“A body you have prepared for me”
In God’s scheme of redemption the Law was never sufficient to deal with man’s most basic flaw, sin. The Law and the sacrificial system were not able to make a sinner whole. The sacrifice of bulls and goats and the law that required them were but a shadow of the only sacrifice that would take the sins of man away, the body of Jesus.
It was a real human body. Jesus, like us in every way, except for sin, got thirsty, hungry, tired, sleepy, and the pain he experienced was just as real as when you feel it. When he was hit with the hands of his captors, beaten with sticks, a thorny crown pushed into his flesh, and finally the nails and the spear… All of these horrors were experienced in a human body.
And, in his spirit, like us he experienced anguish, sorrow, and shame. When blood thirsty men spit on him and mocked him he hurt just as you might in similar circumstances. When finally he died as a common criminal and was taken to the tomb, it was a body that was laid in the tomb.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree
What religion could never do, what the law and the sacrifices were impetent to accomplish, he did by the once for all time offering of his body, once for all men. He walked the dusty roads, worked as a carpenter, preached, healed, ate with his friends, and spent hours at a time on his knees, in a real human body.
He did not sin, not once, not ever. And, he always perfectly obeyed. Thus, he alone could become the perfect sacrifice. A human sacrifice in a body that would experience the very wrath of God against sin and know the sorrow of the Father turning away from him because of sin. It was your sin he bore, and mine. The wages of sin is death and the only innocent one died in my place and in your place so that together with him we might live.
Now because he sacrificed his body God can declare a sinner like you “right” and adopt you his own dear child, and never compromise his holiness or his justice. His demand for perfect obedience to his law has been fully met and his fierce anger against sin fully executed upon this body, the body of Jesus.
He appeared to five hundred brothers at one time
Just as he said, after three days he came out of the tomb very much alive, in a body. It was a different body, but it was his body. It was a glorified body fully operational on earth or in heaven. He walked with his friends, he suddenly appeared in a room, and ate meals with them. When one of them, Thomas, just was not sure, he showed him the scars in his hand and his side and he touched his body. It was a real, material body, different than ours, but not for ever!
The followers of Jesus were beaten and thrown into jail for telling others that Jesus was alive again! The fact of the once dead now eternally alive body of Jesus is the victory for every man who faces death, who wants the power of sin defeated in his life. He is not here, He is risen! Satan, death, hell, and the grave could not stop the body of Jesus infused with the Holy Spirit of God.
This same Jesus you saw ascend into heaven will come again in the same way
As witness stood looking into the clouds open mouthed they were told by heavenly messengers the story was not over. He will come back, in his body. And, when he does he will sound the signal and every man and woman who died in faith will be raised from the dead and have a body like his glorious body, made for heaven and earth but without any hint of the curse of sin. No imperfections, no missing limbs, no aging, no need to be satisfied because by the body of Jesus man has been fully redeemed.
When one day the redeemed stand in their glorified bodies in righteousness, as pure as he is pure, God will be glorified and praised and forever he will be worshiped and adored. We, once wicked sinners, will be the trophies of his amazing grace!
This is my body given for you
As Jesus ate with his friends he took some bread and said “This is my body given for you” and when he had given thanks each of them ate. He said “Do this in remembrance of me”. He wanted them to remember that he sacrificed a real body for them. Paul said “as often as you do this you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes”, and he will come.
Anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself
It is obvious that God takes remembering the body Jesus, his death for our sins, very, very serious. Paul warned the Corinthian believers of how dangerous it is to take the Lord’s Supper flippantly. He said some were weak and ill, and some had even died because they had not thought about and appreciated the body of Jesus. These are pretty strong words. It is a good idea to remember this warning when next the bread is passed to you.
I hope we have a renewed apprciation for the great sacrifice that was made for us when Jesus was excecuted in your place and mine that we could live forever. By grace are you saved.