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which can only be answered out of the Law of Moses.
He sat down, and the twelve Apostles Luke xxii. with him. And he said unto them, With "4515 defire I have desired to eat this Palover with you, before I suffer.
If our Lord, in his heavenly wisdom, so passionately longed for this Passover, that he desired only to live till he had kept it; will you not let us ask what this Passover was, which he judged of fuch importance? Perhaps it had some relation to his death; perhaps to the holy rite he was going to appoint; poffibly, all the three are essentially connected.
The Jewish Passover was one of the moft confiderable of the Sacrifices required in the old Testament: and St: Paul calls 'our Lord himself by this very name; Christ our Passover is facrificed I Cor. V. for us.
The great deliverance of the Jewish
nation had been effected by means of Exod. xii. the first Passover. re shall kill the Pala. 32, 23.
over, and strike the lintel and the two fide posts with the blood; and the Lord will pass through and smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood, the Lord will pass over the door, and not suffer the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you.
Matth. xxvi. 26, 37,28.
This event our Lord and his Apostles were now folemnly commemorating. When therefore as they were eating the facrifice of the Passover, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples and said, Take, eat, this is my body; and the cup, saying, This is my blood; he refers to the occasion present, and the objects before them: which are not indu. ' striously to be removed out of sight, but all taken into the account, if we desire to comprehend the fulness of his meaning.
It is as if he had said, You are eating
the flesh of this lamb: the blood of it has been shed at the altar to make atonement. But you must now know that these things are but shadows. I am the great facrifice, and my blood the true atonement. Here, eat this bread, drink. of this cup, considering them as repre. senting my body and blood; and you shall be partakers of what was always the end and meaning of the legal Paffover; of this Body which is just now going to be offered in facrifice to God for the sins of all men, of this Blood, without the shedding of which there is no Hebr. ix. remission.
Can we avoid observing here the remarkable disparity between the services required in the Law, and the rites appointed in the Gospel? How laborious the former, and still obscure! how short, yet clear; how easy, yet how significant the laccer! Our Lord makes his commands as light as possible to us; and
takes the heavy and painful part of his religion upon himself. Instead of the mysterious and bloody rite of circumcision, he has appointed the plain and expressive ceremony of washing his converts in pure water. In the place of all the costly sacrifices of the Law, he has offered indeed his own body upon the cross; but he requires only of us to eat bread and drink wine in remembrance of him.
We can now serve God, and be accepted by him, without bringing with us
any other offering, besides that of a de. John iv. vout and upright heart. The hour now
is, when the true worshippers worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
If he required such a multiplicity of ceremonies, and expensive offerings and services from the Jews, it was for wise reasons, no doubt, but not because he
himself delighted in them. God did ever esteem innocence before the most costly facrifices. Even when he demanded those external performances, he would not accept them without a good life.
To what purpose is the multitude of your Ifai. i. 11, facrifices unto me? faith the Lord: I am
18. full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beafts. Wash ye, make you clean. Cease to do evil, learn to do well; relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. These parts of the old covenant never decay; but are the great duties of Christians still under the Gof. ; pel. How near is the resemblance between the Prophet and the Apostle! Pure James i. religion and undefiled before God and the Fa-*7. ther is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their afliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.