Meditation for Sunday, July 25.
“Come; for all things are ready.” Luke 14:17.
The reason why they should come—”For all things are now prepared.” Thus is mercy offered to the people of the Jews, where their God made all external means (as the word and sacrament) ready for them. So that he says, in Isaiah 65:2, He stretches out His arms, and holds them out all the day long. (Prov. 1:20), “Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets.” Here God is crying, shouting, and casting out His arms, Matt. 23:37, crying and shedding tears. He would have them turn and live. But as it is true of the Jews, so it is of us; He has dressed the whole Supper Himself, covered the table, and there is no more for us to do, but sit down and eat. If we look to this dressed Supper, Christ dressed it all Himself, in the furnace of God’s wrath, and the bread that we here eat is His flesh, which He gave for the life of the world. John 6:51, The wine which is mingled and drawn is His blood. Not one dish is mis-cooked, all is set before us in the gospel, and Jesus craves no more for all His pains, but only that His friends come to the banquet and eat and be merry; and if ye will come, Christ will pay all the reckoning. When the Israelites were fed with manna, they needed to go out of the camp, and gather it themselves; but we furnish nothing of this Supper. God be thanked, Christ bears all the expense. Alas! that the unhappy world will not eat heartily, since Christ pays for all. The poor sons of Adam were all sick and at the point of death, and their stomachs were so spoiled with a sour apple that Adam did eat, that they were famished and not able to eat. In comes Jesus and makes a medicinal dinner of His own flesh and blood; lays down Himself and is slain to make medicine of His crucified body for us, in order to affect our cure. It is just they die for hunger, and lose their stomach for evermore, who loathe this meat. In the sacrament all things are ready; whatever the soul wants, it shall find at the Table. All the hungry shall find Christ meat and drink. John 6:55, They who are poor shall find Him gold, they who are naked shall find Him garments, they who are blind shall find Him light to the eyes. Look to the Supper and ye shall find it very expensive to Christ, for the fire that made it ready was the wrath of God; the fuel and the firewood was Christ, and a great burden of the sins of the elect on His back. And if Jesus had not been green timber He had been burnt all to ashes. And the sourest sauce in this supper to Christ, was His dear Father hiding Himself. And when all is done ye cannot do Him a worse turn than not to eat heartily. Now, for the Lord’s sake, beloved, please the good man of the house, and eat and welcome. The last wine will be the best. What would ye have! Here is sweet company, eat, ye are heartily welcome. A curse upon them who bring in Mary’s Milk, with Martyrs’ Blood, as a dessert! No, Christ’s blood is in every dish, Christ’s flesh is in every serving, and Christ’s merit is a sweet sauce to all the servings. Other meats have no taste at this Supper. Samuel Rutherford