A Body Prepared Once for All

“… We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).

God the Son became Man. It stands as one of the mysteries of Christianity and of all of human history. Jesus had to take on flesh and bone. He became like us in every way. And yet He never ceased to be God the Son. Everything about life on earth turns on this truth about Jesus. It was His Body that was sacrificed “once for all.”

Hebrews 10 relates the necessity for the actual Body of Christ. This chapter begins with words about the Law and how this Law was a “shadow” or hint of Him who was to come. Still, the Law had to be fleshed out – seen, heard, touched.

In the ninth chapter of Hebrews, we were instructed in the power of the Blood. This literal Blood had to flow from something real and tangible. The significance of the Blood of Jesus is that it is objective and substantive. The Blood is not an abstraction, a figure of speech, or a mere idea or imagination.

Neither is the Body of Jesus an abstraction. The reality of His physical presence quickly became one of the original disputes related to the Person of the Son.

The Reality of HIs Flesh

The early heresies involved a philosophical analysis of Jesus. The record of His words and works and the stories of the devotion of those who believed in Him could not be ignored.

Much of the thinking and writings of the Greek and Roman era deemed the physical and material details of life as hindrances and thus bodies were classified as prisons for the soul and of the true person.

The immaterial part of being was idolized both in thought and in art. Overthinking and very talkative people, as evidenced by Paul’s encounter in Acts 17 at Athens’ Mars Hill, scoffed at the concept of resurrection. Why would anyone want to have a body again? These ones contended.

Well, the answer from the Bible’s viewpoint was because God made us in His image and made our bodies very good. They only became corrupted and prone to decay following the Fall of Man in Genesis 3, a crash that involved an ignorance of the word of the Lord.

Among those who appreciated Jesus and His story, there were some who tried to craft lofty explanations about Him. Their theories are known as Gnostic. They struggled to bring rationale to faith; they wrestled to explain the unexplainable in terms of human intellect. The Apostle John wrote this warning:  “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist” (3 John 7).

Jesus came in the flesh because a price had to be paid to redeem us from the law of sin and death.

God With Us

The shadow of God was cast by the Law. It indicated His holiness. It focused on His Oneness and Highness. It pointed to the true form of Him who was to come. The commandments, precepts, and statutes were to be followed. These words of direction would provide protection spiritually and physically, the boundaries set and practices prescribed were given to encourage and edify hearts and to provide safety for bodies.

The sacrifices and offerings served as reminders of the mess that sin had brought into this world, a world that the Lord has always so loved. The offerings were continual and necessary. The priest followed the rules prescribed and the activity was constant. Sin meant restlessness, and so the priests could not sit down. The blood of bulls and goats had to keep flowing.

The Lord gave a glimpse of the hope to come, the hope of rest, the hope of completion. He described this with the seventh day of Creation. The Sabbath day that He celebrated Himself was given in the Commandments. The Lord ordained this to reveal that He had in His mind and purpose a finishing touch. The “It is done” day would dawn.

The Son came to do all the will of the Lord. His did so in a Body prepared, a humanity conceived of the Holy Spirit and delivered to this planet through the womb of the virgin from Nazareth. Click To Tweet

The Son came to do all the will of the Lord. His did so in a Body prepared, a humanity conceived of the Holy Spirit and delivered to this planet through the womb of the virgin from Nazareth. This very reality was written of in the prophets. “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

“Immanuel” – God with us. The Son established a fresh and everlasting covenant as true Man. He came not to eradicate the Law, but to fulfill every bit of it, down to the last comma and period that was written.

This is what people often get wrong about the grace and mercy of the Lord. Many see Bible salvation as something of a get-out-of-Hell free card. The pride of the human heart has such a strong religious bent that some just cannot abide the thought that mercy rejoices against judgment.

Why does mercy rejoice? Not because judgment and justice were ignored. That is not the case whatsoever. The Body prepared answered all of the stipulations given from Heaven in the Law of God. He came and lived, and through His fulfillment of all of the Law, He rendered every sacrifice required.

Pierced and Torn

This was the point made in Hebrews 9 with its explanation regarding the Blood of Christ and it efficaciousness. Consider that last word. It is a different word, one we don’t really use in everyday language. Still we should recognize the meaning of it.

The efficacy of Jesus’ offering of Himself is in the power that it released for us to live for God. He took the Body of flesh for a reason. He sought to live and experience our reality in all of its forms. And He did, with a singleness of obedience, and His singleness of obedience was just what was required to satisfy the wages of sin. Death was demanded and He met that demand. And because He met that demand, we are in Him, taken into full fellowship. “For by a single offering, He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).

“… There is no longer any offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:18).

This is the message the writer of this letter wanted to make clear. Jesus took the Body prepared and gave it for us. End of story. Click To Tweet

This is the message the writer of this letter wanted to make clear. Jesus took the Body prepared and gave it for us. End of story.

“It is Finished.” Christ said it. Believe it.

The centurions at the Cross made sure the Son was really dead. Jesus was pierced. His side torn and what came forth was blood and water (see John 19:34).

The tearing of the Body Prepared was symbolized in the Temple when the curtain was torn. It resulted in “A new and living way, which He has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh” (Hebrews 10:20).

Again, “There is no more offering for sin.”

I must learn to think this way more and more. As I do, some things become ever more real in me.

These things are a true heart, a full assurance, and an unwavering profession. I gain these confidences because I see that He is faithful to all of His promises.

This confidence and assurance I can share. I can become an encourager as a member of the Church of Christ, the Body of which He is Head. I am forever joined to the communion of the saints of God. As such a one, I should live along the following lines:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

 

 

Steve Andrulonis
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