"And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know ... For we know in part and we prophesy in part" (1 Cor. 8:2, 13:9)

you are here: > >

The sacrifice of the body

The body sacrifice has a double aspect in the Bible. First of all, our body is largely responsible for our behavior. Scientific research suggests an up to 95 per cent relationship. This is due to the fact that our nervous system contains preprogrammed reactions and patterns of behaviour in everyday situations. Their often unaware implementation can be a source of offense against God's principles. That is why one of the elements of the Biblical response to the problem of sin is the sacrifice of the body, which we realize through repentance. The sense of the Biblical repentance is a change in thinking - recognizing that our subconscious ('body thinking') leads man away from God. The result of repentance is the sacrifice - abandonment - of what is not appropriate in our behavior. The problem of body sacrifice understood in this way already appears in Eden. At the sight of his wife with the forbidden fruit, Adam is teriffied, which instantly launches his self-defense instinct (and therefore such a predefined subconscious way of reaction). Our forefather's behaviour is completely taken over by it, which leads to sin (more details in the article on ).

Animal sacrifices under the Old Covenant have this aspect of reminding about the sinfulness of the body and the need to bear the right sacrifices. On the other hand, when it comes to consuming the offered animal, this illustrates antitypically absorbing the correct patterns of behaviour that result from the sacrifice. A great illustration of this point is consumption of the lamb during the Passover. The New Testament shows that our Lord Jesus is the lamb. We consume his sacrifice through faith when we are convinced that he is the promised Savior, and we decide to follow his example (see the lecture on ). We then consciously undertake a certain way of thinking, which will further shape the patterns of behavior programmed in the subconscious. That is why the Bible says that the believer is the Body of Christ: because literally in our bodies, due to faith in Jesus, the reaction paths in the pattern of the Lord's character (body) become programmed.

Another problem that the original sin revealed is a problem of the truth. Seeing Eve with the fruit, Adam is convinced that the death sentence also fell on him. Fear related to this triggers the self-defense instinct that has already been mentioned. The thing is, however, that there would have beeen no continuation of this story, if Adam had understood the truth that unless he committed disobedience himself, his life was not threatened. The beginning of sin is therefore an error - a conviction contrary to the truth. One of the elements of human salvation is thus restoring knowledge of the truth. The problem, however, is that we do not have direct access to it. Recreating even its approximate image in our consciousness requires a sacrifice - body sacrifice. This is due to the obvious fact that the body is our only tool. Whatever consciousness would not like to do, it must use the body for this purpose.

Obviously, the very process of learning the truth requires sacrifice - time, energy, perseverance. However, because we are not lonely islands, but we create a human community, for which Jesus Christ made a sacrifice in full, it is the duty of informed believers to inform others. That is why our Lord tells Pilate that he came to give testimony to the truth - all his 3.5-year service was devoted to this purpose. On the other hand, he prophetically announces to His Father that because he received the body (service tool), he proceeds to work (performing God's will). The New Testament continues to talk about apostles, prophets, evangelizers, teachers and shepherds - all these people sacrifice their bodies, i.e. they use their earthly tools to serve the Word of God. Our Lord in this service not only gave his body as a tool, but finally gave it to the cross completely. Similarly, for many of his followers over the centuries, the service for the truth ended in the sacrifice of the body in the most literal sense.

Related themes:

Keywords: sacrifice of the body