning of the sacrament of the Lord's * i Pet, i. 19.
+ Ex. xii. 5.
Supper, Supper, which Jesus now instituted, and of which the evangelist gives the following account: “ When the even was come, our Lord sat down with the twelve to eat the
passover; and as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and
gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." This is the whole of the institution of this sacred rite by our blessed Lord, as recorded in St. Matthew's Gospel; and nothing can be more evident than that when he brake the bread, and gave it to his disciples, and said,
, Take, eat, this is my body; he meant to say that the bread was to represent his body, and the breaking of it was to represent the breaking of his body upon
In the same manner, when he took the
gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “ Drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the New Testament (or New Covenant) which is shed for many, for the remission of sins;" his meaning was, that the wine in the cup was to
be a representation of his blood that was shed upon
the cross as an expiation and atonement for the sins of the whole world. And his disciples were to eat the bread and drink the wine so consecrated, and so appropriated to this particular purpose, in grateful remembrance of what our Lord suffered for their salvation, and that of all mankind; for St. Luke adds these affecting and impressive words of our Saviour, This do in remembrance of me.
The Lord's Supper therefore was evidently to be a solemn commemoration and recognition of the redemption and deliverance of mankind by the death of Christ, as the feast of the passover was of the deliverance of the Israelites from the destroying angel. Nor is this all; for as the Jews were accustomed in their peace-offerings to eat a - part of the victim, and thus partook of the sacrifice ; sơ they would perceive that in this new institution, the eating of the bread and drinking of the wine was a mark and symbol of their participating in the effects of this new peaceoffering, the death of Christ; whose body was broken, and whose blood was shed for them on the cross.
They would also see that this supper of our Lord was from that time to be substituted in the room of the passover; and that they might have no doubt on this head, our Lord expressly declares that this was to be the case; for immediately after the institution of this sacrament he adds, “I say unto you,
I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.” The meaning is, this is the last time that this
shall be a representation of the passover. It shall hereafter take a new signification. When my kingdom (that is, my religion) is fully confirmed and established by my rising from the dead, this supper shall be the memorial of a more noble sacrifice. The
which was a type of the redemption to be wrought by me, shall be fulfilled and completed by my death and resurrection. The shadow passes away; the substance takes place; and when
you eat this supper in remembrance of me, there will I be virtually present amongst you; and your souls shall be nourished and refreshed by my grace, as your bodies are by the bread and wine.