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  Site F Graceland Estate, Chima Bus stop, Off Alakija Road, Satellite town, Lagos.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

THE DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS

THE SUBSTITUTIONARY WORKS OF JESUS CHRIST


 

WHY JESUS HAD TO DIE:

John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29, 36). We are told in Romans 3:23, that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. ‘All’ in that passage includes all men and women, boys and girls, young and old, rich and poor, all the races of people, in all places all over the earth – all have sinned and the wages of sin is death.

It is this death that is the penalty for the sin of the whole world that Jesus came into the world to die, (Matthew 20:28). Jesus knew that this was His mission on earth (Hebrews 10:1-7) and He began to make it known to His disciples as soon as they became aware of His true identity, (Matthew 16:13-21). The body of Jesus was made specifically for the purpose of being offered to God as an acceptable sacrifice for sin, (Hebrews 10:5).

Messianic prophecies and expectations were fulfilled in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, (John 1:40-51; Matthew 16:13-16; Luke 24:25-27).

“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; …” (Daniel 9:26).

This is one of the Old Testament scriptures that prophetically spoke about the death of the Messiah. But in addition to this, it also tells us that His death will not be for Himself.

Prophet Isaiah sheds further light into what this means. In his perfect description of the sufferings of Christ, prophesied about 750 years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah says:

-“He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken, and they made His grave with the wicked — But with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth (Isaiah 53:8, 9).

Like Daniel, the prophet Isaiah speaks of the death of the Messiah who (“…was cut off from the land of the living), he also confirms that the death of the Messiah or Christ would not be for himself, but goes further to tell us that His death was for the transgression of his (the prophet’s) people. Jesus did not die for Himself, He died for the transgressions of others.

The nature of the sufferings of Christ was both spiritual and physical. Taking a closer look at Isaiah 53, we can see the following in Jesus’ sufferings for us, when He was on earth, but especially on His way to the cross and while He was on the cross:

- “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

The prophet opines that it is the one who believes the report of the prophets that the arm of the Lord is revealed to. You would recall that Jesus rebuked the two disciples on the way to Emmaus for being foolish and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken, (Luke 24:25). The arm of the Lord represents the help, might, strength, and the salvation of the Lord, (Isaiah 33:2).

“… For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him”, (verse 2, 3).

The emergence of the Messiah out of Nazareth, a city that Nathaniel asked if anything good could come out of, (John 1:45, 46), is an indication of him growing as a tender plant and root out of dry ground.

He did not also arrive in the public arena with pomp and pageantry, like a royal, as the people had anticipated that the expected Messiah would come. There was no beauty that they should desire Him.

- “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him”, (verse 3).

Jesus, the Messiah came to His own, His own did not know Him; as a prophet He visited Nazareth, His hometown, they did not honour Him; He travelled across Galilee and Judea preaching, teaching, casting out demons, healing the sick and raising the dead; He brought comfort and hope to the people, yet when they had the opportunity to choose between Him and a criminal, He was not the popular choice. He is despised and rejected, (Matthew 13:54-58; John 1:10; Luke 18:31-34; Matthew 27:22-26).

“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (verse 4).

Jesus bore our griefs and carried our sorrows – Mathew tells us that He cast out demons and healed the sick that this word might be fulfilled, (Matthew 8:16, 17), Peter tells us that on the cross He bore our sins in His own body and by His stripes we are healed, 1 Peter 2:24 – our sins that He bore are the root causes of all our sorrows and griefs. Ironically, those who were looking at Him as He was hanging on the cross, esteemed Him as one being stricken, smitten and afflicted by God for His own sins.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed”, (Verse 5)

But Jesus’ body was wounded because of our transgressions, His body was bruised because of our iniquities; the punishment that was required for us to have peace was upon Him; and by His stripes we are healed. In the previous chapter, Isaiah gave a gorier picture of the damage that was done to His body on account our wrongdoing:

“… His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men”, (Isaiah 52:14).

 

 

HIS DEATH

The Messiah experienced spiritual death

“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”, (verse 6).

God laid on Jesus the iniquities of us all, though it was we, who like sheep we went astray and every one of us turned to his own way. The righteous is made to bear the sins of sinners. It was while Jesus was on the cross that the Father laid all our iniquities upon Him. The implication of this, as Apostle Paul puts it, is that God made Him who knew no sin to become sin for us, (2 Corinthians 5:21). A further implication of this is that He became separated from God because sin separates whoever has it from God, (Isaiah 59:2). This was what was happening to Jesus in the spirit realm as He hanged on the cross; but all that those who were beholding Him physically on the cross could see was that He cried out, "…. Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46). Even this was misunderstood by those looking at Him, some thought that He was crying out to Elijah to come and help Him, (Matthew 27:47-49). How very far, they were from the truth, that cry was the fulfilment of Psalm 22;1, prophesied by king David almost a thousand years before Christ was born.

