1 Peter 2:24
Originally scheduled for October 23
The expression “zounds” has pretty much left the English
language, except for Bugs Bunny cartoons. To pronounce it, it must
rhyme with “wounds” — for it is a contraction of the expression
“God’s wounds.” It was used as an expression, not exactly in polite
company, to express surprise or astonishment. Our ancestors felt
that the existence of the wounds of Christ was an astonishing thing.
That our Lord would be wounded on our behalf seem to them to be
beyond any possible expectation.
Let us consider, then, the wounds of Christ. I once heard a
preacher tell me that there is nothing man made in heaven. Leaving
aside the possibility that the Ark of the Covenant is there, which
is what Revelation tells us, there are five other things that are
man made in heaven. They are the wounds of Christ, in his side, in
his hands and in his feet. These are the most visible wounds, to
which we must add the general suffering of dying on a cross. It is a
long, slow, painful death. But the human being is not just a
physical body; the cross is not just physical injury. It also
includes the humiliation of being executed as the worst of
criminals. He was wounded indeed for our transgressions.
It’s important to remember that the suffering of Christ is
always mentioned as being “in the body.” Christ was not some
phantasm who just came along to take a part in the play that God was
putting on. No, His suffering was very real, very bodily indeed. He
had a body just like ours, and he suffered just like we do. Note
that this suffering is voluntary; he did it for a purpose — that you
and I might be forgiven of our sins and receive the grace of God.
Christ did the suffering that we might receive the results.
He carried our sins in his body; therefore we are dead to sin as
children of God, but alive to Christ (Romans 6:11). It is not just
our acquittal on Judgment Day that we are talking about, but also
the effect of not being a slave to sin. We can live as we were
designed to live — in communion with God. When we partake of
communion, we are to remember that it represents the body and blood
of Jesus. The blood represents the life; the body the suffering. By
this suffering, now, Christ is our High Priest, intervening for us
with the Father. He paid the price; we got the benefit.
Therefore, as you partake this morning:
your sin and your salvation.
your sins, not in the abstract but specifically.
Then, with clear conscience and a proper respect for what
Christ has done for you, partake.