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Christ’s (Spiritual) Body at the Foundation of the World

Chris McCann
March 28, 2017

#92 Christ’s (Spiritual) Body at the...

We’ve learned from the Bible that Christ made payment for sins at the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Yet people often ask the question: “Where was Christ's body at the foundation of the world?”

We’re going to try and answer that question in this study.

JESUS DEFINES HIS OWN BODY/FLESH

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.

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

What do all of the above references have in common? They are statements that speak of Christ’s body, or His flesh, and yet none of them are speaking of His physical body or physical flesh (obviously Jesus would not have told people they must eat His physical flesh, that idea would be horrific and alien to the Bible).

THERE IS A SPIRITUAL BODY

1 Corinthians 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

The idea of a spiritual body is foreign to us. We’re creatures that have been fitted with physical bodies and placed upon a physical world to live in. Even the two words themselves, “spiritual body” do not seem to go together in our minds. We cannot reconcile the idea of spiritual with the idea of a body. Yet, the Scriptures clearly say that “there is a spiritual body”. And therefore, despite not fully understanding it, we must accept it as a reality.

The Greek word “body” used in the phrase, “There is a SPIRITUAL BODY” is Strong's #4983 (pronounced, ‘soma’). The exact same word often used in the New Testament to describe the physical body.

We can only conclude then, that a spiritual body is a very real and genuine body. It’s the body the elect people of God will possess for all eternity future. Yet, it is also a spiritual body. We admit that a spiritual body is something that we cannot fully comprehend, and yet, its very real.

THE WORD MADE FLESH

The Word (Christ) was made flesh (John 1:14). Jesus spoke of eating His flesh (thereby reverting His flesh back to the Word).

The Bible calls Christ's time on earth in physical flesh a manifestation:

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh,...

And a manifestation is that which shines light upon an earlier and deeper realty. In this case, the body that Christ possessed at the foundation of the world---

John 6:50 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.

In this passage of John 6 Jesus easily switches from bread to His own flesh.

Why? Because of John 1:14's declaration that the Word was made flesh.

1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

We will bear the image of the second man (Christ) and that image is an heavenly (spiritual) image. It is not an image made out of earthly flesh and blood. God's elect will possess a body like Christ which is a spiritual body.

If Jesus said, take, eat, this is My body (Matthew 26:26), and the word body is the identical Greek word to an earthly physical body, and obviously Christ is NOT referring to His earthly physical body---then what body is He referring to?

First, we must recognize, that He is indeed referring to a body. And not just anyone's body, it is His own. The same statement is made in three of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke quoted below:

Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

So we find Jesus referring to His own body in offering bread to the disciples. And the reference to His own body cannot possibly be to the physical, or earthly body He possessed. Instead, it was a reference to partaking of a spiritual bread and in so doing partaking of a spiritual (unseen) body.

When we look up the words flesh and body in regards to Christ, repeatedly, we find that both are used by God to refer not to His physical earthly body that He dwelt in for a few years on the earth, but the words flesh and body refer to as aspect of His spiritual Being.

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.

As you can see from all the Scripture references I’ve been giving, the number of places in which the Word of God uses the words body and flesh in connection with Jesus’ body and flesh, and yet is not speaking of His actual body and flesh are numerous.

The Lord's supper constantly taught the people of God that the broken bread was the Lord's body. Although it wasn't His physical body in actuality. It really was teaching us that the Lord's death was accomplished in His spiritual body (take eat, this is My body).

HIS OWN SELF BARE OUR SINS IN HIS OWN BODY

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,...

When we look up the words flesh and body in regards to Christ, repeatedly, we find that both are used by God to refer not to His physical earthly body that He dwelt in for a few years on the earth, but the words flesh and body repeatedly refer to as aspect of His spiritual Being.

Since we are born into this physical world, and since we ourselves have physical bodies. We are conditioned to think that every time we see the word 'body' it must mean a physical body like our own.

And yet, the Bible says "there is a spiritual body"(again the word body is Strong's #4983). 1 Peter 2:24 uses this word as it says of Jesus that "His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree".

Now since this verse is saying that Jesus was bearing sins, given all the other Biblical information that strongly reveals to us that that bearing of sins took place at the foundation of the world, we have rightly understood this verse to refer to Jesus dying as the slain Lamb at the world's foundation. However, explaining how Jesus had a “body” at that point in eternity past was not easy.

But now we can much better understand the use of the word "body" in this verse. Yes Christ had a body. It was also known as His flesh. And in His body He died at the foundation of the world bearing the sins of His elect people. Only, it was not a physical body. It was a spiritual body.

Then, after 11,000 years of history unfolded, Jesus equipped Himself with a physical, earthly body as He was born of the virgin Mary and entered into the human race.

This physical fleshly body He entered the world with was simply a manifestation of His earlier spiritual body (John 1:14 Word made flesh).

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh,...

Part 2

https://www.facebook.com/notes/chris-mccann/christs-spiritual-body-at-the-foundation-of-the-world-part-2/1267856696635318/

Now, when someone says, show me where Jesus had a body at the foundation of the world?

A child of God can respond by pointing them to the many verses in which Jesus said He had a spiritual body:

Matthew 26:26b ...Take, eat; this is my body.

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.

Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Was Jesus giving them His physical earthly body to eat?

Of course not. Yet He said, very definitely, that it was His body.

More verses speaking of Christ's spiritual body:

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.

1 Corinthians 11:24 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.

1 Corinthians 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

THIS IS MY BODY

Someone may not like that Jesus had a spiritual body to die in at the foundation of the world. But sorry, Jesus Himself said again and again, "This is My body". And He was NOT referring to His physical body but to something unseen (spiritual).

He also stated that the broken bread was His body. Broken for you. The reference to broken bread meant that He had suffered and died in body for the people that would eat of Him (His elect). To put it another way, when Jesus made reference to His spiritual body (take eat) it was in association with His atoning work (broken for you).

THE BAPTISM (DEATH) OF JESUS

Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

As discussed previously, the baptism of Jesus completely identifies with His death and resurrection at the foundation of the world.

Baptism is related to death in the sense that Christ's death served to wash away the sins He was bearing for the sake of His elect people.

Romans 6: 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Jesus went down into the water in John's baptism (He died at the foundation of the world)---and then came up out of the water. The coming up out of the water points to the resurrection which He also experienced at the foundation of the world.

God the Father then proclaims Him His Son in Whom He is well pleased. This precisely follows the pattern laid out in Romans 1:3,4, that tells us that Jesus was declared to be the Son of God through the resurrection of the dead.

Romans 1: 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, ...

4 And declared to be the Son of God ... by the resurrection from the dead:

IN A BODILY SHAPE LIKE A DOVE

We also find an interesting word used in Luke 3:22,

Luke 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, ...

Upon Jesus' coming up out of the water (i.e. resurrection) and the Father's declaration of His Sonship (My Son in whom I'm well pleased)---we find that there is language linking the Holy Spirit with a body. He (the Holy Ghost) descended in bodily shape. The Greek word translated as "bodily" is #4984, related word to #4983. It's the same word used in 1 Timothy 4:8 that tells us that "bodily exercise profiteth little". Of course bodily exercise in that verse is speaking about the human body.

And again, the spiritual context of coming up out of the water and receiving the Father's declaration of Sonship, unmistakably ties in with the events that transpired at the world's foundation.

Therefore, for the Lord to tell us of the Holy Spirit descending upon Christ in BODILY form points to the fact that Jesus had a spiritual body at the foundation of the world (how better to let us know of a spiritual body than having the Holy SPIRIT descend in bodily shape).

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