Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Body and the Image - Day #3

Our bodies, not just our souls, are part of being made in God's image.

The Body and the Image of God
Aside from representing God in our actions and lifestyles, our actual human bodies also tell us something about what God is like. Even the writer of Psalm 94.9 suggested this: “He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see?” While God does not have a body of His own –God does not need a stomach to digest, lungs to breath, or anatomical structure to produce offspring- He also knew what He was doing when He formed [the body of] the man from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2.7). Like the ancient idols of pagan gods were made to represent their deities, with the bull appropriately representing a god of strength or the owl representing a goddess of wisdom, the form of man fit well with the One who was being represented by it. It is because of the physical body’s importance that believers look forward to a bodily resurrection on a renewed earth rather than an eternity as spirits in heaven (John 5.29). As part of creating us in His image, God gave us not just a soul, but a physical form too. The human body is important.

Body Parts In the Image of God
There are a lot of ways in which our bodies were designed to represent God. Like the writer of Psalm 94.9 pointed out, the God who gave us ears can hear, and He who created the eye can see. But the human form gives us a lot of other ways of being able to talk about our invisible, spiritual, infinite God and communicate something about what He is like. Human legs help us to understand that God is near to us – that He promises to “walk” among us (Leviticus 26.12); the human ear helps us to get that God “hears” our prayers and cries of distress (Exodus 22.23); the warrior’s arm makes us understand the might and power of God that he uses for our sake, helping us by His “great power and outstretched arm” (Deuteronomy 9.29). If the human body did not exist then the Bible would have no way of talking about what He is like. Even things like sex (oneness within the Trinity) and gender (roles within the Trinity) and speech (God’s commands, revelation, and creation of the world) and hands (God’s election and support of believers) help us to understand who God is and what He is like. Our bodies are an important part of being made in the image of God.

Reflection Passage
the verses provided in the article’s links and ask yourself how you could use the parts and functions of the human body to talk about what God is like. These passages help us understand the importance of the body to our humanity and to representing the Lord.

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