Lenten Reader | Day 27

Made Holy

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
     but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
     you were not pleased.
Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
     I have come to do your will, my God.’”

First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

- Hebrews 10:5-10
We generally think of the Christian life as happening in the “spiritual realm,” in our heart or soul or mind or spirit. But Hebrews 10 illuminates the importance of Jesus’s physical body in securing our holiness. Since all the offerings laid out in Old Testament law (including the bodies of animals) did not please God, and merely covered up sin temporarily, a body was given to Jesus to offer as a sacrifice. And through His body, we have been made holy, once and for all – Hallelujah! “He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right” (1 Peter 2:24).

And if it’s true that Jesus came to earth to be the example for us, then it is God’s will for us to offer our bodies to be used by Him to produce holiness in ourselves and others. “You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

What does this look like? “So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God” (Romans 6:13b). Our voices, our hands, our faces, our feet and gimpy knees can be used by God to sing, minister, smile, go places in ways that say no to sin and yes to holiness. Several from our congregation come to mind who use their bodies to lead worship, make cards, build beds, kneel in prayer, mow lawns, and hug children.

Are you thinking that your body has seen better days? Me too! But remember that Jesus’ most redeeming work was done when His body was broken for us. And we honor the sacrifice of His body and blood every time we share in the Lord’s Supper. “For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.

- Theresa Manchester
Father, help me to use my body to produce holiness just as Jesus did. Show what it means to live in a way that allows you to bring about holiness.