Sunday, April 20, 2014

After Easter

After Easter
April 21, 2014
1 Corinthians 6:20  ". . . you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."

Easter is a wonderful celebration of the salvation received as a direct result of the resurrection.  Jesus was crucified, was dead and buried.  He was raised from the dead and sits at the right hand of the Lord.  He is alive and well, having successfully completed everything necessary to cleanse the sins of all men, once and for all.  We may now have eternal salvation, being washed fully in the blood that Jesus shed on that cross.  But now what?  What's next?  What comes after Easter?

Just as Easter is a day to celebrate the resurrection from the dead and eternal life for you and me, every day thereafter is a chance to celebrate something else.  Every day after Easter is a chance to demonstrate our thankfulness for the work of Jesus on the cross.  Scripture says that if you want to partake in eternal salvation, the benefit of Jesus' work on the cross, then you belong to Him.  Your life is not your own, because you were bought at a price.  It cost Jesus His life upon the cross, and now you and I belong to Him.  This seems a little like a slave but it is quite the contrary.  A slave has no choice in the matter.  You can choose to have salvation or not, but if you choose salvation then you agree to something else.  If you accept the work of Jesus on the cross to benefit your life, then your life in return gets to benefit Jesus.  It is a small token of our appreciation for the work He did for us.

So what does this entail?  What does it mean to belong to Him?  Scripture lays a few new rules because of the new work on the cross.  Before the cross, the Lord's presence only resided inside His temple and only the High Priest could enter that presence.  As a result of the work on the cross, Jesus cleansed our hearts from sin so the Lord's presence may now rest inside our hearts.  No longer is the Lord's presence limited to a temple, because our bodies are now the temple!  As such, our lives, even our physical beings carry the physical presence of the Lord.  Our bodies belong to Him since that is where He now resides!  We are to honor the Lord with our bodies; this is the celebration after Easter.  In Scripture this is defined with the basics of avoiding sexual sin, because that is the worst case scenario.  But there is so much more to it than that.

If your body is the temple of the Lord's presence, and you belong to Him, then there is some defining that needs to take place.  What does it mean to you that your body is the temple of the Lord?  It should mean that you are now the physical representation of Christ on this earth in front of others.  This reflects how you dress, how you talk, how you act, etc.  I'm not placing rules for you to live by, but I am suggesting a full personal audit needs to take place.  Do your eating habits reflect what the Lord would desire for His temple?  Does your choice of words reflect what the Lord would desire for His temple?  Do your viewing and listening habits reflect what the Lord would desire for His temple?  Chances are, all of us could use a good temple cleaning, making sure our lives and bodies reflect what the Lord would want for His temple.  If you aren't sure what this means specifically for you, then consider prayerfully asking Him for His opinion.  He has a very strong opinion and would love to share it with you if you'd only ask Him.  Your body is the Temple; it is your obligation as a Christian to use it as such.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  John 2:20-22, 1 Cor 6:12-20

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