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Body of Christ

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The term refers both to the physical body of Jesus Christ, which was broken on the cross in order that redemption might be accomplished through him, and to the church.


Jesus Christ’s physical body

His birth

John 1:14 KJV 1900
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
See also Ro 1:3; Ga 4:4; 1 Ti 3:16

His bodily needs

Mt 8:24; Mk 11:12; Lk 4:2; Jn 4:6; Jn 19:28

His physical suffering

Matthew 27:26 KJV 1900
Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
See also Mt 27:28–30; Lk 22:44

His real physical death

John 19:31–37 KJV 1900
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
See also Mt 27:35; Ac 2:23

His burial

Mark 15:43–46 KJV 1900
Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counseller, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

His physical resurrection

Luke 24:37–43 KJV 1900
But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.
See also Mt 28:9; Jn 20:19–20; Jn 20:27

The body of Christ symbolised in the Lord’s Supper

Matthew 26:26 KJV 1900
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.
See also Jn 6:51–58; 1 Co 10:16; 1 Co 11:23–30

The church as the body of Christ

Believers as members of the body of Christ

1 Corinthians 12:27 KJV 1900
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
See also Ro 12:4–5; 1 Co 12:12; Eph 4:4; Col 1:24

Jesus Christ as the head of the body

Colossians 1:18 KJV 1900
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
See also Eph 1:22; Eph 5:23

Jesus Christ’s resurrection body is a new temple

John 2:19–22 KJV 1900
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
See also Eph 2:19–22

Life in the body of Christ

Baptism is into the body of Christ

1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV 1900
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
See also Ga 3:27

Believers receive spiritual life through the body of Christ

Colossians 2:19 KJV 1900
And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
See also 1 Co 10:16–17; Eph 4:15–16

Believers care for each other in the body of Christ

1 Corinthians 12:25–26 KJV 1900
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
See also Eph 4:25; Eph 5:29–30; Col 3:15

Believers have different gifts in the body of Christ

Romans 12:4–5 KJV 1900
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
See also Ro 12:6–8; 1 Co 12:12–31; Eph 4:11–13
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