That cry unto the Father was the cry of one agonizing under the weight of all of our iniquities which the Father had laid on Him. Carrying all the iniquities, transgressions and the sins of all humanity is the cup that He had so terribly agonized about having to drink, (Matthew 26:42).

That cry was that of the Messiah who felt forsaken because His God and Father, whose eyes are too pure to behold iniquity, (Habakkuk 1:13) had turned His face away from Him because of all the iniquities that were laid on Him.

“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth” (verse 7).

You will recall that when the Jesus was brought to trial before Pontus Pilate, He kept silence amidst the spurious allegations and accusations that the chief priests and the elders of the Jews levelled against Him. Even Pilate was amazed at His refusal to defend Himself in the face of an impending death sentence, (Matthew 27:11-14).

He took the oppression and affliction, yet He did not open His mouth or complain. This also shows that He was not forced into this role, He willingly chose to suffer for His people.

“He was taken from prison and from judgment and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken”, (verse 8).

Justice was denied Him, Barabbas, a notable criminal was released but Jesus who knew no sin was crucified (Matthew 27:15-26). The death sentence was executed and just as Isaiah had prophesied, the Messiah was cut off from the land of the living; He died.

It is essential that we stress the fact that Jesus first died spiritually before He could die physically. Prior to God laying all of our iniquities on Jesus and God making Him who knew no sin to become sin for us, Jesus did not know or have any sin in Him (John 14:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21, 22), so death could not enter into Him and He could not die, (Romans 5:12). But when God laid all of our iniquities on Him and He became sin for us, He experienced spiritual death. Spiritual death is separation from God; it was only after He had experienced spiritual death that it became possible for Him to experience physical death.

After the catalogue of sufferings that he went through the Messiah was cut off from the land of the living for the transgression of the prophet’s people. In other words, He died not because of His own transgression but on account of the transgressions of others. Jesus died a vicarious death: He experienced death in place of or as a substitute for others.

 

 

HIS BURIAL

He was buried, this is proof that He really died.

“And they made His grave with the wicked — But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth”, (verse 9).

They also made His grave with the wicked and the rich at His death. The Hebrew word translated ‘death’ should actually read ‘deaths’, indicating that Jesus died twice. He first died spiritually, when God laid our iniquities upon Him, it was after this that He died physically when He gave up the ghost.

It is obvious that the fact that His body was laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea is what the prophecy refers to as the making his grave with the rich.

How did they make His grave with the wicked? The prophecy of Isaiah, gives us an information about something that occurred after the Messiah was dead and buried:

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand”, (verse 10).

In a realm that is beyond death and the grave it pleased the Lord to bruise (crumble, break to pieces, break in pieces, crush, destroy) the Messiah, and put Him to grief (become weak, wounded and sick). This tells us that the sufferings of the Messiah were not only physical or in the physical realm, His sufferings continued in the realm of spiritual death. The Messiah went through physical and spiritual sufferings. One may wonder why, the next sentence in verse 10 provides the answer: “…When you make His soul an offering for sin”, (The word ‘when’ was referring to that period of time, while the word ‘You’ in this verse was referring to the Lord, God, the Father). This tells us that that was the time when God the Father made the soul of the Messiah an offering for sin or a sin offering.

 

WHAT IS A SIN OFFERING?

LEVITICUS 4

In this passage, God told Moses the appropriate offering to be presented to the Lord and the procedure that the serving priest must follow when sin is committed unintentionally; when the sin becomes known, in order for the sin to be atoned and forgiven.

If an anointed priest sins  verse 1-12
If a community sins  verses 13–21
If a ruler or a leader sins  verse 22-26
If an individual sins  verse 27-35

 

Highlight of the procedure:

  • The sinner will bring the prescribed animal as a sin offering to the door of the Tabernacle of meeting before the Lord.
  • The sinner will lay his hand on the head of the animal (this is to symbolize the transfer of the sinners’ sin (s) to the animal).
  • The animal is killed before the Lord.
  • The priest shall take some of the animal’s blood into the Tabernacle of meeting; he shall dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord, in front of the veil of the sanctuary.
  • The priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the Tabernacle of meeting.
  • The priest shall pour the rest of the blood at the base of the altar of burnt offerings, which is at the door of the Tabernacle of meeting.
  • The priest shall take the fat that cover the internal organs of the animal: the fat on the internal organs; the two kidneys; the fat that is on them by the flanks; the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidney. All these he shall take and burn them on the altar of burnt offerings as an offering unto the Lord. But the skin of the animal, its head and its legs will be carried outside the camp, to a clean place where ashes are poured out and burned.

