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Body & Blood

by Bernie Parsons 08-13-06

Body & Blood

presented by Bernie Parsons

before the Load church of Christ on 08-13-06


Before Jesus was crucified, while He was eating a Passover meal of the unleavened bread with His twelve apostles, we read the following passage:

Mark 14:22: “And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
23: And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
24: And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.”

Roman Catholics declare that the bread literally turns to flesh and the fruit of the vine literally turns to blood. Protestants often say that the bread and fruit of the vine merely represent the body and blood of Jesus. Both views dismiss the true meaning and importance of the Lord’s Supper.

Jesus did not claim that bread and wine, or grape juice, if you prefer, become flesh and blood. Neither did He call them symbols that represent the true. Rather, He said that they simply are! To the Christian taking them during the Lord’s Supper, they are the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:16: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17: For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.”

Many prefer to equate the word communion with the Lord’s Supper, and leave it at that. To do so is to overlook the significance of what is taking place at that time. Still others speak of Christians as communing with one another during the Lord’s Supper. Some wish to refuse communion to those whom they consider sinners of one sort or another. This is referred to in some religious circles as closed communion—a concept that is not found in the New Testament writings. It is best that we stay away from such man-made concepts.

Let us examine the scriptural concept of communion, or fellowship. In the passage of scripture above, Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians that after we thank God for the cup, that drink unites us with the blood of Christ, while eating the bread unites us with the body of Christ. So united, we become one with the body and blood of Jesus Christ. We commune with Jesus, which means that we are in fellowship with Him.

1 Corinthians 1:9: “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 John 1:3: “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

1 John 1:6: “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

By loving and serving God through Christ, we are placed into a state of fellowship with them, and thereby, with fellow believers. When we take the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine, we are acknowledging this state of fellowship with God & Christ.

His body becomes part of our body. His blood becomes part of our blood. How is this? When we eat the bread, it is digested and absorbed into our own bodies. By that, Christ is in us. When we drink the fruit of the vine, it is absorbed into our bloodstream, so that the blood of Jesus flows in our veins. In other words, Christ is in us.

On another level, the church—that is, the ekklesia, or called-out assembly—is the body of Jesus Christ. Consider the following scriptures regarding our individual places in the body of Christ.

Colossians 1:12-18: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 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.”

1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

Romans 12:4: “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”

Our fellowship with one another exists because we various members are joined within the body of Christ worldwide. There is only one body for all people everywhere, as the Apostle Paul explained to the Christians at Ephesus in:

Ephesians 2:13-18: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

Each of us has our body that contains every organ, appendage, or member. It is the same with the body—the church—of Christ Jesus, son of the Living God.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

“For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body?

“But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

Being then organs within the organism, that is, members within the body of Christ, we become one with Christ, and with God.

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.
22: And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

We are individual members—organs—the body of Christ.

Ephesians 5:29-30: ”For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”
His blood cleanses us of our sins.
Revelation 1:5: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,”
1 John 1:7: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
Jesus is bread and drink to us. He is life. When we hear His teachings and keep them, then we are the body of Christ, and He lives in us, and we in Him.
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.
59: These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
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.”
1 John 3:24: “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”
We are the body of Christ. As such, we are to be without spot, and blameless.
Ephesians 5:24: “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26: That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Jesus was without spot and blemish. We, as the body of Christ, have an obligation to try our best to refrain from sin. We are to be without spot and blemish.
Hebrews 9:14: “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
1 Peter 1:18: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
2 Peter 3:14: “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

But, if we sin, He cleanses us and makes us without spot and blemish!

1 John 2:1: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
3: And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”

1 John 1:9:” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The body and blood of Jesus make us clean, for He is without spot and blemish.


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