by Thomas Watson
"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." Matthew 26:26-28
In these words, we have the institution of the Lord's Supper. The Greeks call the sacrament "a mystery." There is in it a mystery of wonder and a mystery of mercy. "The celebration of the Lord's Supper," said Chrysostom, "is the commemoration of the greatest blessing that ever the world enjoyed." A sacrament is a visible sermon. And herein the sacrament excels the Word preached. The Word is a trumpet to proclaim Christ. The sacrament is a glass to represent Him.
QUESTION. But why was the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper appointed? Is not the Word sufficient to bring us to heaven?
ANSWER. The Word is for the engrafting; the Sacraments are for the confirming of faith. The Word brings us to Christ; the Sacrament builds us up in Him. The Word is the font where we are baptized with the Holy Ghost; the Sacrament is the table where we are fed and cherished. The Lord condescends to our weakness. Were we made up all of spirit, there would be no need of bread and wine. But we are compounded creatures. Therefore God, to help our faith, not only gives us an audible word but a visible sign. I may here allude to that saying of our Savior, "Except ye see signs, ye will not believe," John 4:48. Christ sets His body and blood before us in the elements. Here are signs, else we will not believe.
Things taken in by the eye work more upon us than things taken in by the ear. A solemn spectacle of mortality more affects us than an oration. So, when we see Christ broken in the bread and, as it were, crucified before us, this more affects our hearts than the bare preaching of the Word.
Table of Contents
Seven Supernatural Virtues in Christ's Blood
How Should We Prepare for the Lord's Supper?
Six Differences Between a Sincere Faith and a Hypocritical Faith
Six Signs of a Great Faith