“For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.” 1 Cor. 11:23-26 NLT
Then, I thought of the body having many parts but being one body, one church with many members. Every part is necessary and those people we consider as less honorable are deeply needed and in need of extra care. When one suffers, all suffer, when one rejoices all rejoice.
“ But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” 1 Corinthians 12:18-26 NLT
I began to ask God what the relationship was between his body being broken for us and the body of Christ’s brokenness today. Jesus already paid the ultimate price, he died, he rose again for our freedom and relationship with God, without question, no one else could do that. However, we are all broken in some area and dependent on him. His life runs though each one of us for healing, deliverance, freedom and reaching the lost. Every part of the body is important. The tiny unseen blood cells march out as one army through our body to fight off infection and bring healing keeping us alive. God designed us that way. We need every member of the body.
Once again, I had memories of my Mom lying in the bed with full-blown Alzheimer’s disease, unable to walk unknowingly ministered to staff. I remember in particular one of the nurses sharing a testimony with me as she began to cry about Mom saying to her, “everything is going to be okay, do not worry I prayed for you.” I thought about children with Down syndrome who showed so much love and my mind kept taking me through scenario after scenario of people considered less important by society having great impact in our lives. My children in the womb brought such excitement and joy to my life as I felt them moving and saw their tiny hands and feet push against my tummy. All of these people seem to be people society considers as not contributing and some people even say their lives are not worth anything, while they attempt to euthanize them. However, these are people of great worth with incomprehensible value and God permits their lives to be this way for his purposes. We give and receive life and love from them and without them, our society would be deplorably more selfish than we already are. Every part of the body is necessary to life.
The other scripture that came up was about parents storing up for the children and not children for the parents. (2 Cor. 12:14) I was always taught this scripture in terms of financial security and do not deny this aspect of caring for family. However, I began to think of this in terms of a Godly heritage and that a Godly heritage is imperishable, not subject to the stock market, changes in government or other factors that affect physical wealth. God’s covenant is an eternal covenant sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ body was broken and he shed his blood for us as an eternal covenant with everlasting value and relevance in our lives. When one part of the body is in need, another part gives, loves and prays. We suffer, we honor, we rejoice together as one body. This process of regeneration is at work even in our physical bodies because old cells die and our bodies produce new cells each day. Our bodies also kill off cells that attempt to make us sick and we do not even know it is happening. God is wise, creative, fascinating, and incomprehensible and expresses his immeasurable love through his creation.
His body broken for us, his blood poured out for us, we partake of this death and resurrection, and we do it in memory of him and come in union with him.