“My blood, which was shed for many.” —Matthew 26:28
Jesus has a large heart. At the Supper Table, He not only forgot Himself, to think of His own who were gathered there around Him, but His loving eye glanced forward to all who are redeemed by His blood. “For Many”: with this word He teaches His disciples to maintain fellowship, not merely with those with whom they sit at the table, but with the entire host of the redeemed—the multitude that no man can number. In the light of this word we see Him breaking, the bread and giving it to the disciples, and then again to the multitude after the day of Pentecost, and then yet again to others until the everwidening circle extends to the spot where we now sit. This truth binds all cerebrations of the Supper into one single communion in immediate contact with Him who first instituted it. It unites also the separate circles of Christ’s disciples into one universal Church, and all distinction and all separation vanish in the joyful thought that every member shares equally in the love and the life of the one Head from whom also He receives the bread. It sets the farthest distant in a relation to the love of Jesus as intimate as those who at the first received the broad from His own hand.
The observance of the Supper accordingly must renew our feeling of unity not only with the Head, but also with the Body of which we are members. The Supper must enlarge our heart, till it be as wide as the heart of Jesus. Next to love to the Lord Jesus must present love to the brethren fill our souls. Along with the word, “For you,” which, as coming from His lips, is so precious to us, He desires us to couple and remember this other word, “For many.”
“For many:” some Christians are satisfied when all goes well with their own little circle: they think of going to heaven only in company with those that belong to them. This ought not to be. The Supper must enlarge the heart in love and prayer for all that belong to Jesus, so as to make us rejoice with them or weep with them. Nor even at this point must we stop. The true disciple of Jesus thinks of all who may yet be in their sin, and do not know about the blood which was shed “for many.” Every real experience of the power of the blood must introduce me more deeply into the feelings and dispositions in which it was shed, and will constrain me to bring to the knowledge of it, the “many,” for whom Christ poured it out. He that really drinks the blood which was shed “for many,” and becomes inwardly partaker of the life and the love which was poured forth in that blood—how shall he find all selfishness and all narrow-mindedness vanishing, away, and have his heart enlarged to embrace the wide compass of Jesus’ heart and Jesus’ word, when He said: “My blood, shed for many.”
Precious Saviour, grant unto me Thy Spirit, that the Same mind which is in Thee may be also in me. Cause me to understand how even of Thy holy Supper thou canst say: “Compel them to come in, that My house may be full.” And may all Thy people be more filled with the thought: “Still there is room.” O Lord Jesus, who Thyself art love, shed abroad Thy love in our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit. Amen.