IT WAS REAL, it was torturous that time a short while ago, when they took the Creator, the King of Glory, God come down to us in human form and they beat Him till His back lay in stripes, planted a crown of long thorns upon His head, and called upon Him to carry His own cross toward Calvary’s hill where they nailed Him suspended to that cross.
Before that, He had been betrayed by Judas Iscariot, denied by Peter the apostle, and forsaken by all the other disciples. He was a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, laying down His life for a bride that God the Father had given Him, but a bride that had to be redeemed before the wedding could take place.
The prophet Isaiah said of Him, “He hath no form of comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” See Him on the cross, a bloody mass. He had come as God in human form, but now He was as it were without form, covered in blood, the weakest of men, dying on the cross. And there he CRIED OUT,
“My God, My God,
Why hast THOU forsaken Me?”
Christian, did YOU so torture and abuse His holy body? Did YOU cause that bloody mass? For you, even one small sin would have done it, would have caused that death! The world did not murder Him; the world did not take that holy life, except that it was He Himself who voluntarily laid it down so that His bride would be REDEEMED!
“No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself . . . This commandment I received of My Father.” (John 10:18)
“I am the good Shepherd:
the good shepherd giveth his life
for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
“I am the good Shepherd, and
I know My sheep, and am known of Mine.
As the Father knoweth Me, even so
know I the Father:
And I lay down My life for the sheep.”
BUT AS A SINNER, as a rebellious, God-hating sinner, YOU the Christian, laid those sharp tongs of steel and glass and stones, on the BODY of the Holy One of Israel who created you! It was YOUR sin that put Him there! It was for YOU that He left glory to come to seek and to save the lost sheep! THAT and only that is why He died. That is why He bled the life-blood out of His body! Oh! How we Christians should hate even the very thought of sin! We should CHERISH that Body, and abuse it no longer.
But wait! Why do I speak thus? That is past. That is over. What danger now is there of me ever again abusing, neglecting, and torturing His body? He is already resurrected and in glory. Why would I press that concern on our hearts NOW?
Oh! But look! He still has those pierced hands and feet! He still has that pierced side! He still has a suffering, neglected, ignored BODY. He can even SHOW you His wounds. We Christians did it! And, alas! WE STILL DO IT! O God help us and have mercy: WE STILL DO IT!
Christianity is no sham religion. The world is full of fakes and false religions. Christianity is the only one with substance, the only one that is “for real.” It is the only one that is eternal. It is the only one with a suffering Savior that gave His life voluntarily for His bride, for those who believe in Him throughout all the world. In fact, those very believers, those very sheep ARE indeed His body! So as you neglect, ignore, reject, or beat them, you are STILL beating and abusing the very body of the Lord Jesus Christ. You say you care for and love Christ. Do you prove it by LOVING HIS BODY?
Christianity is the ONLY religion with a living Savior who was dead; it is the only religion with a Founder and a Savior that lives and has a bride and a body—the ones He saved!
But you say, “But I do love the Lord; I love His body.” And I say, in the modern vernacular, “Yeah, right!”
Do we love His body? Really?
Peter once boasted how he loved the Lord. Oh, he of all people would never deny the Lord Jesus Christ. Never! But Jesus told him that by the time the rooster crowed three times in the morning, he would have denied Him not once but THREE times. And so it happened. That taught Peter not to boast.
Later on, the Lord spoke to Peter to affirm his love, or rather to nail down the lesson for Peter. He asked Peter THREE times if he loved Him. But each time, in the Greek, the meaning of “love” was a bit different. You might say, it went from the high end of the scale down to the low end. Finally, the last question was more like, “Peter, are you even fond of Me?”
Peter had learned his lesson. No longer would he boast. He learned that he was as weak and as unstable as water. Unless the Lord held Him up, he would fall, just as he fell into the sea when trying to walk on water to Jesus, his faith failing. So finally Peter simply replied to the Lord, “Thou knowest.” Truly, the Lord knows all things. He knows our amount of love; He knows our weaknesses and sins; He knows we are but dust. Yet He still loves His sheep!
Christian, I don’t need to take up space on paper, I don’t need to write in ink to remind you that the Lord says over and over, “Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of these, you have done it unto Me.” Or inasmuch as ye have FAILED to do it to one of His little ones, you have failed the doing of it to Him.
In other words, when you fail to cherish His BODY, then you fail to cherish Him.
So how much do we fail? I tremble to think of it. Oh! Our LACK of love! Oh! Our forgetfulness of the body, of one another! Oh! Our neglect, even our total neglect. Not only our neglect and sins of omission, but our abuse, our unkindness. In a word, our even “beating” of our fellow-servants! Indeed, our sins of commission as well as of omission.
I know we in this life are unloving, being in the flesh. But the flesh is not supposed to control us. Just like the world, we like to love the lovely and look down on the unlovely. But we all are still sinners; none of us are perfected yet! If the admonition of “love one another” were not necessary for NOW, then why is there so much exhortation in the New Testament about loving one another NOW?
“Beloved, let us love one another:
For love is of God;
and every one that loveth is born of God,
and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love.”
(1 John 4:7-8)
Are we still abusing
the Lord’s Body?