Part 2-“Seven Supernatural Virtues in Christ’s Blood
5. Christ’s blood cools the heart. First, it cools the heart of sin. The heart naturally is full of distempered heat. It must be hot, being set on fire of hell. It burns in lust and passion. Christ’s blood allays this heart and quenches the inflammation of sin. Second, it cools the heat of conscience. In time of desertion, conscience burns with the heat of God’s displeasure. Now, Christ’s blood, being sprinkled upon the conscience, cools and purifies it. And, in this sense, Christ is compared to a river of water (Isaiah 32:2). When the heart burns and is in agony, Christ’s blood is like water to the fire. It has a cooling, refreshing virtue in it.
6. Christ’s blood comforts the soul. It is good against fainting fits. Christ’s blood is better than wine. Though wine cheers the heart of a man who is well, yet it will not cheer his heart when he has a fit of the stone or when the pangs of death are upon him. But Christ’s blood will cheer the heart at such a time. It is best in affliction. It cures the trembling of the heart.
A conscience sprinkled with Christ’s blood can, like the nightingale, sing with a thorn at its breast. The blood of Christ can make a prison become a palace. It turned the martyr’s flames into beds of roses. Christ’s blood gives comfort at the hour of death. As a holy man once said on his deathbed when they brought him a cordial, “No cordial like the blood of Christ!”
7. Christ’s blood procures heaven. Israel passed through the Red Sea to Canaan. So, through the red sea of Christ’s blood, we enter into the heavenly Canaan. “Having boldness therefore to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19). Our sins shut heaven; Christ’s blood is the key which opens the gate of paradise for us. Hence it is that Theodoret calls the cross the tree of salvation because that blood which trickled down the cross distils salvation. Well, then, may we prize the blood of Christ and, with Paul, determine to know nothing but Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). King’s crowns are only crosses, but the cross of Christ is the only crown.
BRANCH 3. Does Christ offer His body and blood to us in the Supper? Then with what solemn preparation should we come to so sacred an ordinance! It is not enough to do what God has appointed, but as He has appointed. “Prepare your hearts unto the Lord” (1 Samuel 7:3). The musician first puts his instrument in tune before he plays. The heart must be prepared and put in tune before it goes to meet with God in this solemn ordinance of the sacrament. Take heed of rashness and irreverence. If we do not come prepared, we do not drink but spill Christ’s blood. “Whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:27). “That is,” said Theophylact, “he shall be judged a shedder of Christ’s blood.” We read of a wine cup of fury in God’s hand (Jeremiah 25:15). He that comes unprepared for the Lord’s Supper turns the cup in the sacrament into a cup of fury.
Oh, with what reverence and devotion should we address ourselves to these holy mysteries! The saints are called “prepared vessels” (Romans 9:23). If ever these vessels should be prepared, it is when they are to hold the precious body and blood of Christ. The sinner who is damned is first prepared. Men do not go to hell without some kind of preparation. “Vessels fitted for destruction” (Romans 9:22). If those vessels are prepared which are filled with wrath, much more are those to be prepared who are to receive Christ in the sacrament. Let us dress ourselves by a Scripture glass before we come to the Lord’s Table and, with the Lamb’s wife, make ourselves ready.”
-From Thomas Watson’s (1620 – 1686) ‘The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper’ based on Matthew 26: 26-28 Printed by Soli Deo Gloria Publications Morgan, PA 1997 Pages 150-152