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"This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Matthew 26:28
Right in the heart of the Lord's Supper, we are reminded of two things — of the price paid for our redemption, and of the deliverance that this redemption brings to us. The price paid was the precious blood of Christ; the deliverance is the forgiveness of sins.
There is a singular Oriental custom which may help us better to understand the way Christ made atonement for our sins. "When a debt had to be settled," says Dr. A. J. Gordon, "either by full payment or forgiveness, it was the usage for the creditor to take the cancelled bond and nail it over the door of him who had owed it, that all passers-by might see that it was paid. Oh, blessed story or our forgiveness! There is the cross, the door of grace, behind which a bankrupt world lies in hopeless debt to the law. See Jesus, our bondsman and brother, coming forth with the long list of our indebtedness in His hand. He lifts it up where God and angels and men may see it, and then, as the nail goes through His hand, it goes through the bond of our transgressions, to cancel it forever, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. He took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross."
This is the wonderful act of forgiveness that is portrayed for us with such vividness in the cup of the Lord's Supper. The nail which went through those bonds, and fastened them there on the cross — also went through the body of the Lord Jesus. Blood flowed at the remitting or our sins — the blood of the Son of God.
The cup that is so sweet to us — was emptied of terrible bitterness by the Lord Himself; then it was filled with heaven's choicest blessings and brought to us. While we rejoice at our forgiveness, let us not forget what it cost our Redeemer; nor let us forget the wonderful grace that puts all our sins away "as far as the east is from the west."