In “Seeing, Hearing, Remembering: Lessons from Jesus,” Jesus questions his disciples about their understanding and…
Therefore laying aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisies and envyings, and all evil speakings, desire the sincere milk of the Word, as newborn babes, so that you may grow by it; if truly you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” I Peter 2:1-3 I remember, since it was only 15 months ago, holding my firstborn, a daughter, for the first time and I hope never to be able to forget it. In my arms was a piece of me, sharing obvious genetic traits, probably predisposed to certain desirable and undesirable personality wiring as well. Yet, for all that, she was pure, untainted, more so than she ever would be again. I marveled as I beheld and studied her.
“Then God said, `Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness …” (Genesis 1:26). “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being”(Genesis 2:7). “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him…” (Genesis 1:27). God imagined man, incorporated him, and imbued him with life. On the day of man’s making, God blessed the capstone of His creation (Genesis 1:28), teaching us that He who “…forms the spirit of man within him” (Zechariah 12:1) counts His creation valuable. This truth was further communicated in His declaration to Noah: “Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:5-6). Clearly then, life is sacred, and its taking no small thing.
In his latter days, Solomon recalled his former deeds: “I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds. So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem” (Ecclesiastes 2:4-9).
After death man has no more portion of the things done on this earth. No more will the dead receive the rewards of the living. No more will they know or feel the emotions of man. Ecclesiastes 5:15 (also see Job 1:21) tells us, “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.” Man came with nothing. Man shall leave with nothing this world provides him.
From the beginning of time on this earth, the spirit has been connected with life. It was the Spirit of God breathed into man bringing him to life (Genesis 2:7). Jesus tells us plainly that it is the Spirit who gives life (John 6:63), and James further states that “the body without the spirit is dead.” (James 2:26) If it is the Spirit that gives us life and keeps us alive, what is the significance of Peter’s promise to those who would repent and be baptized in Acts 2:38, that they might receive the gift of the Holy Spirit? The Spirit already gives and sustains us physically (Job 33:4). Thus, there must be more than just physical blessings that God, through the mouth of Peter, was promising.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
To live with God in His realm would be the supreme state of life and fruition of purpose. What could be better than that? To be with Him, accepted into the sphere of His eternal love, would surpass all conditions. This is derived from what Jesus said to His disciples.