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The Soul's Surgery
by Terry Barlow
01/13/14
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I like the way the major elements of ancient Jewish religous life fit into a kind of medical metaphor. For example, think of circumcision as a kind of surgery and it really was that. Then think of the temple where it was performed as the hospital and it certainly served that function in this case. Now think of the celebrations of the feasts involving that same temple as the anaesthesia for the surgery. And last we can think of the Sabbath as the recovery and rest time following every surgery. Even in the New Testament we read about the circumcision of the heart and experience that process today as we become more sensitive to the Presence of God and the prompting of the Holy Spirit,  as well as to the feelings and views of others. The hospital would then be the church community context and the anaesthesia of the incense of our worship and fellowship. Our sabbath is the Lord's Day, but it is also resting from our own efforts to save ourselves and relying more on the finished work of Christ on the cross, our victory already won and just waiting and "itching" to be applied!

Judaism was and is a very participatory religion.  The people brought their sacrificial animals to the Levites.  They participated in the placing of their sins on the animals.  They made pilgrimages to Jerusalem to observe the major feasts.  They brought their infant sons to the temple on the 8th day. (the day it turns out that the blood coagulates, medical science caught up with this fact @3000 years later!) Christianity follows through with that tendency toward participation since we are made partakers or "participators in the Divine Nature" (2 Peter 1, v.4) and are exhorted to know Him as we partcipate both in the power of His resurrection and exaltation,  and the fellowship of his sufferings and humiliations to be eligible to reach the resurrection from among the dead. (Phillipians 3.)  We participate in the reaching of the lost and the instruction of the saved, as we co-labor with the Holy Spirit planting and watering as God gives the increase. (1 Corinthians 3, v.6)  In baptism we die and are buried, and then rise again with Jesus Christ, our Savior. (Romans 6)  I could go on but there's no need to do that.  It's clear how participatory our faith was designed to be, no one of us has to be a benchwarmer.  Hallelujah for that!! 



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