Human Bodies

Humankind is more than mere matter and particles, more than the dust of creation. We have a living soul. What does it mean to live with an awareness that our bodies encase souls, and our souls are encased by bodies?

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“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)

Rust and corrosion meets all merchandise: gold, silver, precious stones, fine linen, lumber, sea vessels, vehicles on every road, planes in the sky, brass, iron, marble, cinnamon, perfumes, ointments, wine, oil, flour, wheat, fruits, and animals.

The flesh meets the same physical end, but the body is more like a seed that eventually grows into a plant. We have the potential to be transformed into a glorious, heavenly body. When we are put into the ground, God gives those who profess Christ a new body; all while the soul remains.

The body is meant to run the way Elijah sprinted from Ahab and Jezebel, and the body is meant to dance before the Lord like David did in a linen ephod.

The body is meant to enjoy sexual intimacy the way Solomon’s Song pronounces, and the body is meant to refrain from food for a period of fasting to exorcise demons.

The body is fueled by bread and drink, but can you identify what nourishes your soul?

Physical and Spiritual Nourishment are required to fuel us. 

“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:19-20)

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“Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.” (Luke 19:1-6)
  • Zacchaeus is a wealthy man of short stature, but he runs and climbs a tree.
  • Jesus looks up.
  • Zacchaeus quickly comes down. Once a lost man, now found as he “received” Jesus. 

The sequence of events reminds us how time and space matter, especially when it comes to the composure of our body. Time or age matter, making a young person look almost indistinguishable from an old person in the same body. Space or context change everything, making one action appropriate in one second, yet completely unacceptable in the next. Imagine a wealthy person, dressed in fine linen suddenly climbing a tree. It’s a little more odd than a child doing the same thing: time and space matter. 

Our carnal, fleshly nature is not always pleasant. It presents challenges.

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“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure” (2 Corinthians 12:7)

An awareness that there may be a “thorn in the flesh” is part of what makes the incarnation such a beautiful expression of why God so loved the world. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in bodily form is the center of our faith, and the apex of the plan of salvation — without holding by faith that Jesus rose bodily from the grave, one remains in their sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). We must believe Jesus was miraculously born a virgin, and entered our world through the agony of childbirth.

Coming to terms that the thorn in our flesh may not be removed is necessary for the body as much as the soul.

Hail! Stop! Rise! Come!

The body is called into action. Our bodily action is a realization and outward expression of the state of our soul.

There is a time for every body to acknowledge sin, and ultimately a time when the mouth is called to professes faith in Jesus as Lord and God. There is a place and reverent context when we eat bread, drink wine, and worship the creator of heaven and earth who formed us from dust. There is not just one body either, together as one body we unite as the bride of Christ.

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