the stage of the Christ

Many times in the New Testament it talks about Jesus Christ as an indication of the Lord. But Paul also speaks of the Christ a number of times in his letters and he also explains what this means in some of these texts. The Christ is not just Jesus Christ, but includes the company that is considered to be His: the body of Christ. The Christ consists of Head and Body.

1 Corinthians 12
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the one body, which are many, are one body, so also is the Christ.

That the believers from the nations would be one with Israel’s Messiah is a secret that Paul was allowed to make known. The nations not only share in the blessings of Israel, but they are made one with the Messiah promised to Israel and share in all the promises made to Him! We are co-heirs (lit.: joint lot-owners) with Christ (Rom.8:17). We share in what has been promised to Him:

Ephesians 3
4 As you read this, you will understand my insight into the mystery of the Christ,
5 (…) that in spirit
6 the nations are together possessors of destiny, together they belong to the body, and together they are partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

always together
We find this unity of Head and body as a common thread throughout all of Paul’s letters. Now this unity is only spiritual. Our Head is in heaven and we, the body of Christ, are on earth. But when He will pick us up at the snatching day, it says that we will always be with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:17).

right seat or podium?
Paul also speaks of the Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:10 when he talks about the moment when we will appear before the platform of the Christ. In most common translations, the word podium (Greek: bema) is translated as judgment seat. In this context a misplaced representation, because we will not be tried before His platform. We will receive reward (1 Cor.3:14) and praise (1 Cor.4:5) for the work He has done in and through us. It is the stage of the Christ where Head and body are united.

A festive occasion where the suffering of this present time is over and we have a future in prospect where we will share in His glory: more than conquerors!

Deze blog in het Nederlands lezen (read this blog in Dutch).