When a writer authors a book, he or she actually writes many pieces because a book has many parts. Here is a bare-bones list of the parts.
Front Matter: title page, colophon (all that legalese), dedication, epigraph (quotation), table of contents, forward/introduction, preface (how the book came into being), and acknowledgements
Body of the book: This is why we buy the book. It’s the contents, sometimes called the “text.”
Back Matter: bibliography, about the author, other books by the author, coming soon
Without the Body of the book, we have no book. There is no purpose for any of the other parts I’ve listed if the Body doesn’t exist. The same is true for our salvation.
That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer.Hebrews 10:5 NLT
Jesus is the Body that bought our salvation. From chapter one of Genesis through the end of chapter twenty-two of the book of Revelation, it is all about Jesus (Luke 24:13–35 NLT). He is the Body of the book. The Bible has no purpose, no value without Jesus. When we consider Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the other people behind the words in the Bible, their testimonies, promises, psalms, poetry, and prophecies have no purpose, no value to themselves or us without Jesus.
Even today, without Jesus, there would be no purpose for local churches, no purpose for vacation Bible schools, no purpose for mission trips, no purpose for any of the things that enrich our walk with Jesus. Who would we walk for without Jesus?
Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”John 6:67–69 NLT
Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”
So, in the most literal sense possible, Jesus is the Body of the Book, and that Body is alive! “For the word of God is living and active…” (Hebrews 4:12) and “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:12) Because Jesus is alive, we need all the other components; they all have purpose and value but only because of Jesus.
Photo by madeleine ragsdale on Unsplash
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