Mark 14* Christ anointed at Bethany. (1-11) The passover, Jesusdeclares that Judas would betray him. (12-21) The Lord's supperinstituted. (22-31) Christ's agony in the garden. (32-42) He isbetrayed and taken. (43-52) Christ before the high priest.(53-65) Peter denies Christ. (66-72)1-11 Did Christ pour out his soul unto death for us, and shallwe think any thing too precious for him? Do we give him theprecious ointment of our best affections? Let us love him withall the heart, though it is common for zeal and affection to bemisunderstood and blamed; and remember that charity to the poorwill not excuse any from particular acts of piety to the LordJesus. Christ commended this woman's pious attention to thenotice of believers in all ages. Those who honour Christ he willhonour. Covetousness was Judas' master lust, and that betrayedhim to the sin of betraying his Master; the devil suited histemptation to that, and so conquered him. And see what wickedcontrivances many have in their sinful pursuits; but whatappears to forward their plans, will prove curses in the end. 12-21 Nothing could be less the result of human foresight thanthe events here related. But our Lord knows all things about usbefore they come to pass. If we admit him, he will dwell in ourhearts. The Son of man goes, as it is written of him, as a lambto the slaughter; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!God's permitting the sins of men, and bringing glory to himselfout of them, does not oblige them to sin; nor will this be anyexcuse for their guilt, or lessen their punishment. 22-31 The Lord's supper is food for the soul, therefore a verylittle of that which is for the body, as much as will serve fora sign, is enough. It was instituted by the example and thepractice of our Master, to remain in force till his secondcoming. It was instituted with blessing and giving of thanks, tobe a memorial of Christ's death. Frequent mention is made of hisprecious blood, as the price of our redemption. How comfortableis this to poor repenting sinners, that the blood of Christ isshed for many! If for many, why not for me? It was a sign of theconveyance of the benefits purchased for us by his death. Applythe doctrine of Christ crucified to yourselves; let it be meatand drink to your souls, strengthening and refreshing yourspiritual life. It was to be an earnest and foretaste of thehappiness of heaven, and thereby to put us out of taste for thepleasures and delights of sense. Every one that has tastedspiritual delights, straightway desires eternal ones. Though thegreat Shepherd passed through his sufferings without one falsestep, yet his followers often have been scattered by the smallmeasure of sufferings allotted to them. How very apt we are tothink well of ourselves, and to trust our own hearts! It was illdone of Peter thus to answer his Master, and not with fear andtrembling. Lord, give me grace to keep me from denying thee. 32-42 Christ's sufferings began with the sorest of all, thosein his soul. He began to be sorely amazed; words not used in St.Matthew, but very full of meaning. The terrors of God setthemselves in array against him, and he allowed him tocontemplate them. Never was sorrow like unto his at this time.Now he was made a curse for us; the curses of the law were laidupon him as our Surety. He now tasted death, in all thebitterness of it. This was that fear of which the apostlespeaks, the natural fear of pain and death, at which humannature startles. Can we ever entertain favourable, or evenslight thoughts of sin, when we see the painful sufferings whichsin, though but reckoned to him, brought on the Lord Jesus?Shall that sit light upon our souls, which sat so heavy uponhis? Was Christ in such agony for our sins, and shall we neverbe in agony about them? How should we look upon Him whom we havepierced, and mourn! It becomes us to be exceedingly sorrowfulfor sin, because He was so, and never to mock at it. Christ, asMan, pleaded, that, if it were possible, his sufferings mightpass from him. As Mediator, he submitted to the will of God,saying, Nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt; I bidit welcome. See how the sinful weakness of Christ's disciplesreturns, and overpowers them. What heavy clogs these bodies ofours are to our souls! But when we see trouble at the door, weshould get ready for it. Alas, even believers often look at theRedeemer's sufferings in a drowsy manner, and instead of beingready to die with Christ, they are not even prepared to watchwith him one hour. 43-52 Because Christ appeared not as a temporal prince, butpreached repentance, reformation, and a holy life, and directedmen's thoughts, and affections, and aims to another world,therefore the Jewish rulers sought to destroy him. Peter woundedone of the band. It is easier to fight for Christ than to diefor him. But there is a great difference between faultydisciples and hypocrites. The latter rashly and without thoughtcall Christ Master, and express great affection for him, yetbetray him to his enemies. Thus they hasten their owndestruction. 53-65 We have here Christ's condemnation before the greatcouncil of the Jews. Peter followed; but the high priest'sfire-side was no proper place, nor his servants proper company,for Peter: it was an entrance into temptation. Great diligencewas used to procure false witnesses against Jesus, yet theirtestimony was not equal to the charge of a capital crime, by theutmost stretch of their law. He was asked, Art thou the Son ofthe Blessed? that is, the Son of God. For the proof of his beingthe Son of God, he refers to his second coming. In theseoutrages we have proofs of man's enmity to God, and of God'sfree and unspeakable love to man. 66-72 Peter's denying Christ began by keeping at a distancefrom him. Those that are shy of godliness, are far in the way todeny Christ. Those who think it dangerous to be in company withChrist's disciples, because thence they may be drawn in tosuffer for him, will find it much more dangerous to be incompany with his enemies, because there they may be drawn in tosin against him. When Christ was admired and flocked after,Peter readily owned him; but will own no relation to him now heis deserted and despised. Yet observe, Peter's repentance wasvery speedy. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest hefall; and let him that has fallen think of these things, and ofhis own offences, and return to the Lord with weeping andsupplication, seeking forgiveness, and to be raised up by theHoly Spirit.
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