Christian Universe ™
The Body and Blood of Jesus
December 11, 2011
Jesus told His followers that they had to eat His body and blood. Many were offended and no longer followed Him. He explained to those who cared to listen that His words were life, that the flesh profits nothing. We must live by the words of Jesus, and then He will live in us, and we in Him. We take the Lord's Supper to remember His suffering when His body was broken and He shed His blood. The bread and fruit of the vine are digested into our bodies, reminding us that He lives in us, and we in Him. We digest His word, and His spirit dwells with our spirits.
The Body and Blood of Jesus
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 12-11-2011
Presented to Load church of Christ on 12-18-2011
It is important that each believer in Jesus Christ understands the significance of the body and blood of Jesus. There was a reason that Jesus came as flesh and blood.
John 6:47 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
48 I am that bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever."
This talk provoked controversy among the critics of Jesus, but among his followers, as well.
John 6:60 "Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him."
Jesus spoke of eating His body and drinking His blood. This offended some of His followers. Rumors of cannibalism spread. Yet, He made it plain that the words that He spoke gave life.
Later, Jesus used the bread and fruit of the vine at Passover to declare a memorial to His sacrifice for those who believe and follow Him.
Matthew 26:26 "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
The apostle Paul spoke clearly of this memorial in one of His writings.
1 Corinthians 11:23 "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."
In the churches of Christ, we choose to embrace this remembrance weekly, on the first day. However, it should never become an empty ritual for us. While we contemplate the sacrifice that Jesus became for us, we should understand what it now means to us. Let us consider the process.
When we eat the bread as the body of Christ, it is absorbed and becomes a part of our own body. When we drink the fruit of the vine as the blood of Christ, it is absorbed into our bloodstream. Therefore, the body of Christ becomes a part of our body, and the blood of Christ becomes a part of our blood. Just as our spirits are purchased, our bodies belong to Christ.
Acts 20:28 "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."
1 Corinthians 6:20 "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
We don’t just belong to Him, but are His extension here upon the planet earth.
Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."
Colossians 1:18 "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."
Jesus, not some man, is the head of the body. The ekklesia is His body! We believers are His body, and He is the head of that body. We take our directions from Him. If some man tries to usurp that authority, it becomes that man’s body, and not the body of Christ.
Colossians 2:16 "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh."
Those who make up their own rules and commandments are not regarding Christ as the head of the body. In fact, they are wooing away the body of Christ to become their own body, with themselves as the head.
Christ died to purchase us. We are bought by His blood and belong to Him. We are His body, and He is our head. We, the ekklesia, take our instructions from Him, just as our natural body is controlled by our natural head.
John 17:20 "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
When we eat the bread and drink the fruit of the vine, we should always meditate upon our relationship with Christ. His figurative body is in our literal body, and His figurative blood is in our literal blood. Spiritually, we are His spiritual body and He is our spiritual head. We are one with Him.
Lesson Reason: Jesus intended for us to remember Him, His suffering and His sacrifice by offering His body and His blood. The Lord's Supper -- communion -- reminds us of that.
Lesson Outcome: We need to understand the relationship of the body and blood of Jesus Christ to our own body and blood. His word is food for our spirits, while the bread and fruit of the vine remind us of His body and blood, which were sacrificed for us.