This is how the sin is atoned (covered, cancelled) and forgiven.

 

The Messiah is our sin offering

Just as the animal was sacrificed in place of or as a substitute for the sinner, so the Messiah had to suffer and die in our place. Unaware to Caiaphas, the High Priest of Israel in the days when Jesus walked on earth, he presided over the offering of Jesus Christ as the Lamb for sacrifice that year, John 11:49-52.

In verse 4, He bore our sorrows and griefs, which have their origins in our sin (original, unintentional and intentional).

In verse 5, He was wounded for our transgression, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our sins was upon him and by His stripes we were healed - describes the physical sufferings He bore on our behalf.

In verse 6, though we went astray, God laid on Him the iniquities of all of us.

In verse 7, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter and He remained silent, even at the point of death, indicating that He willingly offered Himself. When God laid all of our iniquities on Him;

‘…His spirit became impregnated with the sin nature of the world. He sank to the lowest depths of Hades…’What Happened from the Cross to the throne’ E.W. Kenyon, page 63, KENYON’S GOSPEL PUBLISHING SOCIETY, copyright 1998.

In verse 8, He died because of our transgressions

In verse 9, they made His grave with the wicked and the rich at His death – this is a clear indication that He truly died, hence he was buried.

In verse 10, God bruised Him, put to grief and made His soul an offering for sin. Psalm 88, gives us a graphic picture of Jesus’ sufferings in hell:

“I have cried out day and night before You. Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry. For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to the grave. I am counted with those who go down to the pit; I am like a man who has no strength, adrift among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom You remember no more, and who are cut off from Your hand. You have laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the depths. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and You have afflicted me with all Your waves.
You have put away my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an abomination to them; I am shut up, and I cannot get out; My eye wastes away because of affliction. Lord, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You. Will You work wonders for the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise You?
Selah.
Shall Your loving-kindness be declared in the grave? Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction? Shall Your wonders be known in the dark? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” (Psalm 88:1-12).

In verse 11, God saw the travail of His soul and was satisfied, (the claims of justice was satisfied, he was justified in the spirit) by his knowledge He shall justify many, (those who believe in Jesus are declared justified – guiltless and innocent of any and every sin by God, Romans 3:26).

In verse 12, tells that God will honour Him with a place among the great because He poured out His soul unto death.

As our sin offering, he atoned for us and obtained forgiveness for us.

Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem”, (Luke 24:46-50).

All these Jesus suffered in our place in order to pay the penalty for our sins and make us righteous.

“He shall see the labour of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities”, (verse 11).

Long before the prophecy of Isaiah, King David who lived at an earlier time had said in Psalm 16:10 “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption”. This tells us that when Jesus died He went to hell and it shows that God will not allow His body to decay in the grave. This can only mean that the Messiah will not remain permanently in hell (Sheol) or in the grave.

In Isaiah 53:11, we are told that God, who in the verse before had made the Messiah’s soul an offering (for the sins of humanity), shall see the travail of His soul and be satisfied. In other words, the demand and claim of justice for the sin of humanity will be met and satisfied by the sufferings of the Messiah (in hell). This was when Jesus was justified in the spirit (1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18). This is the legal grounds for resurrection.

“Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors”, (verse 12).

In this verse we see God rewarding the Messiah for His substitutionary
Works: God will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong. It is clear that /He conquered and overcame because only overcomers divide the spoils of war. It is in this vein, that apostle Paul tells us that Jesus “… having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it”, (Colossians 2:15) KJV. It was through His substitutionary works that defeated principalities and powers for us.

 



THE RESURRECTION

Indications that the Messiah would be resurrected.

“He shall see the labour of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities”, (verse 11).

The Prophet Isaiah says “…by His knowledge my righteous servant would justify many for He shall bear their iniquities”. This is an indication that following His acceptable sacrifice to God, the Messiah would be known by many and through the knowledge of Him, he will justify them. This is an indication of a life beyond death and the grave.

You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, even from the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell there, (Psalm 68:18).

