RPM, Volume 16, Number 14, March 30 to April 5, 2014

The Poor Man's Portions

Christ the Head of the Body

By Robert Hawker

"And he is the head of the body, the church."—Col. 1:18

Sweet view of Jesus! Ponder well the subject, my soul, and behold your Lord in this endearing picture, and your own personal union with him. Jesus is indeed, from every point of view, "the head of his body, the church." He is so by the Father's own appointment as our glorious Representative, in which responsibility he stood up at the call of God the Father from everlasting. When he put himself in our place, in our legal standing and in our place he undertook, as the church's representative, to do all, and to suffer all for her at God's command. This was in order that what he did and suffered, they, as his body, might truly be said to do and suffer in him. Sweet thought! When Jesus obeyed the whole law, then was Jesus their law-fulfiller. When he suffered the death of the cross, they in him were crucified. When he arose from the dead, in that resurrection they partook of the triumph, and as members of his body they arose with him. And when he ascended up on high and sat down on the seat of the Conqueror, they ascended virtually by their union with him, and may be said "to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

But, my soul! glorious as are these views of Jesus, your husband and your head, yet are they not all. He is the head of his body, the church, by his assumption of our nature. There is a union also of soul, a oneness, a connection as close and intimate as the natural head of the body with its several members; for as the head of the body is the source of life, which gives energy and action to all the parts of the body, so Christ is to his church and people "the fullness of Him who fills all in all." Here is another sweet thought! When Jesus took your nature, my soul, in his sinless portion of it, he partook of all that could be said to constitute human nature. "Inasmuch then, the apostle says, as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared in the same," Heb 2:14 Therefore he must have a tenderness, an affection, a fellow-feeling (if I may be allowed so to say) for his own nature, in the several members of his body, the church.

This is the very argument the Holy Spirit, by the apostle, presses upon poor troubled believers to convince them of their safety and assured comfort in him: Heb 4:15, "We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." And this becomes a source of never-failing comfort, to support the several members of Christ's body with consolation under all their troubles. What can any part of the body feel which the head would be unconscious of, and not participate in? It will equally delight you to remember that all the needs of the body must be known and felt by the glorious head, and be by him supplied. Sweet thought again to the believer! Jesus has a fulness corresponding to all the things we lack. "It pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell," "and of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace."

Look up, my soul, and contemplate the infinite, inexhaustible, unsearchable riches of your Christ! All awakening, justifying, sanctifying grace; all life, strength, nourishment, support, are poured upon the members of the church, from this glorious head: and what sums up the account, and endears it to the heart, is, that these blessings are everlasting, unchangeable, and eternal. He said, "Because I live, will live also!"

— Pause, my soul! Is this Jesus yours? Is he indeed your head? Are you a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones? — Witness for me, you angels of light! I renounce all other lords, all other affiliations, all other husbands! It is to Jesus alone that I bend the knee of love, adoration, and obedience; for he is my Lord God, and I am his for ever.

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