I’m allowed by Scripture to love myself, for one obvious reason stated at the beginning of the Bible, that we are made in God’s image, and what God created in his image he also pronounced as “good.”
Unfortunately, we’ve used our bodies to do a lot of things that are not in the image of God, that even made God wish he’d never created us, but he clearly loves the human body too, because for all the damage we’ve done with our bodies and to our bodies that clearly deserve us being wiped out forever, God’s plan includes “the redemption of our bodies,” Romans 8:23.
For a start, then, we can throw out the notion of being disembodied creatures wandering round heaven forever as our reward for being good in this life now. That’s a pagan idea that sees no value in the human body. But to God our bodies are totally worth redeeming, not, fortunately, in the weakened, fragile, ageing shells we’re in now, but in bodies that won’t age or decay – in the best bodies we could have had, in other words, if we’d eaten off the right tree in the Garden of Eden.
One has to wonder, then, how we’d treat each other if we viewed our bodies as God does. Some religions revere the lives of animals, some value every living thing, but what culture has ever in the entire history of humans viewed their fellow humans through the same eyes as God? Even the first human family experienced a brutal murder, and killing and maiming each other has never stopped since.
And despite learning more and more about how amazing our bodies are, we readily go to war and tear each other to pieces in the most horrible ways. I wonder what we’d make of Genesis 9:5-6, then, that in the new world God created to replace the dreadful mess they’d made of things up to that point, he focused their attention on the sacredness of the human body, when he told Noah, “I will require the life of any man or beast by whose hand your lifeblood is shed. I will demand an accounting from anyone who takes the life of his fellow man: Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man his blood will be shed; for in his own image God has made mankind.”
It made me think of the media, governments and pharmaceutical companies that support jabbing experimental drugs into humans without even knowing what side effects or lifelong damage they may create, and especially in children. Based on Genesis 9, then, I wonder if God’s going to hold them accountable for that.
My body is so sacred to God – because of what Jesus did to redeem it – that I can’t even use the defence against coerced vaccination that it’s “My body, my choice,” because in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I’m told “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.” In other words, my body belongs to God. I can’t just do what I like to my body, but nor can anyone else either, whether it be bullying government, experimental drug pushers, or junk food manufacturers.
And that opens up a whole new window into what Jesus redeemed my body for. It’s described in Romans 6:13, that since we’ve “been brought from death to life” – the new life of the resurrected Jesus in us – we find ourselves able now “to offer the parts of our body to him as instruments of righteousness.”
Because that’s what he created our bodies in the first place for, to make this world a wonderful place. He made our bodies so they’re capable of doing enormous good, which is why Jesus came to redeem them. He valued our bodies enough to rescue them and heal them, to revive the sacredness of the human body so we see ourselves for who we really are – and if only we could see each other that way too.