1) It is a reconciling blood (Col 1.21). Sin rent us off from God; Christ’s blood cements us to God.
2) It is a quickening blood (John 6.54). The life of our soul is in the blood of Christ.
3) It is a cleansing blood (Heb 9.14). As the merit of Christ’s blood pacifies God, so the virtue of it purifies us. It is a laver to wash in (1 John 1.7).
4) It is a softening blood. There is nothing so hard but may be softened by this blood. It will soften a stone. It turns a flint into a spring…the heart becomes soft and the waters of repentance flow from it.
5) It cools the heart. The heart naturally is hot, it burns in lust and passion, but Christ’s blood allays this heart and quenches the inflammation of sin. Christ’s blood cools the heat of sin like water to the fire.
6) It comforts the soul. Christ’s blood cures the trembling of the heart. The blood of Christ can make a prison become a palace.
7) It procures heaven (Heb 10.19). Our sins shut heaven; Christ’s blood is the key which opens the gate of paradise for us.
“Let us prize Christ’s blood in the sacrament. It is drink indeed (John 6.55).” These are great things to meditate on while looking forward to Holy Communion.”
from The Lord’s Supper by Thomas Watson
in his “Treatise on the Lord’s Supper” Calvin says “If we have careful regard to the end for which our Lord intended it [the Supper], we should realize that the use of it ought to be more frequent than many make it. …The custom ought to be well established in all churches of celebrating the Supper as frequently as the capacity of the people will allow.”
“Of primary importance in the Lord’s Supper is what God does, not what we do. The Lord’s Supper is above all a gift of God, a benefit of Christ, a means of communicating his grace. If the Lord’s Supper were only a memorial meal and an act of confession, it would cease to be a sacrament in the true sense. The Lord’s Supper, however, is on the same level as the Word and baptism and therefore must, like them, be regarded first of all as a message and assurance to us of divine grace. … Indeed, the host here, in granting the signs of bread and wine, offers his own body and blood as nourishment and refreshment for their souls. That is a communion that far surpasses the communion inherent in a memorial meal and an act of confession. It is not merely a reminiscence of or a reflection on Christ’s benefits but a most intimate bonding with Christ himself, just as food and drink are united with our body.” (Bavinck, Dogmatics IV, 567).
- Paperback: 152 pages
- Publisher: P & R Publishing (December 11, 2015)
- ISBN-10: 1629951765
- ISBN-13: 978-1629951768
Spreading the Feast is the latest publication from Howard Griffith (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.). The book as you can infer from the title is about the Lord’s Supper, Communion, Eucharist, what ever term you chose to use they all work for me, but they seem to have more significance depending on your ecclesiastical or church tradition. As a Baptist we like the term “Lord’s Supper” because it reminds us of the Last Supper upon which our Lord was betrayed and offered Himself up as He atoned for our sin by which we “memorialize” His death. It is at this point that Griffith is so very helpful as he shows from Scripture not only the memorial aspect of the Lord’s Supper but the benefits and blessing therein, something that we don’t hear about very often yet very essential to the believer regardless of your tradition.
The book itself is very accessible and a good read. It’s 152 pages broken down in to 2 parts with six chapters total. Interestingly Griffith explains a book that he read while still in seminary by John Murray simply entitled Table Addresses which became the motivation behind this book. Table addresses are just that, brief meditations on Christ’s person and work through the promises given in the OT and fulfilled in the NT presented at the Lord’s Supper Table every Sunday. The blessing this was to his congregation left no regret in his mind for providing these meditations and was the basis for his writing this book in order to help other ministers while they minister at the Lord’s Supper table.
However, Griffith doesn’t start the book out with these table meditations. In today’s Christian circles it has somewhat become common place to communicate in broad and general terms. Fortunately Griffith lays a solid foundation in part one of the book before he begins his discussion on table meditations. Here he clarifies what is meant by the Lord’s Supper and explains its antecedents in the Gospel and Covenant so as to leave no ambiguity. Once the foundation has been established he enters part 2 which is the central point of the book, the meditations.
I found this to be an enjoyable read. The book appears to be written for ministers. However, I am not a minister. I found the book to be helpful in my understanding of the theology of the Lord’s Supper. But not only that I found the meditations to be very encouraging. So I would not only recommend this title for ministers and seminarians but I would say even the laity will find it to be edifying.
PERSONAL RATING: 5 Stars
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”