The Church is the Body of Christ. Wow! That is a metaphor, right? Yes, it is a metaphor, but it is also a physical reality.
You have probably heard of this word: Incarnation. This is the word we use to describe what Jesus did when He came to earth as a human being. He who was spirit put on flesh. This is what incarnation means: God put on flesh and made Himself known to men and women. So what does incarnation have to do with the church?
After Jesus lived on this earth, was crucified, and rose again, He ascended to heaven. After He ascended, He gave His followers the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives inside of Christ followers! Because of that, here is an amazing truth: the Holy Spirit still does have flesh and bones—those who live by faith in Christ! So, the Church is now the incarnation of Christ on earth. The Church is literally, physically, the Body of Christ! What an amazing mystery! We are His eyes, and hands and feet and voice to each other and to the world!
Perhaps you have heard this before: “I love Jesus, I just don’t really think I need to be part of the church.” But if the church is the Body of Christ, how can I say I love Jesus, but not want to be around His body?
Let’s think about that statement with this example: If a husband says to his wife, “I love you, I just don’t want to be around you physically,” we would know intuitively that there is something unhealthy going on there. Perhaps she had hurt him in some way (kind of like people get hurt by people in the church sometimes). But if you really love someone, even if they have hurt you, you don’t give up on them.
If I want to know someone better and be in a relationship with them, then I need to hang around them—physically. The same thing is true with Jesus. If I want to know Jesus and love Him more, then I need to be with His Body—the Church!
This is why being part of the church every week is so important. Somehow, in a mysterious way, we experience Jesus more and more through His Body, the Church. Let’s commit to loving Jesus by loving His Body—the Church!