As I've been looking intently at the state of the Church, I've grown more and more frustrated that hardly anybody seems to be really aware of the problems and the need for repentance. I struggle with what to make of that. Perhaps people think the 37,000+ denominations we have now are a good thing. Perhaps the fraud and waste and division and selfish ambition are just part of the human condition and can't be helped (although he says he's coming for a Bride without wrinkle or blemish and I think those are blemishes.) Perhaps no one ever told them how much this is hurting Jesus. I hope that this helps with that. In fact, I hope it sears an indelible burn mark on your conscience that makes you cry in pain every day. That's probably what it's going to take to get this turned around.
The Romans and the Pharisees conspired together to crucify Jesus. They didn't just crucify him, they spit on him and beat him and whipped him until his bones showed. And then the Lamb of God bled all the way through Jerusalem and they nailed him to a cross naked and hung him up in front of everyone. The Bible says he was unrecognizable as a man much less recognizable as Jesus. They put a sign over his bloodied, broken, humiliated body sarcastically declaring him King of the Jews. They fought over who would get his clothes. They stabbed him in the side to be sure he was dead, then buried him in a cave.
We have all heard of the pain and suffering he endured, not just physically, but the sin that he carried must have been an unbelievable burden. The spiritual warfare and temptation to get him to back down and call up ten thousand angels to avenge him must have been horrific. None of us can even imagine what he went through in those last twenty-four hours.
How could the Pharisees and the Romans be so cruel? How could anybody inflict that kind of blood-thirsty, heartless damage on another human being much less the Son of God?! What kind of monsters must they have been to so torture and degrade a person? What kind of evil spirits must have possessed them in that hour that they could do such a vile thing to an innocent man?
Everything that happens in our natural world has a spiritual counterpart. The human body of Christ was raised from the dead and abides with the Father. But I Corinthians 12:27 and Ephesians 4:12 and other places say that the Church is the Body of Christ. Do you know what that means? It means that WE are the spiritual Body of Christ and that's just as real to Jesus as was his physical body. And it means that we are meaner and more heartless and more possessed by evil than the Romans or the Pharisees could ever be.
You see, we have been hitting the Body of Christ with a cat-of-nine-tails daily for about eighteen hundred years (give or take). We have been hacking and slicing and shredding his flesh for generations. We have been fighting over his clothes and spitting on him since the first Christians started dying off. We have left a trail of his blood all over the world. And not in a good way.
To slice the Body of Christ up into 37,000+ denominations, we've basically had to run his flesh through a food processor. We've hacked off toes and then cloned them so we'd have a whole barn full of toes that refuse to reconnect with the rest of his body. We've ripped and shredded his flesh and stolen it from each other like a pack of hungry hyenas eating a fresh kill. Because he is Christ and he is SO much better than we could ever be, he has mostly taken it quietly like a sheep led to the slaughter. He has resisted the constant urge to call up 10,000 angels and avenge what we've done to his body. And it's a good thing too, because we should be FLATTENED by now for how much pain we've caused him. We've ignored those in need and focused on our own agendas. We've introduced malignant cancers and poisons and all kinds of disgusting stuff into his body.
When he came in the flesh, Jesus endured a few people beating him and a few people spitting on him. But it was pretty much all over in 24 hours. But in the spirit, we have been beating him mercilessly for hundreds of years. Under our own power, there is no sign on the horizon that the church system we've built is going to stop doing it either.
We refuse to connect up to the central nervous system and get commands from the brain. We refuse to coordinate our efforts with all the other body parts, so the whole Body just lays there and twitches in pain. Some parts look like they're getting somewhere, but it's more like the illusion of rigor mortise, than actual progress. Without ALL the pieces taking commands from the Head, we're just spinning our wheels and he bleeds more and more every day and the people we were supposed to reach out to are dying.
If you think that this is just figurative and it isn't causing Jesus pain, then you surely don't really understand the nature of his love for us and his desire for his body to be whole. He prayed in John 17 that we would be one body because, if not, THIS is the result. In essence, he prayed that the cup of suffering on his physical body would be taken away if possible AND he prayed that the cup of suffering on his spiritual body would be taken away if possible. Neither was. He is crying every day and has been for centuries. And the Father is fuming.
He has been enduring daily torture of a scale none of us can imagine. We have inflicted far more pain than the Pharisees and Romans could have ever even imagined. The physical body has limits of what it can endure, but Christ's spiritual body evidently has no limits on how much it can be tortured. Worse yet, the Pharisees and Romans hated him and didn't believe in him but we claim to know that he is the Son of God and say that we love him, and yet, we're the ones doing the real damage. And we continue getting together in our little boxes every week and singing song of praise to Jesus and taking communion with a straight face while we're collectively desecrating and defiling his body.
I can tell you this, if I were the Father and I loved my only son Jesus with all that I am, at some point I'm going to FORCE the torture of his body to stop. If they won't start being one body, I'm going to get their attention by whatever means necessary. If I have to, I'll send earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, plagues, famines ... whatever. If they keep on singing and dancing and being completely oblivious and asleep, I'll even kill two-thirds of the planet if that's what it takes for them to knock it off and start being one body. That's pretty much what the book of Revelation predicts is coming and we deserve it.
And if I were you I wouldn't count on a rapture getting you out before the suffering starts. Since the Church was supposed to take the light to the world and it's REALLY dark out there, I'm pretty sure that the sad state of things is our fault. We're the ones that knew better, we're the ones that have been butchering the body of Christ for centuries. I don't see any reason why we should get out of the consequences of what we've done. He's going to spank us really hard and we have it coming. Don't think you're going to avoid suffering, you're not.
Our only hope is to weep and repent and mourn before the altar. We need to apologize and mean it and then we need to turn from our wicked ways and get under HIS headship. No more structures and systems and traditions of Man. If we don't start acting like One Body on our own, then the Father is going to kill off all the body parts that won't play nice together. Then He'll graft in bits that will appreciate it. Like prostitutes and drug dealers and homeless and the lost and kids with purple hair and hurting people that will defend his body to the death and refuse to listen to anyone but HIM.
Burn it into your brain. We ran the Body of Christ through a meat grinder. We sent people to seminary to learn how to slice the Body of Christ up into smaller and smaller pieces. We paid them to do it. We self-righteously took pleasure in splitting off from other people that had the Holy Spirit in them. We fought over his clothes. We placed a sign over his head that proclaimed proudly to the world that THIS beaten, bloody mess was an accurate representation of the King of the Kings. We are thieves and liars and murders of the first order.
There's just one simple standard. If the Holy Spirit is in me and the Holy Spirit is in you, then we're just One Body and we're going to have to figure out how to get along without killing each other. We've got to knock it off before it's too late.
Please? If you love Jesus, could you please stop torturing his body? Could you tell him you're willing to share in his sufferings and help bear this burden until this is over? Could you acknowledge your part in it, however small, and stop? Could you insist on harmony from now on? Could you ask the Father to let you feel the pain that Jesus feels? Could you ask the Father to let you see through His eyes? I know He wants to.
Please make it stop.