"Bebe, that is where my old body is buried. I have a new body now!" These were the words I heard coming from my 3 year old granddaughters' mouth as we passed the cemetery. Not sure that I heard her correctly, I asked, "What did you say, Cassi?" Once again she repeated the sentence and then asked me if my old body was there too? Needless to say I was slightly perplexed at this statement and question coming from a 3 year old mouth.
Later that afternoon I shared this disconcerting conversation with my daughter. She explained that they frequently take flowers to place on the graves of family members and to explain to Cassi why they were doing it, she told her that our bodies wear out over time, are placed in the ground and then we go to heaven and get a new body. Actually, that is quite a good explanation for what happens to believers.
I haven't been able to get this innocent conversation out of my mind. Especially, the "is your old body there, Bebe?" part. So today I began searching scripture for references to "old and new body". I knew that God was speaking to me through my granddaughter, but couldn't grasp fully what he wanted to say to me until I reached Romans 6:1-11. As I read these verses, I understood.
1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness?
2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?
3 Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him?
4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was.
6 Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.
7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.
8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life.
9 We are sure of this because Christ rose from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.
10 He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God.
11 So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus.
(The New Living Translation)
As I read this, the question, "Is your old body buried there, Bebe?" rang in my ears. If, like I claimed, I was a follower of Jesus and had placed my trust in Him and Him alone, it should be. But, was I continuing to "live in the sin", verse 2, of my "Old Body"? I wasn't committing the obvious sins, but was I sinning none the less? Segments of these verses (in bold)leaped off the page as I read.
"How can we continue to live in it(sin)? When we became Christians we died with him. Now we also live new lives. So that sin might loose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. We were set free from the power of sin and are able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus."
Was I really living the new life Christ had promised me? Was I acting as though sin had no power over me? Was I living free from the power of sin? Or did I live as though that worn out old body was still the home of my spirit more often than not? Was I living fully in my "New Body" as Cassi was or did I reek of the odor of an "Old Body" that should have been buried long ago?
Guess what? I had to admit that while claiming a "New Body" as mine, I had neglected to bury the "Old Body". I was still wallowing in the sins of fear, lack of trust, jealousy, selfish ambition, anger and other sins that kept me from "being able to fully live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus". If anyone had asked me prior to the conversation I had with Cassi if I were carrying around the carcass of my "Old Body" I would have laughed, but a 3 year old's wisdom caused me to evaluate whether my "Old Body" was in need of burial. Now, with "shovel" in hand I am determine to lay to rest my "Old Body", so that my "New Body" may live free from the stench of sin that clung to my "Old Body" and bring the glory of God through Christ Jesus to the world I live in.....................Shalom, Bebe