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Jul 12

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE IN CHRIST? (3)

If salvation is outside of Christ, then, our question is totally unimportant! If, on the other hand, if salvation is in Christ, then, our question: “What does it mean to be in Christ,” is most important! The key word in these two “if” impossibilities, is the little word “in;” as “in Christ!” The New Testament is not content to leave us without the needed information about being “in Christ” and salvation questions. However, our question does lend itself to greater study.
If salvation is “in Christ,” and it is; then, for sure we need to know how to get into Christ. At the same time there are other questions that come to mind. These questions are: 1) Do the words, “in Christ,” mean that one is “in” the literal body of Christ?” 2) If not the literal body of Christ, then, what body are we to be “in?” and 3) Can we locate the body of Christ that we are to “in?” And you thought the subject was one of simplicity!
Let us take these questions one by one. Number one being, “Is salvation in the physical body of Jesus?” We can follow the physical body of Jesus from one place to another and we can learn what happened to Jesus’ physical body. After living on this earth for about thirty-three and a half years, Jesus stood before Pilate to be judged by men. One of the greater thoughts here is, that Deity in the flesh, the physical body of Jesus was in fact, judged by men! It is not out of the question, that mere mankind would think that of judging Deity! When Jesus stood before Pilate, it was to be judged! Notice how the stubborn Pilate handed this “trial.” After talking with Jesus and asking him questions, he brought Jesus out to stand before the Jews. But, he did not have Jesus stand alone. No, he brought before the Jews a man by the name of Barabbas. Pilate’s thinking was simple and full of wisdom, but it only brought out the hatred of the Jews toward Jesus. Here is Pilate’s question: “Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” (Matt. 27:17). Here in these two men, we see the greatest and the lowly. Barabbas was well known by his actions. In fact, Matthew used the word “episemos,” which means: “having a mark on … infamous.” Here is what took place as Pilate: “Said unto them, Ye have brought this man (Jesus, few) unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him” (Luke 23:14-15). Jesus was found innocent regarding the charges of which he was accused; not only by Pilate but also by Herod! Here let us notice a little more about this Barabbas; as Luke wrote about him: ““(Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)” Barabbas was more than a thief, he was a “murder!” But, the hatred of the Jews was so great, that the truth mattered not to them; therefore, they said unto Pilate: “But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him” (Luke 23:21). With this, Pilate:” … released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will” (Luke 23:25). With this, Jesus was taken to a place “called Calvary,” or “Golgotha” which meant, “skullas” as used by Matthew (27:33). With this the physical body of Jesus was crucified (Matt. 27:35).
However, as we all know, Jesus’ physical body was then take down from the cross, and as Matthew informs us: “When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: “ He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus” “ Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed” (Matt. 27:58-60). Therefore, the physical body of Jesus rested in the sepulcher, but for only a short time; as on the first day of the week, Mark gives us this: “when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him” (Mark 16:1). What did they find? Allow Mark to answer: “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, …” (Mark 16:9). It is important that we notice the clear words of Mark, as to when Jesus was resurrected: “risen early the first day of the week!” Jesus’ physical body was no longer in the sepulcher but, he, had “risen!”
After being in and out with the eleven for forty days, Luke wrote: “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). With this, we learn from Hebrews that Jesus: “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3). No, the physical body of Jesus is not at “the right hand” of God! Why not? Simply because physical things, including the body of Jesus, are not suitable for the spiritual heaven!
The physical body of Jesus is no more! Therefore, no one can be in the physical body of Jesus but if not the physical body of Jesus, then in what body of Christ is salvation located; if it is?

Frank R. Williams

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