Luke 22* The treachery of Judas. (1-6) The passover. (7-18) The Lord'ssupper instituted. (19,20) Christ admonishes the disciples.(21-38) Christ's agony in the garden. (39-46) Christ betrayed.(47-53) The fall of Peter. (54-62) Christ confesses himself tobe the Son of God. (63-71)1-6 Christ knew all men, and had wise and holy ends in takingJudas to be a disciple. How he who knew Christ so well, came tobetray him, we are here told; Satan entered into Judas. It ishard to say whether more mischief is done to Christ's kingdom,by the power of its open enemies, or by the treachery of itspretended friends; but without the latter, its enemies could notdo so much evil as they do. 7-18 Christ kept the ordinances of the law, particularly thatof the passover, to teach us to observe his gospel institutions,and most of all that of the Lord's supper. Those who go uponChrist's word, need not fear disappointment. According to theorders given them, the disciples got all ready for the passover.Jesus bids this passover welcome. He desired it, though he knewhis sufferings would follow, because it was in order to hisFather's glory and man's redemption. He takes his leave of allpassovers, signifying thereby his doing away all the ordinancesof the ceremonial law, of which the passover was one of theearliest and chief. That type was laid aside, because now in thekingdom of God the substance was come. 19,20 The Lord's supper is a sign or memorial of Christ alreadycome, who by dying delivered us; his death is in special mannerset before us in that ordinance, by which we are reminded of it.The breaking of Christ's body as a sacrifice for us, is thereinbrought to our remembrance by the breaking of bread. Nothing canbe more nourishing and satisfying to the soul, than the doctrineof Christ's making atonement for sin, and the assurance of aninterest in that atonement. Therefore we do this in rememberanceof what He did for us, when he died for us; and for a memorialof what we do, in joining ourselves to him in an everlastingcovenant. The shedding of Christ's blood, by which the atonementwas made, is represented by the wine in the cup. 21-38 How unbecoming is the worldly ambition of being thegreatest, to the character of a follower of Jesus, who took uponhim the form of a servant, and humbled himself to the death ofthe cross! In the way to eternal happiness, we must expect to beassaulted and sifted by Satan. If he cannot destroy, he will tryto disgrace or distress us. Nothing more certainly forebodes afall, in a professed follower of Christ, than self-confidence,with disregard to warnings, and contempt of danger. Unless wewatch and pray always, we may be drawn in the course of the dayinto those sins which we were in the morning most resolvedagainst. If believers were left to themselves, they would fall;but they are kept by the power of God, and the prayer of Christ.Our Lord gave notice of a very great change of circumstances nowapproaching. The disciples must not expect that their friendswould be kind to them as they had been. Therefore, he that has apurse, let him take it, for he may need it. They must now expectthat their enemies would be more fierce than they had been, andthey would need weapons. At the time the apostles understoodChrist to mean real weapons, but he spake only of the weapons ofthe spiritual warfare. The sword of the Spirit is the sword withwhich the disciples of Christ must furnish themselves. 39-46 Every description which the evangelists give of the stateof mind in which our Lord entered upon this conflict, proves thetremendous nature of the assault, and the perfect foreknowledgeof its terrors possessed by the meek and lowly Jesus. Here arethree things not in the other evangelists. 1. When Christ was inhis agony, there appeared to him an angel from heaven,strengthening him. It was a part of his humiliation that he wasthus strengthened by a ministering spirit. 2. Being in agony, heprayed more earnestly. Prayer, though never out of season, is ina special manner seasonable when we are in an agony. 3. In thisagony his sweat was as it were great drops of blood fallingdown. This showed the travail of his soul. We should pray alsoto be enabled to resist unto the shedding of our blood, strivingagainst sin, if ever called to it. When next you dwell inimagination upon the delights of some favourite sin, think ofits effects as you behold them here! See its fearful effects inthe garden of Gethsemane, and desire, by the help of God, deeplyto hate and to forsake that enemy, to ransom sinners from whomthe Redeemer prayed, agonized, and bled. 47-53 Nothing can be a greater affront or grief to the LordJesus, than to be betrayed by those who profess to be hisfollowers, and say that they love him. Many instances there are,of Christ's being betrayed by those who, under the form ofgodliness, fight against the power of it. Jesus here gave anillustrious example of his own rule of doing good to those thathate us, as afterwards he did of praying for those thatdespitefully use us. Corrupt nature warps our conduct toextremes; we should seek for the Lord's direction before we actin difficult circumstances. Christ was willing to wait for histriumphs till his warfare was accomplished, and we must be sotoo. But the hour and the power of darkness were short, and suchthe triumphs of the wicked always will be. 54-62 Peter's fall was his denying that he knew Christ, and washis disciple; disowning him because of distress and danger. Hethat has once told a lie, is strongly tempted to persist: thebeginning of that sin, like strife, is as the letting forth ofwater. The Lord turned and looked upon Peter. 1. It was aconvincing look. Jesus turned and looked upon him, as if heshould say, Dost thou not know me, Peter? 2. It was a chidinglook. Let us think with what a rebuking countenance Christ mayjustly look upon us when we have sinned. 3. It was anexpostulating look. Thou who wast the most forward to confess meto be the Son of God, and didst solemnly promise thou wouldestnever disown me! 4. It was a compassionate look. Peter, how artthou fallen and undone if I do not help thee! 5. It was adirecting look, to go and bethink himself. 6. It was asignificant look; it signified the conveying of grace to Peter'sheart, to enable him to repent. The grace of God works in and bythe word of God, brings that to mind, and sets that home uponthe conscience, and so gives the soul the happy turn. Christlooked upon the chief priests, and made no impression upon themas he did on Peter. It was not the mere look from Christ, butthe Divine grace with it, that restored Peter. 63-71 Those that condemned Jesus for a blasphemer, were thevilest blasphemers. He referred them to his second coming, forthe full proof of his being the Christ, to their confusion,since they would not admit the proof of it to their conviction.He owns himself to be the Son of God, though he knew he shouldsuffer for it. Upon this they ground his condemnation. Theireyes being blinded, they rush on. Let us meditate on thisamazing transaction, and consider Him who endured suchcontradiction of sinners against himself.
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