In case you missed the Hymn of the Day yesterday: Hymn of the Day: All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name. Today, in association with the Spurgeon post this morning: Forsake Me Not, this hymn was actually penned by Charles H. Spurgeon! While Spurgeon’s name and works might be familiar to you, most of his hymns probably are not! Even the words to this hymn, unless you grew up in a church that sung Spurgeon’s hymns, will be unfamiliar! The tune, however, will be familiar to you (When I Survey the Wondrous Cross). It is the words that I wish to focus our time on today and not so much the tune, even though I love the tune!
“The writings of the great Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, continue to be in print, more than a century after his death. His Treasury of David is a classic work on the Psalms, and there are many collections of his sermons available. Pastor Spurgeon also published a hymn book (Our Own Hymn Book) for use in the Metropolitan Tabernacle, in London, where he served. It contains a number of his own creations, of which this is one.
The theme of the song is the need for a perceptive and insightful participation in the Lord’s Supper (I Cor. 11:23-28).” -Robert Cottrill
Here is another version of with a different tune that might serve you well too!
I love the words that Spurgeon wrote for this hymn! While I have never sung this in a church service before, I can certainly see this as a song used during Communion.
In verse one we can see the emblems on the table, which both point to what Christ has done for his people. You can probably see the connection in this first verse to Thomas, who felt the nail pierced hands and side of Jesus after his resurrection. The bread and cup help us to visualize, in a way, what Thomas saw. His body broken. His blood shed.
Verse two shows the spiritual bounty we have due to Christ’s sacrifice. Sure, the bread and cup won’t satisfy our physical needs, but it reminds us that Christ fulfilled our spiritual needs. “We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).
Verse three, I think, points to the problem of sin in our lives, which results in either doubting, unbelief, or whatever else. Or, it could be that sin is not the issue, but rather we are on the wrong side of glory, unable to see all that the Lord is doing. Perhaps we partake of the bread and the cup and miss what they are supposed to represent. Instead of “doing this in remembrance of Him” our thoughts are held captive by other things. May we reflect on his love and allow him to remove the scales to see what he has done for us on the cross!
The final verse points again to Christ. As we partake of the elements we remember who is on the throne of our hearts, who our “bridegroom” is, who our Savior is. Hopefully, we are reminded how much we love our beautiful Savior! We hope to see his glory more clearly as well after such a great reminder!
1 Corinthians 11:23–28 (ESV)
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.