August 12, 2012 by nathanodell
For most Christian’s the idea that the Church is the ‘Body of Christ’ is acknowledged and even given lip service on occasion. However, I believe that most Christians have failed to see the staggering magnificence of this reality. We have simply given the phrase ‘Body of Christ’ a head nod and filed it away in our theological file cabinets or added it to our Chritianese vocabulary. We have not feasted on this staggering revelation. Let me tell you a story which changed the course of history:
There was an extremely zealous Jew named Saul who was the most learned Jew among his contemporaries and was persecuting the early Church. He was breathing threats of murder against the disciples and decided to make a trip to Damascus to arrest some of these disciples and bring them back to Jerusalem. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.”
The story obviously is not finished, but lets take a look at what the Lord said to Paul:
Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? … I am Jesus whom you are persecuting
Who was Saul persecuting at the time? He was persecuting believers – the Church. In fact he was arresting and murdering them. But the Lord Jesus himself says to Saul why are you persecuting ME. If the magnitude of what the Lord said has not struck you yet, let me make it plain: Jesus makes no distinction between Himself and believers who are His Body – the Church. He does not see us as a group of people who believe in Him and do stuff to please Him – No – He sees us as His expression on earth. We are His living, moving expression on earth. When we are being persecuted and suffering, it is the Lord who is being persecuted and is suffering. We are the body of Christ and are utterly and completely joined together in union with our Lord.
Paul had this magnificent revelation of Christ and His body and spoke of this revelation through most of his letters:
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12
Christ has a body made up of many members. Weird hey? What is Christs body and what are the members?
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27
We are part of Christ… Wow!!! Amen.
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. Colossians 1:18
Christ is the Head of His body – the Church!
for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. Ephesians 5:29-30
May we feast on this glorious inclusion into Christ and that we as members of His body can corporately be a visible expression of Christ on this earth. May we have a beautiful sighting of Christ’s body and Jesus Himself as the Head of His body. May we hold fast to the Head – Christ – So that we as the body may grow up into the fullness of Christ. Amen.