Wednesday's Meditation

This is my body...

His earthly body
Jesus' earthly body suffered all manner of afflictions, hardships and trials. He travelled long, wearying distances. He was hungry and thirsty. He had no resources to draw on to purchase food or lodging. His time was rarely His own: constant demands were made of Him, often by people who were simply out for what they could get from Him. He suffered harassment from the authorities. He endured misunderstanding, and rejection by some of the people closest to Him. His motives and actions were a constant source of gossip and malicious comment by people. He experienced gross injustice, and a lack of recognition of His true worth. He was slandered.

Eventually, He was betrayed by one of the people closest to Him. He was abandoned, disowned and rejected by those whom He had loved and nurtured. Ultimately, His body was tortured, humiliated, savagely beaten and He was dragged like a despised common criminal to endure a prolonged, cruel, painful death.

Because He was fully man as well and fully God, Jesus knew all the pain, distress and discomfort of these experiences. He can sustain us in our trials - because He has been there.

His glorified body
Jesus' glorified body is different from His earthly body. It still bears the marks of some of His human sufferings (John 20 v 27), but it is no longer constrained by the limitations of a human form. In His revelations to the apostle John on Patmos, Jesus appeared in the form of the Son of Man, a glorious, shining, awesome figure (Rev. 1 v 12-18). He was so transformed that even John, the beloved disciple, did not recognise Him immediately. Jesus also appeared to John in the form of a Lamb, as a Rider on a white horse and ultimately as the Bridegroom of the sanctified Church. In His risen body, there is no limitation now to the ways in which Jesus can reveal Himself and no limit to what He can do anywhere, anytime.

Partakers of His body
Jesus wants us to have as our main source of nourishment and nurture not the rewards valued by our society, not the goodies and gadgets with which we gratify and sustain ourselves, not the esteem and reputation we crave from people - but His body. He wants us to value and to strive for closer dependence on Him. He wants us to trust Him to supply all our needs - spiritual, physical, emotional, material.

What Jesus sustains us with is not mere bread, but heavenly manna, the essence of His glorified body. He is now risen, ascended, glorified. He is able to transform the tediousness and ordinariness or the darkness and distress of our circumstances in an instant. The resources of nourishment available to us in Him are eternal, unchanging and adequate for all our needs.

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