Down In The River To Pray

Music HighwayThe Bible, as many of you know, has many incidents of a person doing something with his body in order to receive benefits. In the Old Testament, for example, an incident occurred where a leprous individual was told to go in and out of a the river and become healed (2 Kings 5:1-14).

How do you account for this? It was only water which soaked this man. There was nothing medicinal about the river water. The man basically
got wet. But he was healed!

John the Baptist, was baptizing people mostly using
the Jordan River. Again, there were no magical powers
found in the molecules of the water, but people were
repenting of their sins through the  baptism by John
(Matthew 3:11).

Did these people see John as the prophesied Messiah? No.
He would not let the people believe this.

Then Jesus came along and met the Baptist and requested to be baptized also. John was dumbfounded. He told Jesus that he (John) should be baptized by Him, not the other way around!

But Jesus said something very important here. He said it was an example for mankind that He be baptized. Jesus had not sinned and did not need to repent, but He wanted to bear all of the sins of humanity on Himself and heal them spiritually.

When Jesus went in and out of the water of the Jordan River it
not only symbolized His death, burial, and resurrection,
but also symbolized a future washing away of sin by
His death on the cross. This was a major reason
why Christ came to earth from the Father.

Do you notice something? Throughout the Bible there is a huge preoccupation with the human body! Since all men are assigned to die, no thanks to the sin of Adam and Eve at the garden of Eden, a large focus of the Bible is on the body of men (and women) – especially that of Christ . . .

* Christ broke bread and blessed the wine which established a ritual symbolizing His body and blood (Matthew 26:26 – 29).

* The body of Christ was scourged and beaten (Matthew 27:26; Matthew 27:30).

* His body was nailed to a cross (John 19:17-18).

* Days later, the body of Christ awoke from death.

* The rock of Christ’s tomb was rolled aside indicating that the body of Christ was alive and walking again (John 20:1).

* Jesus appeared and spoke with Mary Magdalene at His gravesite and told her not to hug (not touch) Him yet (John 20:11-17).

* Thomas was led by Jesus to verify His resurrected body (John 20:26-28).

* Christ ascended bodily back to the Father (Acts 1:9-11).

Boby, body, body and more body! What is going on?

Then we read about the Church being called the body
of Christ (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:24).

We are told to take care of our body as it is the temple
of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Body! Body! Body!

All of this body stuff became especially more evident to me because of what occurred on Easter (okay, Resurrection Sunday). I have given much thought about this lately and want, Lord willing, to tell you more in the upcoming weeks as we, more and more, meditate and reflect on the passion of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

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Related post:  A Living Prayer

 

Alison Krauss

Down In The River To Pray   (circa 1835)
lyrics – Unknown
music – Unknown
sung by – Alison Krauss
genre – Traditional American song, gospel
album – O Brother, Where Art Thou?

LYRICS:

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way!

Album (2000)

O sisters, let’s go down,
Let’s go down, come on down
O sisters, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way!

O brothers, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
Come on, brothers, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way!

O fathers, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O fathers, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way!

O mothers, let’s go down
Come on down; don’t you want to go down?
Come on, mothers, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way!

O sinners, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O sinners, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way!

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