Friday, August 24, 2018

Wonderfully Made - Part 3 - The Liver




David, the author of most of the psalms in our Bible wrote that he was ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. In this series of short studies, we are looking at five parts of our wonderfully made human bodies, and finding out what spiritual lessons they have for us today. 

Our third subject for study in the series is our liver, the largest of our internal organs, situated on the right hand side of the belly. It is also one of our most complex organs, doing about 500 jobs at once, including fighting off infection; neutralizing poisons; manufacturing essential proteins and hormones; controlling blood sugar and helping with the clotting of our blood. However the liver's main job is to clean up the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it on to the rest of the body. At any one time, the liver contains about one eighth of all the blood in our bodies, and it pumps out about one and a half litres of purified blood per minute.


Amazingly the liver is the only organ in our bodies that can regenerate itself, thus making it possible for one person to helpfully donate part of their liver to someone else without any great loss. When that portion of the liver is transplanted, the donor's liver will regrow back to its original size, while the transplanted portion will grow to the appropriate size for the recipient. 

What does the Bible say about the human liver? Well it doesn’t say a lot, but what it does say is interesting. The Old Testament Hebrew word for liver literally means ‘heavy’, so its size and its importance were well appreciated. Then, like other internal organs such as the kidneys and the heart, it was used as a figure of speech for the centre of our emotions. Sadly the Bible, the Word of God, has to say that ‘The heart is deceitful above all things,and desperately wicked’. 

As we’ve seen, the liver cleans our blood most effectively. However, in the Bible, it is the other way around, because we learn that ‘the blood of the Lord Jesus cleans us from all sin’. The blood of Jesus Christ was shed at the cross, when He died as a sacrifice for our sins. The New Testament talks about having ‘faith in his blood’, which means trusting Him as our sacrifice and saviour. 

The New Testament has a lot more to say about His blood, with one most helpful statement, which says Christians have ‘peace through the blood of his cross’. This makes it very plain that we are talking about His death on the cross. In fact we are made near through the blood of Christ. If we do trust Him, then we are assured of entrance into God’s presence for prayer and praise, since we then have ‘boldness to enter … [through] the blood of Jesus’. 

Three further remarkable New Testament verses tell us that Christians have propitiation through his blood’; justification through his blood’; and redemption through his blood’. Put simply this means that once we have faith in His blood, God having laid a proper basis at the cross for forgiving our sins, looks at us as righteous; and we are freed from any penalty that our sins would otherwise bring. Many more things could be said about His blood, but we can ask how can all this be true? Well, remember the liver cleaning our blood, well the ‘precious blood of Christ’ cleans us. When we take Him as our savior we can say we can say that Jesus Christ ‘washed … from our sins in his own blood’. Wonderful!
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