intercessory_prayer (1)

M'Cheyne on Studying Christ

     Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813–1843) was a minister in the Church of Scotland from 1835 to 1843. After his death he became famous around the world through the book The Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray M'Cheyne, which was edited by Andrew Bonar. Following is an excerpt from that book:
     "I ought to study Christ as a living Saviour more—as a Shepherd, carrying the sheep he finds—as a King, reigning in and over the souls he has redeemed—as a Captain, fighting with those who fight with me, Psalm xxxv.—as one who has engaged to bring me through all temptations and trials, however impossible to flesh and blood.
     "I am often tempted to say, How can this man save us? How can Christ in heaven deliver me from the lusts which I feel raging in me, and nets I feel enclosing me? This is the father of lies again! 'He is able to save unto the uttermost.'
     "I ought to study Christ as an Intercessor. He prayed most for Peter who was to be most tempted. I am on his breastplate. If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room I would not fear a million of enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference; he is praying for me.
1. The idea of Christ as a Shepherd carrying a lost sheep He has found comes from Luke 15:3–7, and is related to other passages of the Scriptures, including Isaiah 40:11.
2. Many passages of the Scriptures speak of Christ reigning as a king, including Psalm 110 (which is the passage of the Old Testament which is quoted most in the New Testament), Isaiah 9:6–7, Luke 1:30–33 and 19:11–27, I Corinthians 15:25–28, Ephesians 1:15–23, II Timothy 2:11–13, and Revelation 17:14 and 19:16.
3. The AV/KJV translation of Hebrews 2:10, with which M'Cheyne was very familiar, speaks of Christ as a "captain" of salvation.
4. "Psalm xxxv." is Psalm 35.
5. The idea of Christ as a help through temptations and trials is related to many passages of the Scriptures, including Isaiah 43:2, Matthew 14:22–23, Romans 8:31 –19, I Corinthians 10:13, II Corinthians 1:3–11 and 12:7–10, Hebrews 2:18, and II Peter 2:9.
6. In Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27, and Luke 18:27, Christ speaks of something which is impossible with men but possible with God.
7. In John 8:44, Christ teaches that the "father of lies" is the devil.
8. The quotation at the end of the second paragraph is from Hebrews 7:25.
9. Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25 speak of Christ making intercession for His people.
10. In Luke 22:31–34, Christ tells Peter that He has prayed for him. In Luke 22:54–62, we read that Peter was tempted to deny Christ, and succumbed to this temptation, hours later.
11. The reference to a breastplate which M'Cheyne's name on it is to the priestly breastplate which was worn by the high priest of the Israelites, which, according to Exodus 28, bore the names of the twelve tribes of Israel which the LORD delivered from Egypt.
12. Many passages of the Epistle to the Hebrews speak of Christ as high priest, including Hebrews 2:17, 3:1–2, 4:14–16, 5:5–6, 6:17–20, 7:26–28, 8:1–2, 9:11–12, and 10:19–22.
Questions for consideration:
1. Do you think you ought to study Christ in one or more of the ways M'Cheyne thought he ought? If so, which? If not, why not?
2. Are there other ways in which you think you ought to study Christ? If so, how?
3. Are you ever tempted to doubt Christ's ability to save, as M'Cheyne was? If so, how did you respond to the temptation?
4. What difference does the intercession of Christ for His people make to you? What difference should it make?
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