Monday, April 14, 2008
The Body is Christ!
By Ramone - April 13, 2008
"The Body is Christ!"
Therefore don't let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a New Moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah.
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (NIV)
So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a New Moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (NKJV) The word translated "substance" or "reality" can also be translated as "body". This is how I pictured Paul telling people not to worry about religious rituals, holy days, holy foods, "divine services", etc. These things were and still are only a shadow... but the BODY is Christ!
The reality, the substance, is His body! Not even "communion service", but His real, REAL body! He Himself is the reality! Yes, He called us to "remember" Him and celebrate the New Covenant by having communion with one another in His presence. But this is a ceremony of rememberance, not a "means of grace" and not a re-presenting or offering of His sacrifice again because it has already been offered once for all! The reality is Him!
Paul was saying,
"Look! Not shadows, not services, not rituals, not programs! Get your head out of the ritualistic box -- the reality is Him! He is it! He Himself is the reality! You don't need a 'service' or a special ritual to access Him or 'receive' Him! No! He has done it already! He has broken down that dividing wall of rituals and ceremonies! Now you may approach Him freely without any of that, just by faith! Those things were just shadows of the REAL THING -- the real thing is HIM!
Don't judge yourself your your closeness to Him (and don't let others judge you that way, either!) by what services or rituals you do, eat or attend -- no! The reality, the BODY is Him! You don't have to do this ritual or that service to be in Him -- you don't need shadows to be in Him! You don't need ancient Jewish shadows or ancient Christian shadows or even modern Christian shadows! HE is the body! He is the reality! And you have all fullness in Him!
In Him you are lacking nothing! All the fullness of God is in His body, and you are in Him, and you are His body. You have all the fullness of God in you! Therefore do not be intimidated by fine-sounding shadows, but stand in the Light, in the reality, and in the fullness that is in Him and that He has put in you!"