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I shall now produce some few places of Scripture, one especially, that may administer occasion unto you for the exercise of faith, the great duty required of us at this time. You may do well to think of these words of the prophet concerning Jesus Christ, concerning his sufferings and death, which we are here gathered together in his name to remember. They are, —
“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” — Isa. liii. 11.
There are two things that the Holy Ghost minds us of in these words:— First. That Jesus Christ was in a great travail of soul to bring forth the redemption and salvation of the church. Secondly. He minds us that Jesus Christ was satisfied, and much rejoiced in the consideration of the effects and fruits of the travail of his soul. I shall speak a word to both, and a word to show you how both these things are called over in this ordinance, — both the travail of the soul of Christ and his satisfaction in the fruit of that travail.
First. Christ was in a great travail of soul to bring forth the redemption and salvation of the church. It was a great work that Christ had to do. It is usually said, “We are not saved as the world was made, — by a word,” but there was travail in it: it is the word whereby the bringing forth of children into the world is expressed, — the travail of a woman. And there are three things in that travail:— an agony of mind, outcrying for help, and sense of pain: all these things were in the travail of the soul of Christ. I will name the Scriptures, to call them to your remembrance:—
1. He was “in an agony,” Luke xxii. 44. An agony is an inexpressible conflict of mind about things dreadful and terrible. So it was with Christ. No heart can conceive, much less can tongue express, the conflict that was in the soul of Jesus Christ with the wrath of God, the curse of the law, the pains of hell and death, that stood before him in this work of our redemption. There was an agony.
2. There was an outcrying for help, Heb. v. 7, “Who in the days of his flesh offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him.” Such is the outcry of a person in travail, crying out unto them that are able to save them. So it was with Jesus Christ when he was in the travail of his soul about our salvation. He made these strong cries unto God, — to him that was able to save him.
3. There was pain in it, which is the last thing in travail; so that 577he complained that “the pains of hell had taken hold upon him.” Whatever pain there was in the curse of the law, in the wrath of God, — whatever the justice of God did ever design to inflict upon sinners, was then upon the soul of Jesus Christ; so that he was in travail. That is the first thing I would mind you of, — that in the bringing forth the work of our redemption and salvation, the Lord Jesus was in travail.
Secondly. It was a satisfaction, a rejoicing unto the Lord Jesus Christ, to consider the fruits and effects of this travail of his soul, which God had promised he should see. He was satisfied in the prospect he had of the fruit of the travail of his soul. So the apostle tells us, Heb. xii. 2, that, “for the joy that was set before him,” — which was the joy of bringing us unto God, of being the captain of salvation unto them that should obey him, — he “endured the cross, despising the shame.” He went through all with a prospect he had of the fruit of his travail. There would joy come out of it; the joy that was set before him, as he speaks, Ps. xvi. 6, where God presents unto him what he shall have by this travail, what he shall get by it. Saith he, “The lines are fallen unto me in a pleasant place; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” It is the satisfaction that Jesus Christ (who is there spoken of only in that psalm) takes in the fruit of the travail of his soul; he is contented with it. He doth not do as Hiram; who when Solomon gave him the twenty cities in the land of Galilee, calls them, “Cabul;” they were dirty, and they displeased him, 1 Kings ix. 11, etc. No; but, “The lines are fallen unto me in a pleasant place;” he rejoiced in his travail. It is expressed, in my apprehension, to the height in Jer. xxxi. 25, 26, “I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” What follows? “Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.” They are the words of Jesus Christ; and he speaks concerning his death, wherein he was as asleep in the grave. Now, consider what was the effect and fruit of it? It was sweet unto Jesus Christ, after all the travail of his soul, that he had “satiated the weary soul,” and “replenished every sorrowful soul.”
In one word, both these things — the travail of the soul of Christ, and the satisfaction he took in the fruit of his travail — are represented unto us in this ordinance.
There is the travail of the soul of Christ to us, in the manner of the participation of this ordinance, — in the breaking of the bread, and in the pouring out of the wine, representing unto us the breaking of the body of Christ, the shedding of his blood, and the separation of the one from the other; which was the cause of his death. Now, though these were outward things in Christ (because the travail of his soul cannot be represented by any outward things, wherein the 578great work of our redemption lay), we are in this ordinance to be led through these outward things to the travail of the soul of Christ: we are not to rest in the mere outward act or acts of the breaking of the body of Christ, and pouring out of his blood, the separation of the one from the other, and of his death thereby; but through all them we are to inquire what is under them. There was Christ’s making his soul an offering for sin; there was Christ’s being made a curse under them, — Christ’s travail of soul, in an agony to bring forth the redemption and salvation of the church.
Brethren, let us be able by faith, not only to look through these outward signs to that which makes the representation itself unto us, — the body and blood of Christ; but even with them and through them to the travail of the soul of Christ, — the work that he was doing between God and himself for the redemption of the church.
And here is also a representation made unto us of that satisfaction the soul of Christ received in the fruit of his travail, having appointed it in a particular manner to be done in remembrance of him. No man will appoint a remembrance of that which he doth not delight in. When Job had no more delight in his life, he desired that the time of his birth might never be remembered. When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, whereby he exalted his glory, he appointed a passover, and said, “It is a day greatly to be remembered.’’ Because the people had a great deliverance, and God received great glory and great satisfaction; therefore it was greatly to be remembered. We are to celebrate this ordinance in remembrance of Christ; and therefore there is a representation of that satisfaction which Jesus Christ did receive in the travail of his soul: so that he never repented him of one groan, of one sigh, of one tear, of one prayer, of one wrestling with the wrath of God. It is matter of rejoicing, and to be remembered; and do you rejoice in the remembrance of it.
Again; it is apparent from hence, because this ordinance is in an especial manner an ordinance of thanksgiving: — the bread that is blessed, or which we give thanks for; the cup which is blessed; — Christ gave thanks. Now, if hereby we give thanks, it is to call to remembrance, not merely the travail of Christ’s soul, but the success of that travail; [that] hereby all differences were made up between God and us; hereby grace and glory were purchased for us, and he became the captain of salvation unto us.
To shut up all; here is, by Christ’s institution, bread and wine provided for us; but it is bread broken, and wine poured out. There are two things in it:— there is the weak part, that is Christ’s; there is the nourishing part, that is given unto us. The Lord Christ hath chosen by this ordinance to represent himself by these things that 579are the staff of our lives; they comprise the whole nourishment and sustenance of our bodies. He hath so chosen to represent them by breaking and pouring out, that they shall signify his sufferings. Here are both. As the bread is broken, and as the wine is poured out, there is the representation of the travail of the soul of Christ to us; as bread is received, and the cup, which is the means of the nourishment of man’s life, here is the fruit of Christ’s death exhibited unto us, and his sufferings. The Lord help us to look into the satisfaction that Christ received from this, that we may be partakers of the one and the other!
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