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2. Because He would keep His part of but plain bread, to show you that the covenant. Before the world was He when He became a surety for sinners, entered into covenant with His Father, He did not come in His original glory, that He would stand as a substitute with His Father's angels (Heb. ii. 16). for sinners; and therefore when He 2. He chose bread to show you that did come to suffer, His very righteous- He was dumb, and opened not His ness sustained and restrained Him. mouth. When I break the bread it
3. Because of His love, Love to resists not—it complains not-it yields perishing sinners made the Son of God to my hand. So it was with Christ. enter into covenant with His Father Some of you believe not. You do not to bear wrath in their stead. The consent to take this silent Lamb as a same love male Him keep the cove- sin-offering for your soul. Either you nant He had made. It was love that do not feel your need of Him, or you tie. His tongue, &c.
have not faith to look to Him. But if 4. Because He sought His Father's you do not truly look to Him, be not glory. It is more glorifying to God so rash, so daring, so inconsistent as when sin is punished in His own Son to take the bread and wine. You than when it is punished in the poor say: It was my sin that lay so heavy worms that committed it.
on His heart, &c. Come, then, to the III. The broken bread represents
broken bread and poured-out wine; the silent sufferings of Christ.
feed on them; appropriate Christ in I set before you the plainest and them; and whilst you feed on the simplest picture of the silent sufferings
emblems of the silent Lanıb, do this of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
in remembrance of Jesus.-R. M. In that night in which He was be- M'Cheyne. trayed He took bread. Why bread ? I. There never was such a sufferer. 1. Because of its plainness and com- II. There never were such sufferings.
He did not take silver, or III. There never was such conduct gold, or jewels, to represent His body, under suffering.-I. E. Page.
THE SHEEP BEFORE THE SHEARERS.
liii. 7. As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, 86 I. Consider our Saviour's patience punishment of our sins. I see in this under the figure of a sheep before her complete subission ; a complete absorpshearers. Our Lord was dumb and tion in His work (a). opened not his mouth-1. Against his II. View our own case under the adversaries. He did not accuse one of same metaphor. We can go, and do them of cruelty or injustice. 2. Against go, as sheep under the shearers' hands. any one of us. No doubt he looked Just as a sheep is taken by the shearer, across the ages; for that eye of His and its wool is all cut off, so doth the was not dim, even when bloodshot Lord take His people and shear them, on the tree, and He might have looked taking away all their earthly comforts at your indifference and mine, at our at times, and leaving them bare as coldness of heart and unfaithfulness, shorn sheep. I wish when it came to and He might have left on record our turn to undergo this shearing some such words as these: “I am operation it could be said of us as of suffering for those who are utterly un- our Lord. I fear that we open our worthy of my regard ; their love will
mouths a great deal, and make no end be a very poor return for mine," &c. of complaint. But there is not a hint of such a feel- 1. À sheep rewards its owner for all ing, not a trace of it. 3. Against His his care and trouble by being shorn. Father. 4. Against the severity of the There is nothing else that I know of
that a sheep can do. Some of God's Whenever the Lord afflicts us He people can give to Christ a tribute of selects the best possible time. gratitude by active service, and they 7. When God takes away our mercies should do so gladly every day of their He is ready to supply us with more. lives; but many others cannot do It is with us as with the sheep, there much in active service, and about the is new wool coming. Whenever the only reward they can give to their Lord takes away our earthly comforts Lord is to give up their fleece by with one hand, one, two, three, He suffering when He calls upon them to restores with the other hand six, suffer ; submissively yielding to be twelve, scores, a hundred; He takes shorn of their personal comfort when away by spoonfuls, and He gives by the time comes for patient endurance cartloads; we are crying and whining (H. E. I. 157, 158).
about the little loss, and yet it is 2. The sheep is itself benefited by the necessary in order that we may be operation of shearing. So when the able to receive the great mercy. Lord shears us, we do not like the III. Imitate the example of our operation any more than the sheep do; blessed Lord when our turn comes to but it is for His glory, and for our be shorn. Let us be dumb before the benefit, and therefore we
shearers-submissive, quiescent, even most willingly to submit (H. E. I. as He was.-C. H. Spurgeon : Metro204-212).
