Do you know the difference between your body and your flesh? Scripturally speaking, they’re not the same thing. Knowing what those two Biblical words mean will help you in living for Christ.
We’re looking at the Last Supper as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus is revealing a new concept to the disciples as they celebrate the Passover meal.
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Luke 22:14-19 NIV
First, we have to understand that the cup mentioned here is the drink that started the Passover meal. It’s not the cup of the covenant we share in Communion. I’ll talk about that one in my next post.
In this post, I’ll talk about the bread. This is the foundation for the Communion observances in our churches. It was a small but important part of the Passover meal. The bread, which was a hard, dry, matzo cracker, was broken and passed to each one around the table.
It’s important to know what the Lord was speaking about. In the Greek language there are two different words that we sometimes take for granted. In English, they’re translated as flesh and body.
In the natural, they seem to be speaking about the same thing – our physical body. But when you look at how they’re used in Scripture, you get a new perspective.
The word, body, refers to our outward, physical vessel that holds who we are. It can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. The body is what we use to interact in the natural world.
The flesh, on the other hand, speaks of the old sin nature that’s been passed down to us from our ancestor, Adam. It’s the desire within us to make the experience of our body the center of our life. It wants our body to have everything it needs to feel good.
So usually, when we see the body spoken of in Scripture, we’re referring to the deeds that are being done and the outward appearance. In this verse, Christ is speaking of imparting His body into us. Paul talked about the importance of this.
So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.
Romans 7:4 NIV
This is an incredible truth. By taking on Christ’s body, our physical bodies are now counted as dead to the Law. Not only is that true, but now the resurrection of Christ is credited to my account.
This means that my body is no longer bound to do what my flesh (my sin nature) wants it to do. The control of the flesh is broken. This is the foundation of our freedom in Christ.
Look at what Paul goes on to say.
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
Romans 7:6 NIV
Not only have we been released from slavery to our flesh and the Law; now our bodies can come under the direct influence of our spirit. We don’t have to serve God by obeying a list of dos and don’ts. I can follow the lead of the Holy Spirit who’s taken up residence in me.
In the future, when you receive the Communion elements, meditate on this truth. Because you’re receiving His body, you’re receiving the whole work that was done on the cross. All the power that was released for your life and godliness is available to you right now.
Question: How does knowing that we died and rose with Christ affect our daily walk with God?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi