This Is My Body
Christian Passover (Easter) 2006, 2016, 2021
This morning we are going to look at 4 observations about the body of Jesus Christ as it relates to the Christian Passover (Easter).
The Body of Christ Is:
I. A Real Human Body.
I. A Real Human Body.
1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—
Jesus was hungry (Mt 4:2), He was thirsty (Jn 19:28), He grew tired (Jn 4:6), He wept (Jn 11:35)
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Therefore His suffering on the cross was real
1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? 9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. 10 But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.
In 1873, a Belgian Catholic priest named Joseph Damien De Veuster was sent to minister to lepers on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai. When he arrived, he immediately began to meet each one of the lepers in the colony in hopes of building a friendship. But wherever he turned, people shunned him. It seemed as though every door was closed. He poured his life into his work, erecting a chapel, beginning worship services and pouring out his heart to the lepers. But it was to no avail. No one responded to his ministry. After twelve years Father Damien decided to leave.
Dejectedly, he made his way to the docks to board a ship to take him back to Belgium. As he stood on the dock, he wrung his hands nervously, recounting his futile ministry among the lepers. As he did he looked down at his hands, he noticed some mysterious white spots and felt some numbness. Almost immediately he knew what was happening to his body. He had contracted leprosy.
It was then that he knew what he had to do. He returned to the leper colony and to his work. Quickly the word about his disease spread through the colony. Within a matter of hours everyone knew. Hundreds of them gathered outside his hut, they understood his pain, fear, and uncertainty about the future.
But the biggest surprise was the following Sunday. As Father Damien arrived at the Chapel, he found hundreds of worshipers there. By the time the service began, there were many more with standing room only, and many gathered outside the chapel. His ministry became enormously successful. The reason? He was one of them. He understood and empathized with them.*
II. Illustrated in the Passover.
II. Illustrated in the Passover.
1 Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. 3 “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. 4 ‘Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. 5 ‘Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 ‘You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 7 ‘Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 ‘They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 ‘Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 10 ‘And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. 11 ‘Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the Lord’s Passover. 12 ‘For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the Lord. 13 ‘The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
When the lamb was killed its future was over. Its body was rendered useless except for the meal that it would provide for those in the house. It was a substitute, one body for another. It could no longer produce wool for its owner, just as the Egyptian sons could no longer work or produce for their families. It could no longer run or jump in the grass, just as the Egyptian sons would never again be able to play and bring joy to their families. The lamb could no longer cry out to its mother, just as the Egyptian mothers would never again hear the voices of their sons. If only they would have believed the words of Moses and offered the sacrifice, then the bodies of their sons would have been passed over and would still be able to do all the things that brought them joy.
7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
Jesus was our Passover Lamb. He gave His body for ours, His eyes for ours so that we could continue to see all that He created, His nail pierced hands so that ours could continue to work, His lungs for ours so that we could continue to breathe. His perfect mind for ours so that we could continue to think and dream.
It was God’s plan from the beginning for God the Son to become a human being so that He could live among us and have perfect fellowship. It wasn’ good enough for Him to walk in the garden with Adam without having a human body that Adam could touch. God was always planning on sending Jesus to live among us.
Can you imagine what it would have been like if Jesus had been born into a world that never knew sin; the love that we would have shared; the things that we could have explored together; the leadership that He would have given to our unified race! But instead of coming to live with and to enjoy His creation for all of eternity with a body that could truly do human things, He gave it all up to offer that body up on a cross for us so that now He must go through eternity with marks of suffering in His hands and His side for all to see.
III. Symbolized in Communion.
III. Symbolized in Communion.
That is just a dream of what life could have been with Jesus, the reality is that we have all sinned, each and every one of us, and ruined His perfect world and His perfect future with us. The reality is that He did die. The question for us is how will we relate to His death for us? Will we shun and despise His body that was sacrificed for us or will we embrace and identify ourselves with it? That is the significance of the bread in the communion service.
19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?
We identify with the body of Christ and we identify with His death on our behalf.
koinōnós, koinōnéō, koinōnía, synkoinōnós, synkoinōnéō.
A. The Meaning and Construction of the Terms. koinōnós means “fellow,” “participant.” koinōnéō means 1. “to share in” and more rarely koinōnía means “participation,” “impartation,” or “fellowship.” It is used with the objective genitive (what is shared), the subjective genitive (the person or thing sharing), the recipient being in the dative or with a preposition and the objective genitive (the person in whom there is sharing).
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 He took the cup also 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.
We proclaim the Lord’s death to whoever is present.
IV. The Prototype for Our Future Body.
IV. The Prototype for Our Future Body.
12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming,
35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” 36 You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; 37 and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
Why Can You Refute Christianity?
Josh McDowell entered university as a young man looking for a good time and searching for happiness and meaning in life. He tried going to church, but found religion unsatisfying. He ran for student leadership positions but was disappointed by how quickly the glamour wore off. He tried the party circuit, but he woke up Monday mornings feeling worse than ever.
He finally noticed a group of students engaged in Bible study, and he became intrigued by the radiance of one of the young ladies. He asked her a reason for it. She looked him straight in the eye, smiled, and said, “Jesus Christ.”
“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” he retorted, “don’t give me that garbage about religion.”
She replied, “I didn’t say religion; I said Jesus Christ.”
The students invited him to intellectually examine the claims of Christ and the evidence supporting Christianity. He accepted their challenge, and after much study and research, finally admitted that he couldn’t refute the body of proof supporting Christianity. McDowell received Christ as his Savior, and his research became the background for his book Evidence That Demands a Verdict.
One of the major factors in his conversion to Christianity was his inability to ignore the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ, a point he made later to a student at the University of Uruguay who asked him, “Professor McDowell, why can’t you intellectually refute Christianity?”
“For a very simple reason,” replied McDowell. “I am not able to explain away an event in history—the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”*