When Abraham took his son Isaac to the Jebusite rock to sacrifice him, God would not allow him to carry out the plan. As soon as he raised his knife into the air God stopped him and told him that He had provided a substitute for the sacrifice. Abraham looked up and saw a goat caught up in brambles. This animal took Isaac's place. In that moment God had placed into the atonement ritual the idea of a sacrificial replacement -- a substitute. The design had Jesus in mind.

Paul has informed us that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor.15:50). He also said that in the past we knew Jesus in the flesh but that is not how we know Him now (2 Cor.5:16). Jesus said that in heaven our bodies would be spiritual (John 3:5-6). Those bodies would be as dynamic as the ones we wear now, but different in nature.

The flesh of Jesus when He walked the roads of Galilee was no different than the flesh you and I wear while we are here on earth. Thus it was different than the flesh of heaven. What Jesus allowed to be sacrificed was His body of earthly flesh. And He left it here for communion. In that memorial, the flesh and blood of Jesus remains a perpetual offering so that we will know that the forgiveness which flows from the cross continues to pour out on mankind as much today as it ever did even though the sacrifice Jesus made took place almost 2000 years ago. That flesh was the substitute God had created specifically for the sacrifice. Giving it up, Jesus was not harmed.

In this example Jesus has proved that neither will we be harmed if (while living in Him) we also lose our fleshly lives. Christ's body in heaven is of a different substance, just as ours will be. Scripture says that the whole creation will be made new.

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