politan Tabernacle Pulpit, No. 1543. 3. Before sheep are shorn they are always washed. Whenever trial (a.) He had never been slow of speech when threatens to overtake you, before it
He could bless the sons of men, but He would
not say a single word for Himself. “Never actually arrives you should ask the
man spake like this Man," and never man Lord to sanctify you. If He is going was silent like Him. Was this singular to clip the wool, ask Him to wash silence the index of His perfect self-sacrifice ? it before He takes it off; ask to be
Did it show that He would not utter a word cleansed in spirit, soul, and body.
to stay the slaughter of His sacred person,
which he had dedicated as an offering for us? 4. After the washing, and the sheep Had He so entirely surrendered Himself that has dried, it actually loses what was its He would not interfere in His own behalf, comfort. It is thrown down, and you
even in the minutest degree, but be bound
and slain an unstruggling, uncomplaining see the shearers; you wonder at them,
victim. Was this silence a type of the defenceand pity the poor sheep. It will
lessness of gin ? Nothing can be said in happen to you that you shall lose what palliation or excuse of human guilt; and, is your comfort. Will you recollect therefore, He who bore its whole weight stood this? Because the next time you
speechless before His judge. Is not patient
silence the best rtply to a gainsaying world ! receive a fresh comfort you must say, Calin endurance answers some questions in. this is a loan.
finitely more conclusively than the loftiest 5. The shearers, when they are taking eloquence. The best apologists for Christhe wool off the sheep, take care not to hurt
tianity in the early days were martyrs. The
anvil breaks a host of bammers by quietly the sheep. They clip as close as they bearing their blows. Did not the silent Lamb can, but they do not cut the skin. Be of God furnish us with a grand example of ye sure that when the Lord is clipping
wisdom? Where every word was occasion and shearing us He will not hurt us; He
for new blasphemy, it was the line of duty to
afford no fuel for the flame of sin. The amwill take our comforts away, but He will
biguous and the false, the unworthy and the not really injure us, or cause a wound mean, will ere long overthrow and confute to our spirits. If ever the shears do themselves, and therefore the true can afford make us bleed, it is because we kick,
to be quiet, and finds silence to be its wisdom. because we struggle.
Evidently our Lord, by His silence, furnished
a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy. A long 6. The shearers always shear at a defence of Himself would have been contrary suitable time. It would be a very
to Isaiah's prediction. By His quiet He con. wicked, cruel, and unwise thing to
clusively proved Himself to be the true Lamb
of God. --Spurgeon. begin sheep-shearing in winter time.
(Sacramental Service.) liii. 8. For the transgression of my people was He stricken. The general doctrine of the text is is matter which came from nothing that of an expiation for sinners, made at His bidding; and in this world we by an innocent victim substituted in may learn something of His control their place. In the substitution of an over matter.
We may lift our eyes innocent being to suffer in the room beyond this world, and as we look out of the guilty (and especially such a upon the stars, we may add to our being as Jesus Christ), and in pardon- knowledge of God's government over ing and accepting the guilty into favour material things. Beyond matter is on that account, there appears a de- mind. Beyond mere intelligence there parture from all our common ideas of is a kingdom of sensibilities. Still justice and propriety, &c. We have beyond there is a moral kingdom. no disposition to diminish this singu- The world of grace is still higher. larity. It stands alone.
