The human body is designed to be aware of pain. When trauma impacts one area of the body, pain is the indication that the body is functioning properly and additionally indicates a portion of the body requires immediate attention. There are some pains that can be readily remedied by a soothing touch, ointment or bandage. There are other pains that are not so easily alleviated and thus, the body for an extended period must tend to its injured area.
The Scriptures describe the church or household of faith as the body of Christ. The body of Christ is the visible representation of its head and Savior Jesus Christ. We understand that Christ under great suffering offered his own flesh in order to save his people and now his people represent their Savior and God on earth to every culture. The body of Christ proceeds forward on a mission to demonstrate the Lordship of Christ not just in the realm of heaven but on the earth as well. This mission involves people who are bound together by stronger material than denominations, mission statements and dare we say doctrinal creeds. The body of Christ is bound by “one Spirit…one Lord… and one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” The binding together of this body is an eternal bond maintained by none other than the Godhead.
The body of Christ is fit together in such a manner that we can learn that it is the substance and our own fleshly bodies are mere shadows of the real. Our earthly bodies reflect that Christians are united together in such a loving and powerful manner that even in the midst of pain or joy, the body will function as one.
We find it easy as a body to be in a place where the joys of one part of the body can be embraced as our own. We embrace the joyous moments of new birth regarding marriage and pregnancy. We embrace the laughter of others when a humorous story is told about vacation or time at work. But, can we be in a place where the “sins of my neighbor afflict me as my own?”
Here is when we discover the eternal binding, which exists in the body of Christ. In the communion of saints there will be times when a part of the body will indicate pain because of sin. The degree and length of pain will correspond to the degree of sin. Their despair becomes our own. Their burden and grief truly become part of the body of Christ and the body then must tend to the injury bringing relief and healing.
We bear the injury present in our body because we are eternally bound together by God. Furthermore, we act to bring relief and healing and as we do this, we experience the real presence of Christ in the body of Christ. We do well to one another, powerfully proclaiming to the watching world, that Jesus still binds the brokenhearted.