In this Psalm, King David speaks about the Messiah ascending on high, we know that it is the Lord that David is referring to in this Psalm because Paul said so in Acts 2: 33-35.


“Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The Lord said to my Lord 'Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."', (Acts 2:33-35).

The Lord would ascend on high out of hell to sit at the right hand of God. In that same discourse, Paul also makes reference to Psalm 110:1.


The Messiah is resurrected

“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.". So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.", (Matthew 28:1-10)


Witnesses of His resurrection

“And that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles”, (1 Corinthians 15:5-7).

 

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HIS DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION TO OUR FAITH?

This is the reality (the truth) that our faith is based on. When we say ‘reality’, we mean what really happened, the event that took place, upon which we have based our faith.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”, (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Just as Jesus was made sin for us, we have been made the righteousness of God: Righteousness means ‘the nature and quality of being and doing what is right’.

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God, (Romans 6:1-13).

We should not continue in sin, by believing in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and being baptized, we are:

  • Dead to sin and should no longer live in it.
  • Baptized unto His death
  • Buried with Him, (Colossians 2:13).
  • Raised up with Him
  • To live in newness of life (a new kind of life), through the same glory of God by which He has raised up Christ from the dead.
  • People that have been united with Him in the likeness of His death (through baptism), we should also be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection.
  • People whose old man (old nature) was crucified with Christ, and sin has lost its power over us, we are no longer slaves of sin, (verse 6, read New Living Translation),
  • Free from sin, because in Christ, we died and anyone who has died is free from sin.
  • People who died with Christ, we believe we shall also live with Him.
  • Just like Christ, who having been raised from the dead dies no more, for sin no longer has dominion over Him.
  • People who like Christ, died a death to sin once and for all, but now lives unto God.
  • To reckon ourselves dead indeed to sin and alive unto God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
  • Not to allow sin to reign in our mortal bodies
  • To no longer yield our members (eye, ears, hands, legs, tongue, and all the members of our bodies) as instruments of unrighteousness.
  • Present ourselves to God, as being alive to Him from the dead.
  • Yield our members, (eye, ears, hands, legs, tongue, and all the members of our bodies) to God as instruments of righteousness.
    “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage”, Hebrews 2:14, 15.

 

Through His death:

  • The devil, who had the power of death, has been defeated.
  • We have been set free from a life of bondage to the fear of death.
    “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Matthew 8:16-17).
    Our infirmities and sicknesses has been taken away and by believing this report we can ward off disease, sickness and pain out of our lives.
    “However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”, (1 Corinthians 2:6-8).

Here Paul speaks of a wisdom that is neither of this age nor of the rulers of this age, he speaks of it in a mystery, it is the hidden wisdom of God, which was hidden for our glory. Had the rulers of this age known this wisdom, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

This hidden wisdom is the death, burial and resurrection – it is through this wisdom that Jesus defeated the one who had the power of death (Hebrews 2:14).
This wisdom has been set as pattern for us to use in defeating the devil.

The nature of the sufferings of Christ was both spiritual and physical

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
(Philippians 2: 5-11)

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death, (Revelation 12:10, 11).

As we go through life, we will face circumstances and situations that leave us with a decision that Jesus speaks about in Matthew 16:25 “… save your life or lose it for my (Christ’s) sake.” either to:

  • Save our lives by insisting on our rights, seeking to preserve, protect and provide for ourselves. OR
  • Lose our lives for Christ sake by dying to self-preservation, self-protection and self-provision, committing ourselves to our Father in heaven until the same resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead raises us up and gives us the victory.

"When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men." (Now this, "He ascended" — what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love, (Ephesians 4:8-16).

When He ascended on high (i. e. after His resurrection, when He went up to glory and seated at the right hand of God), He led captivity captive and gave ministry gifts unto men, that is, He gave men gifts that empowered them to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.

These gifts, are for the edification and building up of His Body, the Church until it comes to maturity.

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives, (Matthew 26:27-30).


Before Jesus went to the cross, He inaugurated the Lord’s Supper, also known as ‘The Lord’s table’ and ‘communion’, in which He gave His disciples bread and wine, the bread represents His body and the wine represents His blood which confirms the new covenant: His blood which was shed for the remission of our sins.

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes, (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

Apostle tells the church in this passage that he received the practice of honouring the Lord’s Table and had delivered the same unto them.
The communion was inaugurated so that as often as we celebrate it:

  • We are remembering the Lord: His body was broken for us and His blood was shed for the remission of our sins.
  • We are proclaiming the Lord’s death.
  • We are awaiting the return of the Lord.
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