The Joyful Family Feast

Matthew 26:26
       Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): He gave it to His disciples, as the Master of the family, and the Master of this feast; it is not said, he “gave it to the apostles,” though they were so, and had been often called so before this; but to “the disciples,” because all the disciples of Christ have a right to this ordinance.

JEREMIAH DYKE (1584-1639): It is good, when we are come to the Lord’s Table, to do as Solomon wishes us to do in that case: When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee, Proverbs 23:1.

J. A. ALEXANDER (1804-1859): The cause of Christ’s death and of all His sufferings was our sins. This is brought palpably before us in the Lord’s Supper. We may therefore very properly partake of this New Testament Passover with “bitter herbs,” mourning over our sins, as the true murderers of our blessed Lord.

C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): True, we have much to pray over, much to confess, much to mourn over; but the table is not the place for mourners…Could a family circle, after the toils of the day, sit down to supper with sighs and gloomy looks? Surely not. The supper was the great family meal, the only one that was sure to bring all the family together. Faces that might not have been seen during the day were sure to be seen at the supper table, and no doubt they would be happy there. Just so it should be at the Lord’s Supper: the family should assemble there; and when assembled, they should be happy, unfeignedly happy, in the love that brings them together.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): It is not a funeral, but a festival.

C. H. MACKINTOSH: The Lord has invited us to the feast, and commanded us, notwithstanding all our short-comings, to place the fullness of His love and the cleansing efficacy of His blood between our souls and everything; and when the eye of faith is filled with Christ, there is no room for aught beside. If my sin be the object which fills my eye and engages my thoughts, of course I must be miserable, because I am looking right away from what God commands me to contemplate; I am remembering my misery and poverty, the very things which God commands me to forget. Hence the true character of the ordinance is lost, and, instead of being a feast of joy and gladness, it becomes a season of gloom and spiritual depression; and the preparation for it, and the thoughts which are entertained about it are more what might be expected in reference to Mount Sinai than to a happy family feast.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): In the upper room Jesus was calling upon them to receive a gift. We are to do likewise. It is not a pathetic farewell meeting with a request that they should remember Him, so much as that they should remember always what His death has done for them.

C. H. MACKINTOSH: If ever a feeling of sadness could prevailed at the celebration of this ordinance, surely it would have been on the occasion of its first institution, when there was everything that could possibly produce deep sadness and desolation of spirit; yet the Lord Jesus could “give thanks”; the tide of joy that flowed through His soul was far too deep to be ruffled by surrounding circumstances…And if He could rejoice in spirit, and give thanks in breaking that bread which was to be to all future generations the memorial of His broken body, should not we rejoice therein, we who stand in the blessed results of all His toil and passion? Yes; it becomes us to rejoice.

MATTHEW HENRY: Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord, Philippians 3:1. [Paul] says it again, Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say, Rejoice, Philippians 4:4. Joy in God is a duty of great consequence in the Christian life; and Christians need to be again and again called to it. If good men have not a continual feast, it is their own fault.

JEREMIAH DYKE: So Psalm 104:33,34: I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praise unto my God while I have my being; my meditation of Him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord. There is nothing that so feeds spiritual joy, and so maintains and holds up that holy frame that should be in the heart in the duty of thanksgiving, as meditation. That is the oil and the fuel that keeps such fire burning. The sweeter our meditation is, the more is the heart prepared and enlarged to praises, thanksgiving, and joy in the Lord. Therefore a special duty to be done at the Lord’s supper is to take up our hearts with serious meditation. And for the better raising and feeding of meditation, it is good, when we are come to the Lord’s Table, to do as Solomon wishes us to do in that case―consider diligently what is before thee.


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