By Stuart Powell
As Paul was instructing the church at Corinth about the reality of the resurrection of the dead, he declared that our sin-stained physical bodies face a barrier to God’s holiness through which we cannot pass.
I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable (1 Corinthians 15:50).
Paul spoke of the flesh we see with our physical eyes and touch with our physical hands. Somehow the sin nature that corrupts our thinking entwines with our flesh. This flesh is the vessel with which we interact with God’s good creation and other people. Our blood sustains the physical flesh we are instructed to cherish. We can’t escape the limitations of our flesh and blood.
Isn’t it interesting, then, that Jesus wants us to remember him at Communion by eating bread and juice, representing his flesh and blood? While our flesh and blood are sinful and ultimately will turn back to dust, Jesus’ flesh and blood endured temptation but never surrendered to sin.
Jesus willingly turned over his flesh and blood to the Roman legion to torture, mock, and crucify. His innocent flesh. His precious blood. These are what God chose to have led to the slaughter outside of Jerusalem. This was the price God paid so he could satisfy his perfect justice. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, God now offers eternal life to each of us who follow Jesus’ example of seeking after God.
Stuart Powell lives outside of Terre Haute, Indiana, where he serves with the North Side Christian Church.