A New Body

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  2/3/2013 4:18 PM

Avatar - Jake SullyA New Body
By Shirley Mitchell

“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.  Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.  For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.  Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.”
 

2 Corinthians 5:1-6
 
Although it has been years, I can’t forget it.  I hold onto this moment and hang my hope on God’s truth that He showed me.
 
For my husband’s birthday, the five Mitchells went to go see the movie Avatar in 3D.  Just before the movie, my Bible teacher Susan and I ran into each other as we were buying popcorn.  When she found out that we were seeing the same movie, she said to me, “I can’t wait to see what you write about this movie and what God shows you.”  I thought, “Well, gosh, I can see a movie and not see a spiritual application.  God doesn’t always show me something.”  Well, it took maybe five minutes into the movie for my eyes to be opened and my heart to be grabbed.  So, she had me pegged.
 
The film is set in the 22nd century, when the people of earth are sent to a moon called Pandora in another galaxy to mine it for a precious mineral.  The main character is Jake Sully, a paraplegic former marine who replaces his twin brother scientist who has died.  Since they were identical, Jake is able to use his brother’s avatar, a body that looks like the indigenous people of the planet who are the Na’vi, 10 feet tall and blue skinned. 
 
The moment that I keep thinking about was not the beauty of the world that James Cameron created.  I keep thinking about the moment that this man Jake Sully, who was bound to a wheelchair and moved his legs around with his arms, first entered his new Avatar body.  He ripped off the monitors from his body against the will of the scientists.  He ran out of the lab and to the outdoors.  He ran and ran.  He was free!  He was stronger than ever.  He could leap like he never leapt before.  He was alive again!  He was more alive than ever.  He had a new body, and he was going to experience all of its capabilities.
 
Tears filled my eyes as I realized this is the hope that awaits you and me as believers in Christ.  I live with a husband who has neuropathy and now a father-in-love who is more limited in mobility every day.  I see what age does to us.  I see the limited mobility on the horizon.  I already can’t run like I could when I was younger.  I get out of breath faster and my stride isn’t as long.  Other parts of my body aren’t the same either.  My eyesight and arthritis limit me, too.
 
Paul tells us a great promise in 2 Corinthians 5.  He tells us this body that we live in now is just a tent.  Our spirits are groaning to take off this tent and to put on a heavenly dwelling.  It will be a much more durable body, a body that is not limited in mobility nor by aches and pains.  This new body will be full of life and energy.  A body that not only lets us do what we used to be able to do but also lets us do more than we ever imagined. 
 
If you have ever had a health problem or walked through a health problem with someone you love, I think you can understand this.  For every one who has ever suffered here in their physical body, we know what awaits us as believers in Jesus.  When we die and leave this body behind, we will indwell our heavenly bodies.  We will be more alive! 
 
I don’t blame Jake for running wild while the scientists chased after him.  He knew the misery of his bondage.  When I get to heaven, I will run wild, too.  I’ll throw in some back handsprings, flips, and swing from tree to tree.  I have asked God to take me on a big air tour because I know flying has to be in our future.  If we are able to take a tour of the solar system, I’ll be beyond myself, and you’ll never get me to stop giggling with delight.  I plan on using every part of my new body and living what I can only dream about now.  Some sweet day, I’ll be free.  Some sweet day, you will be free, too.  Don’t let this day scare you!   Believe Him!  Believe our new bodies alone will make us rejoice in heaven, but oh, there is so much more!
 
Pray with me:  Almighty God, You are amazing! You have everything so well planned.  You prepared a perfect place for us to go so we can live with You forever.  May we never forget that we are just tent dwellers.  One day we will lay down these tents and put on a glorious heavenly body.  We will no longer be bound by disease and decay.  We will be free and be strong!  Oh, how I long for that day!  It’s in the Name above all names, in Jesus’ Name, Yeshua’s Name, we pray.  Amen.
 
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