Redemption—the salvation of sinners certainly shall fail of the just and -is not a matter of mere creation, or real essence of the Christian religion mere government or recovery from in our hearts, if we do not have faith ruin merely ; it is a matter of mercy in this expiation; and if our minds to the sinning and the punishment of cannot compass the whole amazing sin. This matter evidently lies beyond matter, we may hope at least to have all others. “Stricken for my people" some gleams of illumination, like the
is just the amazing thing which the lightning's flash on the dark bosom of rising gradations of the revelations of the storm. Let us see:
God demand. I. The wonder of this punishment for III. The mystery, the wonder of this sin laid upon an innocent and Divine redemption of sinners, by “stripes" laid Being accords with our best conceptions on Christ, accords with us, as well as it of God. The most just conception of accords with God. We are sinners. God that we have ever had is that See what sin hath done. Some symof an incomprehensible Being. The bols of its mischief are visible. It high wonder of this expiation agrees blasted paradise, &c.! Sin has broken with the infinitude of God. A suffer- up our relations with God. Our ing Christ is an infinite wonder; and, Creator, our final Judge, is against therefore, the wonder of the doctrine us! The law which sin has broken is of an expiation for sinners by the God's law-the law for the immortal sufferings of the innocent, instead of spirit—the law for eternity to come! being a reason for our incredulity, is Eternity! The mind staggers under really a reason for our faith. The the weight of that idea. To last on innocence, the person, and the expia- for ever, a sinner cut off from God, and tion of the Victim, all accord with no more at peace with myself than the incomprehensible God, &c. Be- with Him; to feel eternally the gnawyond us, and peculiar in everything ings of "the worm that dieth not” and else, He is beyond us and peculiar in the wrath of God! Sooner come anthe great atonement.
nihilation ! Now, in the presence of II. Our God has different modes of these wants, this sin which has no giving intimations of Himself. We analogy, which has broken up our cannot learn all that we are able to peace relations with God, this conknow of Him in any one spot, or by science, these agonies of a fearing any one transaction.
To lead us on spirit, and this dreadful eternityHe has employed grades, and built what shall God do for us? What do one scaffolding above another. There we want Him to do? Just what He has done. We want Him to meet our who have no living faith in this atoneinfinite fears with His infinite offers, mient, and who will not come to the our worst foes with His ineffable memorial of it. Why? Simply begrace; to show us while we stand cause of two things. (1.) They have trembling before His justice, that low and grovelling ideas of God-ideas something has been done which that
much contined to His earthly justice cannot find fault with some things and His natural attributes. (2.) thing which shall wave the peace. They do not justly realise their con'branch over the door into eternity! dition and necessities as sinners. If He has done it. It is His own work, men have inadequate notions of Guu, on His own authority, like Hin, and they will have inadequate notions of just because it has such wonders about sin. If they have inadequate notions it as the innocence and mysterious of sin, they will have inadequate person of a suffering Christ, our faith notions of Christ; and then there will can trust it. Where we most fear, be nothing seen in their condition to God is inost wonderful. The excel- drive them, and nothing in His charlence and the innocence of the sacrifice acter to draw them, to His infinite as the ground of our peace, shows us sacrifice. If they had anything like a that the auyust redemption perfectly just idea of what it is to be a sinner, assorts with the ineffable woes and they would look to the sacrifice of wants of our sinful condition.
Christ with amazing gladness and 4. The uses we ought to make of this gratitude.--Ichabod S. Spencer, D.D.: subject are not trivial. There are those Sermons, vol. ii.
THE BURIAL OF JESUS. liii. 9. And lle made His grave with the wicked, a The death and resurrection of Christ treated as a criminal; He was made are frequently dwelt upon by preachers to take the place of a murderer, Barand writers; but His burial is seldom abbas, on the cross; He was subjected distinctly alhided to. Yet it is spoken to the same indignity and cruelty to of in Scripture as a most important which the two malefactors were, and fact (Acts xiii. 29; 1 Cor. xv. 4; Eph. it was evidently designed also that He iv. 9, 10).
should be buried in the same manner, I. THE HONOURABLE BURIAL and probably in the same grave (John GRANTED TO JESUS WHO HAD BEEN xix. 31). Who can but wonder at the SO IGNOMINIOUSLY PUT TO DEATH, striking accuracy of the prediction?
1. He was to have been buried with 2. He was really buried in a grave criminals. "They appointed Him His that wus intended for the corpse of a grave with criminals” (Dr. Calkins).
