Sunday, March 27, 2016

John 2:19 -- On Resurrection and Repentance

"Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
John 2:19

Christ here was speaking of raising up the temple of his body.  He was the only man in the history of the world that could bring himself back to life in a resurrected, immortal body, and because he did, he made it possible that we can all be resurrected.  So, this life isn't all we have.

Certainly, that doesn't mean that our lives aren't precious, or that we can afford to waste them.  We still need to learn all we can, because this is our one chance to experience all of this.  We came to earth to get a body and to learn the difference between good and evil.  With God, all we had was good, but never having known the other side, we didn't appreciate it, and we could never learn what it was to be independent and make good choices without this opportunity to come here and test ourselves... to see if we are going to choose good and choose God, or not.

We experience a lot of painful things here.  Not just external things, but internal.  We find ourselves being carelessly cruel sometimes.  Or sometimes even with a lot of premeditation.  Sometimes we find that our bodies want something that God has warned us against, or even that our minds and our hearts sometimes want something contrary to God's teachings as well.  And when we run up against these temptations and life experiences, hopefully most of us realize that we don't want to be cruel, that we don't enjoy it or want to make a habit of it.  Most of us, hopefully, realize eventually even for the things that we have made habits, that God is right, and that doing things contrary to his commandments only hurts others, and ourselves... and we turn around, and do whatever it takes to go back in God's direction.

Christ made it possible for us to to live again after we die in a perfect, immortal bodies that are immune to sickness and pain.  We celebrate that at Easter.  But not only that.  Jesus Christ also paid the price for our sins, so that even when we go astray into addiction and cruelty and completely unwise and improper paths, that we still have the ability to turn around--to repent--and that if we do, and as we do, we can still have hope to return to God, completely forgiven, and catch up on our lessons.

I am so grateful that as a father, God was willing to let us, as kindergartners, out the door to walk to school.  It's a scary world down here, and knowing that we are going to experience so much surprising evil is hard for God to watch.  He loves us.  He wants to protect us from that.  But in his wisdom and grace, he lets us come to school anyway, and start learning to grow up.  I'm grateful for that chance... and also so, so grateful for Jesus Christ's suffering and sacrifice, so that we could all have that chance.

Today, let's thank God for this chance, and let's also use this opportunity that he gave us to make good choices, so that we can go back home having learned all we could.

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