Christ's Hidden Body
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2. Christ's Hidden Body

Understandable

Wrinkles in SkinBecause we all have a human body, God wisely designed Christ's hidden body to enable every human being to understand it completely. Though effectively hidden like a sacrament, Christ's Body is the ideal faith vehicle. She is genuinely mysterious and mystical! Hidden bodies of Christ are as varied as human bodies. When we glance in the mirror, we are amazed at what the Creator God planned for our human body. All mystical bodies are not the same. Our frames vary in complexion, size, weight, and personal characteristics. Some may be large, and others small or thin. A few are very tall, others are short. Our skin may be black, brown, pink, or yellow, or something in between. Some are old, others middle-aged or young.

Unique Characteristics

Like human bodies, each hidden Mystical Body of Christ is unique and bears different characteristics and behavioral patterns. We cannot say, "Aha, here is the perfect Body of Christ!" Like every other human organism, Christ's hidden body is continually changing in form and appearance. She develops as she ages and grows in character. Tell-tale signs of this process take place. In human aging, skin wrinkles appear, and hair grays. So Christ's hidden body ages and develops. In the invisible body of Christ, changes are continually happening too. As no two personal photographs are ever entirely identical, Christ's hidden body is always changing. She is continuously developing, regrouping, and blossoming. As a mystical body part dies, God grafts in another to takes over that role. It is a great mystery!

Hidden Mystical Body

Sacramental SymbolsThe hidden Mystical Body of Christ is free of its surrounding trappings. It is essentially sacramental. Many of us do not stop and think about our amazing human bodies. Saint Augustine (354-430 AD), the early Christian theologian, wrote, "Men go abroad to wonder at the mountains' height of, the huge sea waves, the long river courses, the vast ocean compass, at the stars' circular motion; and they pass by themselves without wondering." Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1726 AD), an eminent scientist and mathematician, adds poignantly, "In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence." The hidden mystical body within the church is sacramental. It has an outward visual form and an invisible inner power driving it. It is like the Creation's external visible form and the Creator God's unseen inner strength. Christ's mystical body's sacramental nature is usually hidden. Beneath the white bread and the red wine at the Eucharistic table lies Christ's hidden mysterious body and blood! Under the church's corporate structures lie the deeper realities of Christ's mystical body.

Concealed Trappings

Exalting HolinessFrequently, the trappings surrounding the church hide real Christianity. We do not recognize Christ's Mystical Body that lies within. Christ's Body is the institutional church's hidden power source. A small boy was waiting patiently with his mother by the roadside for the Queen to pass on a royal visit. Finally, the great moment came, and the motorcade drove by with the monarch smiling and waving. Afterward, his mother asked, "Did you see the Queen?" The child replied, "Wow, what a lovely car!" He had failed to see the special person hidden within because of the shiny car that held her! He saw the outward visible sign but not the invisible grace!

Hidden by the Institution

We often fail to see Christ's Mystical Body because the institutional church hides her! Though often hidden from view, Christ's body is the individual Christian's spiritual core. The Mystical Body's visible outer shell often deceives us as to the complex nature hidden inside. We struggle to understand how God plants Christ's body within an individual like a hidden spark when Jesus became that person's Lord and Savior.

Transforming Attitudes

ChaliceWe know Christ's mystical body is genuine by the transformation of a person's attitude and life. We fail to appreciate the Holy Spirit's complex and fantastic work within. The agent, the God-essence that transforms, is hidden beneath the skin, deep within the persona, quietly enlightening the heart and the mind. At Holy Communion, the sacramental bread and wine disguise Christ's body and blood in a way we cannot comprehend. Christ's Body, like all bodies, comprises many individual parts. The limbs, organs, and members, when assembled, make up the entire body. Saint Paul expressed this truth in 1 Corinthians 12.12-14, "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit to form one body - whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so, the body comprises not one part but many." Across the globe, invisible ties bind together Christians of all nations, colors, tribes, and languages in the "Christ's Body Worldwide." In heaven, beyond the furthermost parts of the created universe, the triumphal no-longer-seen universal body of Christ worships in unnumbered waves around God's glistening throne.

"Christ's Hidden Body"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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