With a rich man after Not satisfied with His sufferings and His death.” The purpose which had death, they sought to insult Him even been cherished in regard to His in death by wishing to bury His corpse burial was not accomplished. He with criminals (Matt. xxvii. 38; John was buried by persons of distinction : xix. 31). They intended to heap the Joseph and Nicodemus-men of rank highest possible indignity upon Him, -secret disciples now emboldened. denying him the privilege of an honour- How different this from the interment able burial (1 Kings xxi. 19; Isa. xiv. of malefactors ! How striking and 19; Jer. xxvi. 23). As a matter of accurate the fulfilment of prophecy ! course, since He was put to death with (Matt. xxvii. 57–60; John xix. 39, wicked men, He would naturally have 40).
“ He who died as a malefactor been buried with them, unless there
a king." All the had been some special interposition in more remarkable because during His His case. He was given up to be life He was associated with the poor,
and was Himself poor. The humilia- sin ? ” The judge that tried Him de. tion was over, and the exaltation was clared, “I find no fault in Him," and begun!
the centurion that executed Him proII. THE REASON WHY JESUS RE- fessed that “certainly He was a rightCEIVED SUCH HONOURABLE TREAT- eous man.” MENT. It was found in the fact
Thus, by Divine arrangement, Jesus 1. That He had done no wrong. received such honourable treatment cause," rather, although “He had done immediately after His ignominious no violence”-had not by harsh and death as a vindication of His spotless injurious conduct provoked such treat- character. ment, or in any way deserved it at III. PRACTICAL LESSONS SUGGESTED their hands. He was perfectly inno- BY THE HONOURABLE BURIAL OF JESUS. cent-suffered without having com- 1. The character of Jesus is unique. mitted any crime. To none did He He stands alone among men. do wrong. He was charged with per- spotlessly pure in the midst of univerting the nation and sowing sedition, versal pollution. Then He must be but the charge was utterly false. He something more than a mere man. had done no violence, but “went about “Truly this is THE SON OF GOD." How doing good.” His actions were always admirably qualified is He to act as our prompted by purest benevolence. substitute, and to present a sacrifice Evidently with this passage in view, for our sin ! Had He been guilty of a the Apostle Peter says of the Lord single sin, what could He have done Jesus : “Who did no sin,” &c. (1 Pet. for us? of what merit His obedience ? ii. 20). Those who knew Him best of what value His death ? of what spake thus. Well did Peter remem- efficacy His intercession? ber the unsullied purity, the loving 2. The purity of Jesus in word and gentleness, the high principles of our deed should be sought by us. Here on Lord. As he looked back on that earth, in flesh and blood, and under life, it must have seemed like a pure the conditions to which men in general pellucid stream flowing amid charred are subject, He exhibited a perfect unsightly rocks.
character, and so stands before us as a 2. That there was no deceit in His true, complete, and universal pattern mouth. He was no deceiver, though and example. We are commanded to He was regarded and treated as one. be imitators of Him (Eph. v. 1; 1 Pet. He was perfectly candid and sincere, ii. 21). Let us follow Him as if we true and holy. He was in all respects trod exactly behind Him. Let there what He professed to be, and He im- be the closest imitation. Take heed posed on no one by any false and un- to your deceitful heart (Ps. xxxii
. 2). founded claim (Heb. vii. 26 ; 1 Pet. Guard against deceit of mouth (Ps. cxx. ii. 22). Duplicity, craft, and deceit 3), and deceit in practice, &c. If we are the accustomed methods of false suffer, let us be careful that it shall not teachers. He neither pandered to the be on account of our faults, rich nor flattered the poor.
When in seek grace so to live as not to deserve the greatest peril, He adopts no in- the reproaches of others, and to be genious arguments nor methods for able to bear them with patience if we escape. All He said was plain, un- are called to suffer them. The purity disguised, unclouded, bold. He never of Jesus can never be congenial to us disguised His abhorrence of false- until our hearts are regenerated. hood. He did not promise more than 3. The burial of Jesus should divest He intended to perform. He did the grave of its terror. These bodies not hide from His followers the con- of ours must fail and faint and die, sequences of their position : "Ye must and go down to the cold grave to be hated,” &c. None of His enemies return to their native dust. What could take up that challenge of His, then ? Shall we who are “risen with “ Which of
convicteth me of Christ,” dread to rest where He Him