Many times, we the church, most arrogantly refer ourselves to as “The Body of Christ”. While this is all very true and scriptural, do we ever stop to think of the implications of declaring ourselves as such? Let’s take a little time to see what the true body of Christ endured, in comparison to us today…
- Jesus was broken and beaten up
Torture and abuse was nothing new to Jesus, by the time His trial was over. Given a mock trial, arrested and betrayed late at night, mocked, spat at, beaten up, whipped, crowned with thorns… this is what Christ’s body endured. Today, the church seems to be shocked whenever calamity assails the church. We Christians seem to arrogantly hold Him to His promises, as a businessman would point out the details of a business contract. Does this seem familiar? “God, I thank you that you will bring me out of this for you promised through Your word in I Corinthians 10:13, that…”. I’m sure that God always gives us assurances and that there are ways to pray scripturally but don’t you think that God inspired the Bible, He would know what He wrote? Jesus endured it all, brothers and sisters. We make it seem like a big deal when people insult us….
- Jesus was hung up for all to see
The body of Christ was literally hoisted up in public high above the crowds gathered at Golgotha. Everybody who was there would see the figure mocked as the King of the Jews. Today, some of us dare not declare that we are Christians for fear of offending someone/some people. Tolerance slowly turns into compromise. Maybe this doesn’t apply to all, but there is an element of truth in it isn’t there? OR are we just afraid of the implications that would arise should we declare ourselves as such?
- Jesus hung on the Cross for 3 hours.
Jesus did not die instantly, for that would have been merciful. Jesus endured the cross for 3 hours. He took time and endured the Cross. Some of us can’t even seem to make it to church on time. We seem to walk casually to the sanctuary when we are already late. After all, it’s only church right? Even if we are genuinely late for a good reason, how do we enter the sanctuary? We just pop in, say hi to the ushers, find a pew and join in the celebration. Do we even apologize to God, or we take His presence for granted. When we are late for an appointment with our boss, chances are we’d apologize quite profusely. But, in the presence of the King of Kings, we seem to have no reverence…
- The Body of Christ was united.
This is actually quite redundant… Christ’s body as all human bodies was in complete unison. His hands and feet, were they given voice would not claim superiority just because they were nailed through to the Cross. Neither would His head say that it was greater because it was crowned with thorns… can you imagine the situation? (His hands talk to the head). Yet today, the Body of Christ is most disunited. So-called Traditionalists regard the Pentecostals as weirdoes from the Planet Ton-gue. Pentecostals regard the Traditionalists as second class Christians who are not as Spirit-filled. I live in Bandar Country Homes, Rawang. It is an ulu place so I get to see a lot of development happening before my own eyes. When I first came, I saw a church there. Few months after that, there was another church opened on the very same block. On Easter day, 1998, another church recently set up shop, directly opposite the street. What is with this? Christ prayed in John 17:20-23 that we would be united, just as He and the Father was. I thank God that there is more progress towards unity cause in the last days, we are gonna fall like pins if we keep fighting among ourselves. Do we think we could have exchange programs for pastors? A Methodist pastor preaches in a Pentecostal church one Sunday while the Pentecostal pastor preaches in an Episcopalian church? We have the Council of Churches in Malaysia don’t we? Is it just like the UN?
Maybe all of this seems highly idealistic from a misguided youth that has not eaten enough salt. But then again, if that is the way, I thank God. Because He was idealistic too. Dying for the people who would reject Him, trade Him in and in Hebrews 12:2, for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, not ourselves.
Copyright © April 23, 1998, Wong Giok Leigh. All rights reserved.