Did Jesus go to physical workout at the local gymnasium? Unlikely. Not a very acceptable place for a young Rabbi to attend. Be that as it was, the physical strength of the body of Christ should astound us all. More than that, there was the moral tone to his physic. In John 8:46 Jesus challenged the crowd to level and short-coming evident in His life. Was there any commandment, statute or judgement damaged by His behaviour or voice? But there was one other facet of His nature, housed within His body, no one could see but was essential for Jesus’ physical health and strength. Did He possess a sin nature?
The importance of this lies at the very heart of the person, prophesy about and work of Jesus. In Hebrews there is much written about Jesus as the fulfilment of the Jewish sacrificial system! In chapter 10:5 ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me.’ What was the purpose of this ‘body prepared?’ To fulfil the shadow cast by the sacrifices. When you read about the qualifications for the ‘shadow sacrifices’ each of them had to be without spot or blemish. Therefore, if Jesus was to be the real sacrifice He too must be without blemish or spot.
Impossible. That is, if He was sired by Joseph (or any other person.) Why? Because when the first Adam betrayed God’s commission to him certain things entered the human lineage. One of course is death and decay. The other is described by Paul in Romans 6:6 as ‘the body of sin.’ If this resided in Jesus He was automatically disqualified as the fulfilment of Isaiah 53, and other shadow sacrifices. Who then could sit in judgement upon the inner life of this Man of Galilee? God! How could the Lord God Almighty do that and get the information out to us?
Through a severe, intensive, thorough test upon His body! The word ‘prepared for me’ ‘Katartizo’ speaks about being free of eternal blemish. In 1 Peter 1:19 the writer says Jesus was without internal defect (amomos) and (aspilos) external spot. This was proven through great trial and testing. From the time the Devil was let loose on Him for forty days in the wilderness to the barbarity of Roman soldiers’ torture and crucifixion. However that might simply reveal Jesus as a brave, unflinching martyr. What is the undeniable evidence according to Scripture, to the early disciples and the fledgling Church?
The most wonderful words spoken by an Angel, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen!” Luke 24:5.
How was it possible for Jesus to escape the curse of the first Adam? By becoming the 2nd Adam. That is, by passing the birth process of male and female union. He needed a ‘body prepared.’ That was the promise to Eve and the threat to the Serpent (Genesis 3:15.) Hundreds of years later this promise was again foreshadowed in Isaiah 7:14. The wonder of the Christmas event is the fulfilment of this promise through Mary. Luke 1:26-38. Only in this manner could the body prepared be unblemished by the indwelling sin nature.
Then too, this is often overlooked. The human lineage of Joseph, Mary’s betrothed, was under a curse. Jeremiah 22:24-30. Joseph or any of his descendants could sit upon the throne of David in Israel, ever! This is another factor in the virgin birth and ‘the body prepared.’ Mary’s line came through David’s son, Nathan. (Luke 3:23-33.)
Christmas cannot be separated from Calvary. The virgin birth cannot be dismissed as a non-essential. The resurrection cannot be spiritualised.
The ‘body prepared’ bore our sin and judgement. The Body of Jesus surely was physically, morally and spiritually strong and unique. When Jesus arose from the tomb He had a glorified body. The old one was consumed. No remains were seen in the tomb only the grave cloths and napkin.
What a privilege Christians have of celebrating this ‘body prepared’ and its achievements in the sacrament of Communion. However, there is a warning attached. Do not treat the symbol of the bread, His body, with dishonour. (1 Corinthians 11:23-32.)
Romans 1:1-4 expressed the wonder associated with Christ Jesus and His ‘body prepared.’ [God] promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning His son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.
©Ray Hawkins December 3rd 2017.