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13. "For Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us."Matthew and Mark say, "while they were eating," Luke "after supper.”
Of the twelve who were called to partake, two only record the fact, Matthew and Mark: Luke also mentions the Supper, but he was not a partaker, not an Apostle, not a preacher, but a layman, a physician, a holy, beloved believer;-by his own testimony he never saw Jesus; and surely none would prefer his testimony to an eye-witness and partaker; not at all that his evidence is at variance with the brethren, but they had the true light shining before them, which Luke as it were, received only by reflection.
Matt. xxvi. 26-29, says, "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the 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. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."
Mark, xiv. 22-25, writes, " And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the New Testament, which
is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
In neither of whose testimony is there the shadow of continuance, but quite the reverse; our Saviour declaring, "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." Here is no command, it amounts to a negative, if not prohibitory; as the absence of all light proves darkness. And where is the benefit if the Lord's presence be not in the service?
Luke, xxii. 15-20, thus records. "And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer. For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you." As if our Lord had said, "Ye who are present, when my body is broken on the cross, and my blood shed by mine enemies-by this type, remember me- -in this last type of broken bread, and wine poured out, remember me: in
type I have shown you things to come-remember me." And Christ crucified, was what they were to bring to remembrance—his cross-his atonement—his love—his commandments! This is the finishing type of the Passover, "The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." "The good Lord pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his Fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the Sanctuary." 2 Chro. xxx. 19—20.
John wrote his Gospel eighty years after Christ was crucified; he never mentions the supper at all. This beloved Apostle, knew more of his MASTER'S mind than all the rest. In the 6th chap. with what spiritual light does he manifest the life of the true believer-the real partaker of his flesh and blood-his daily life-not a monthly, or weekly partaker of a dead ordinance.
"The law of commandments contained in ordinances," Paul considered our Lord to have "abolished in his flesh." Eph. ii. 15; see Col. 2. Take then living supplies for every moment from the precious substance by faith-let Christ perceive continually, "that virtue is gone out of him!"
Jesus blessed, and brake, and gave to the multitude, when twelve baskets of fragments were taken up; and gave thanks, and brake, and gave, to the seven thousand, when seven baskets full of fragments were taken up: -the same expressions precisely as at the Passover. In Luke, xxiv. 30, the same expressions are used to two
disciples as at the Passover; and if this is to be understood of the Supper, it again took place within three days. No, that Jesus opened to them the Scriptures, was the cause of joy to the two disciples.
In ii. 42, of the Acts of the Apostles, it is written, "And they continued stedfastly in the Apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Now if this verse stood alone there might be some ground to rest on, but five verses after ::16 They continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart." It is therefore evident the people assembled to hear the Gospel. Breaking of bread, is applied by ministers of various denominations of the present day, to preaching the Gospel-dispensing the word-or breaking the bread of life to the people. (“The young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them." Lam. iv. 4.) Chap. xx. 7. "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight." In the 11th verse is the same expression, “ And eaten," added, which from the circumstance that had occurred, occasioning a break in Paul's discourse, he then refreshed himself by food, "and continued preaching until break of day." A second perusal of the passage will amply satisfy that there is not even a decent solemnity in the manner it is expressed
for such a service. Verse 20, 21. "And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house. Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." The last mention in the Acts of breaking bread," which bears in words a much nearer resemblance to those of our Lord, than either of the others, is in the account of Paul's shipwreck. Chap. xxvii. 33-35. "And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried, and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat; for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all, and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat." There were two hundred and seventy-six souls on board, their deeds manifested they were not all believers; would Paul have administered the supper to such a company, at such a time, and in such a place? The most strenuous advocate for the supper, would say, certainly not! The daily acts of this spiritually minded man were done to the glory of God. As he said in another place, “ Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do