Life, the Universe, and Everything, from the Outside In

Planet of the Walking Dead

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Dead inside? Did INXS sing, “..every single one of us is dead inside,” or did I just keep hearing it wrong? If they did, they were right. Almost. When Jesus told the Jewish elder, “You must be born again, ..of the Spirit, to enter the kingdom of Heaven,” He wasn’t just using a figure of speech. Sure, for years the Jewish Establishment had been using the term for when someone of the goyim (nations) became a Jew through mikveh (water immersion), that he/she was “born again” as a Jew, but that’s another story for another time. When God warned innocent Adam that if they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (well, evil, really. They already knew good!) they would immediately die. When they were still walking around the next day, we guess God was just kidding, or making some kind of parable that really meant something else. Nope. God has a wonderful, original, sense of humor, but death and sin aren’t funny. Their very next encounter with God shows something had changed drastically. A careful read shows that to that point they were wise, happy, and fearless. Now they were stupid (wrapping themselves in gummy, prickly, fig leaves!), miserable (hiding in the bushes), and cowardly (shifting blame). When God made Adam, He breathed His own Spirit into the man, and where the Spirit meeting the body there formed a living soul- a human life. The man’s spirit, then, was effectively an extension (bad word, yeah.) of the very Spirit of God, inextricably linked to the soul (mind, emotion, will…) which was meant to be an interface, a buffer in modern lingo, with the body. When Adam died, it was their very spirits that died. There was no more a direct communication with the heart and mind of God. No wisdom, no joy, no boldness. All this reflects in the “curse” that followed: Every pronouncement was for Mankind’s benefit, as we read in Genesis 3.

So this being “born again” as Jesus mentioned is not just a metaphor, as in the Jewish miveh: When one is born “of the Spirit,” or, “from above,” then that dead, vestigial, spirit within us is revived, and we experience an inner relationship with God, actually closer than with our own selves. Potentially, we have perfect wisdom, joy, and boldness through His love shining forth in our hearts. The beginning of the journey!


Written by Robert Easter

Friday, 22 August, 2008 at 9:21

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