So we died. We died and most of us don't even know it. You want to talk about a bunch of zombies? Most of us do not have a clue that we died with Jesus on the cross and now Christ is living in us (check out Galatians 2:20 again). This means that the life we are living in these bodies must be lived by faith in Jesus. It means we are owned. It means that we should be separated from anything to do with sin, the "me" stuff, and now we are living for the glory of our Lord. It sounds simple enough until you realize that most people don't even know this fact. Most people are trying to live when they are dead which makes them zombies, I guess.
Jesus taught that you can't put new wine into old wine skins. The old wine skins don't have the flexibility that is needed for the young wine which is still fermenting and creating gas. New wine into old wine skins cause the skins to explode and everything is lost. Thus, we died with Jesus, we were made a new creation so that we could handle it when Jesus possessed us to live in us. Stick with me, where are heading somewhere with all of this (review yesterday's blog).
So the weak point in the entire process of our redemption and reconciliation with Father is the dead corpse, our body. Everything else is new but our body won't be made new until we hear Jesus call our name. Then our bodies will be redeemed as well. In the mean time, our bodies are the weak link and often are the war zone for great temptations. This is why we have this verse:
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." (Romans 12:1)
Uh oh. Doesn't this kind of fly in the face of what we hear being promoted in our society? Of course it is because our society is in rebellion against Yahweh and all his precepts. What we are being told is that our bodies belong to us and we have the right to do what we want with it. It is the argument for almost anything, ranging from abortion to suicide. My body so my say. Perhaps this is true, but consider what the Word says, God's Word, the Spirit, bringing Yahweh's perspective to our clouded and demented thinking. He says, take what is ours to give, and give it up as a sacrifice.
Jesus has done incredible things for us. The end of Romans chapter 11 speaks of how incredible he is, that's why there is a "therefore" in this verse. Understanding his greatness, his sacrifice for us, let us offer up our bodies as living sacrifices to him, in gratitude and appreciation. That's the attitude that, my body does not belong to me because, instead of holding on to it, I am willingly offering it to Jesus. Of course sacrifices must be of the highest quality so I am going to take care of this dead carcass every day as well as I can, to honour my King. And don`t forget that this is a living sacrifice that we must offer every day.
My body may be non-transformed dead flesh but Paul the apostles states here that we can cause a sort of transformation by offering it as a spiritual act of worship. It's dead and useless to us anyway but it is amazing what Yahweh can do with what we offer him. In doing this it changes my attitude toward a few things, a few behaviours that I think are my right, since it is my body. Keep in mind that this only matters if you have died with Jesus on the cross and Christ is living in you.
First, sexual immorality is out. That puts a damper on this attitude that it is only sex, no big deal, everyone is doing it. It matters to Jesus, the instrument of creation, the Son of God, King of kings and Lord of lords, and because we love him and he is alive in this body, we do not want to drag him into situations that would tarnish our living sacrifice. Same could be said for smoking, drugs, cutting, eating disorders, obesity, or anything where we are exercising control over what is a sacrifice to Yahweh. See how that works?
I know its a bummer to see your body this way but you need to decide whether Jesus is worth it. Is it worth loving him that much? You who said you would do anything for him, are you saying he is not worth tying up loose ends by offering your dead body as a living sacrifice? There is a lot more to this growing into maturity when we stop and consider it, isn't there? I am not just referring to the young kids who are dishonouring Jesus with their attitude toward sex but to us older kids who have a hard time understanding the priority of exercise. A sacrifice unto the Lord is what it is called and his love and mercy should be our motivation. Nothing to do with salvation and everything to do with sanctification, growing up, gaining maturity, following Jesus.
Welcome to Monday morning! Now what are you going to do with this dead corpse you are walking around in? Shall I light the fires?