Your body is meant to be a sacred space.

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18So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

John 2:18-22

 

Jesus saw two temples: The temple Israel built with stones. And the temple of His body built by God.

 

Which temple mattered the most?

 

Which holy space is God’s most dear concern?

 

Jesus had just cleared the Court of the Gentiles of the people committed to profiting from His Father’s house and the desire for righteousness. When asked for a sign to show His authority, Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and three days I will raise it up.” His audience was confused and incredulous. The Temple in which they stood took 46 years to build.

 

But the temple of which Jesus spoke was His body. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) Jesus was looking forward to the culmination of His passion in the resurrection of His body. The implications are staggering. 1) Jesus understood that His body was the first arena for experiencing and knowing the Heavenly Father. Your body is meant to be a holy space. 2) Through Jesus’ occupation of flesh, God has solidarity with people. People matter to God. 3) Therefore the buildings we build for His glory must serve God’s greater purpose for the redemption of people.

 

Jesus anticipated His destruction at their hands on the cross. But he also anticipated  the impact of His completed work of forgiveness for sin: The Holy Spirit would be sent by the Father in Jesus’ name to occupy the “temple” of every one His disciples. Later the apostle Paul would write:

 

For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

 

Grace!

 

Body Faith

Its tempting to carve up our lives into little compartments

such that we separate what we do with our bodies

from our faith.  God wants us to see the connection:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, 

to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—

this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1

In response to the Gospel of Jesus offer your body to God.

Offer your body as a living sacrifice.

Obvious:

Your body is the only vehicle you have for serving Him.

Yet we too often disconnect what we are doing in our body from our faith.

Two implications:

  1. Sin enslaves the body to act according to desires that are contrary to the way of God; but the Gospel frees us to progressively choose and act in keeping with the royal law of love.  Jesus has made us and is making us holy and pleasing to God.
  2. Worship is not confined to a specific hour or place; worship is what we do when we are continually offering what we are doing to God — at work, in relationships, at home.

For a good start of the day develop a spiritual exercise out of Romans 12:1:

Reflect on the extraordinary love of God shown us in the cross of Jesus.

Then in view of God’s mercy offer each part of your body to God:  My head — its yours; may my thoughts honour you.  My eyes — they are yours, may I see the world as you see.  My ears — they are yours, may I have your grace to listen to people and hear what you are doing in their lives.  My mouth…  My hands…”