Summary: Our bodies are not o nly sensational and special - they are also sacred.
“Building Quality Relationships: With Jesus – Respect the Temple”
Eph. 5:3-8; Ps. 139: 1-6 & 13-18
Let’s begin with a brief exercise. When I say “Now”, I want you to exhale and empty your lungs. Ready? Now…Now take a deep breath and fill your lungs. In the second that it took that air to reach your lungs, your body, no matter how cool or hot the air around you, warmed it to your inner temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Your body also put moisture into that air so that it reached your lungs at a humidity of 75-80%, no matter how dry the air is around you. Your nose trapped bits of dust and even killed small germs from the air you breathed. Right now, about 750 million air sacs in your lungs are passing that warm, humid, clean air on to your blood. That blood will run through 60,000 miles of blood vessels and take precious oxygen to every one of your 6 trillion body cells. Each cell will automatically pick what it needs from your blood and dump what it doesn’t need back into your blood. The human body is sensational.
Speaking of sensational, do you know that your brain is the most complex instrument in the world? About the size of a grapefruit it weighs around 3 pounds. It is composed of some 12-14 billion cells. There are more electrical circuits in a single brain than in all the radio and television stations of the whole world put together. If someone could build the electronic equivalent of the human brain, it would require a building three times the size of the Empire State Building to house it, all the power generated by Niagara Falls to run it and all the water of the falls to cool it. And when it was complete it wouldn’t even be able to decide whether you should have waffles or pancakes for breakfast! The human body is special.
But our bodies are not only sensational and special, but OUR BODIES ARE ALSO SACRED. Of course, not everyone agrees with that. There is a SECULAR VIEW OF THE BODY. Some would call it the ‘low view.’ In this view the body is only temporary; it is a prison house, a jail cell, for the soul. The body is only a mass of matter that will one day dissolve and disappear. Since the soul is the only thing that matters, what we do with our bodies does not matter. We are free to do with and in our bodies whatever we desire. Live wild; live free. As long as the soul is pure, we’re okay.
But over against this view the Bible presents the SACRED VIEW OF THE BODY. In the creation account in Genesis we learn that all humans are created in the image of God. We are never independent of Him. We bear His nature within us. That foundation underlies the rest of the scriptural testimony. Consider Ps. 139, verse 13: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” This is the Psalmist’s way of proclaiming God as the creator and author of life. God is somehow, mysteriously, involved in the formation of life. GOD IS THE KNITTER, THE WEAVER OF OUR BODIES. The ‘inmost being’ includes the seat of the emotions, our passions and desires and longings. From our earliest moments we were created under the artistry and direction and guardianship of God.
Look at Ps. 139:15: “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth...” David is referring back to Genesis 2:7 and the creation account; as Adam was specially created, so was David; and so are we. Isaiah wrote (49:1&5): “...before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword ... He who formed me in the womb to be his servant...” Jeremiah claimed God told him (1:5) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...” You are a unique, God designed person.
In verse 16 of Ps. 139 David says “My eyes saw your unformed body.” Throughout the Old Testament references to God’s ‘eyes’ are used to connote God’s sovereign oversight in the life of an individual or group. And the word “unformed body” is the Hebrew word for embryo. It is a noun derivative of a verb meaning ‘to roll up.’ In the earliest points of development, when only what some would call today ‘a blob’, God is at work in the creation of life.
Curt Young, in his book, The Least of These, writes: “I recall a series of lectures in embryology presented when I was a pre-med student at the University of Illinois. The theme was simple. In studying prenatal development, we can describe what is taking place, but we cannot explain why.” (1) It’s like having the ingredients of some delicious dessert in front of us – they have value only if there is a cook who knows how to put it all together correctly. Likewise the genetic substance is before us in the womb – but science has never been able to understand how it all goes together correctly; scientists do not have the recipe! It is a spiritual process; the Author of Life is at work! That’s why the Bible uses the same language and same personal pronouns for both life in the womb and life after birth! Life is sacred.