Updated: Jan 31
The Egyptians used to prepare their dead pharaohs for an afterlife, which included an embalming process – mummification.
In this process, they removed all the internal organs and mummified them as well, in separate containers, because when the body reached the other side it would need those parts to be reassembled – to be born anew, whole again.
One thing the Egyptians did not bother mummifying was the brain. They threw that in the trash.
Moral of that story: You don’t need a brain in the afterlife, because it only gets in the way during this life.
They (whoever they are) say we only use 10% of the brain’s power – CONSCIOUSLY.
We would be in trouble if we had to THINK about making our lungs take in oxygen, THINK about making our heart muscle beat, THINK about taking the images our eyes are receiving right now and processing them from upside down to right side up, while also THINKING about the meaning of these words your eyes are reading.
Perhaps that’s why our teachers in elementary school wouldn’t let us chew gum in class?
Making our mouth chew gum could be too much to consciously THINK about, should the teacher suddenly ask us to answer a question in class. We could choke on that gum by shifting our thought to THINK of something other than chewing. Add to that being instructed to walk to the blackboard in math class and …. danger abounds
So, you can see why the Egyptians would throw the brain away rather than preserve it for future use. The brain, for all its power and abilities, limits us. The afterlife is heaven, when our souls enter a place of unlimited possibilities, which defy our brain’s concept of physics and rationale …. so a brain would only be processing doubt, like the robot in TV show Lost in Space – “That does not compute, Will Robinson.”
Let’s just say that Peter actually walked on water during the storm on the Sea of Galilee … until he starting THINKING – consciously and/or subconsciously – “I can’t do this.”
“Oh ye of little faith” can be amended to add, “and heavy brains.”
In the reading from Isaiah, we see how Isaiah prophesied the truth that would unfold during the reigns of the four kings of Judah that he would serve as Temple prophet.
King Uzziah would defeat the Edomites by being the first to employ a mercenary army, rented from the Northern Kingdom. Uzziah took a liking to some of the idols the Edomite people worshipped. When Isaiah wrote, “incense is an abomination to me,” that was a prophecy of Uzziah taking incense into the Temple of Jerusalem, causing Uzziah to be stricken with leprosy. From that point on, Uzziah would be forced to be a king in exile, unable to interact with the people of Judah.
His brother, Jotham, would become co-ruler of Judah until Uzziah would die about 20 years later.
Under Jotham, Isaiah and Micah were co-workers in the Temple of Jerusalem. At the same time, Amos and Hosea (who we have read of over the past weeks) also served as prophets in Israel. Jotham, while he did ease some of the ways of Uzziah, he did not completely remove the idolatry allowed by his brother.
The practice escalated, so that by the time Ahaz became King of Judah, Isaiah prophesied of his rule where he wrote, “your hands are full of blood.”
Ahaz sacrificed his son on an idolatrous alter he had erected in the Temple.
King Hezekiah was the ruler who was in place by the time the Assyrians first invaded Judah and held a siege of Jerusalem. Hezekiah removed all of the idol worship and returned the people’s eyes, temporarily, to the LORD. Thus, Isaiah’s voice changed in his prophetic writing. His focus changed to state what it took to have the graces of God:
“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword.”
Understanding the times of Judah, when it was rapidly going down the tubes, all while Isaiah was telling them what not to do and what to, in order to enjoy the favors of God, we can look back from a position of hind-sight and say, “What were they THINKING!?!?”
That brain again. It gets us in trouble. It even makes us THINK we would have acted differently … we would have listened to Isaiah and changed everything.
The letter to the Hebrews was authored by Paul, although that authorship is questioned. There are brainy people – scholars – who will say, “You don’t know that Paul wrote that letter! The Greek is different!”
Well, I have FAITH that Paul is the author, although someone other than Paul might have taken dictation for him, while Paul was in prison.
Paul wrote, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for.” He added, that faith comes from a “conviction of things not seen.”
Therefore, one cannot see Paul’s name on the letter to the Hebrews of Rome; but one is assured “of things hoped for.” Have FAITH that Paul wrote the letter to the Hebrews. Don’t hope that.
This states that “Faith” is different than “Hope.”
I can hope the homeless person I give a dollar to will use the dollar to stop being homeless … rather than use it to buy some alcoholic beverage. I can hope that my prayers to God will be answered exactly as I request …
“Please Lord, send me money to pay my car note.” I hope I don’t have to learn a lesson about how I don’t need a car.
I can hope the lottery ticket that I drive to Louisiana to buy will at least win me back the cost of the gas to drive to Louisiana AND the price of the lottery ticket.
However, hope comes with an understanding that odds are at play. Hope knows there is a chance that my hope will not be rewarded, depending on the percentages in or against my favor.
Faith, on the other hand, “is the assurance of things hoped for,” such that Faith is a sure thing that one wants, but is not presently in hand.
The brain calculates hope, but Faith cannot THINK. Faith … IS.
In the letter to the Hebrews the example of Abraham’s faith is given. Abraham was told he would receive an inheritance from God but he would have to go to find it at an unknown place. What are the chances he would get there without a map? With hope, not very good. With Faith, it was assured he would go to the right place.
Abraham was 100 years old, Sarah was 90, when their Faith was rewarded with the “power of procreation.” By being too old … AND barren … hope said the odds for receiving the power of procreation would be “as good as dead.” Zilch. Zero chance of having a baby at that age and in that state of being.
But through Faith, “descendants were born.” “As many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”
Abraham never saw an earthly realization of his inheritance, “but from a distance they saw and greeted” that reward, due to Faith.
You see, Abraham acted as though he had no brain. He acted because he had a heart. The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob went to Egypt, the land where they threw brains in the trash after death.
Paul said, “If they had been THINKING of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity (a word of chance) to return.” However, because they had a “desire” for a better country, a heavenly one, the Israelites followed their hearts.
In the Gospel of Luke, we hear Jesus say, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
If you let your brain calculate opportunity and chance, then you will be able to find an earthly reward. Your faith will be put into the power of intellectual procreation, which means your hopes and dreams can be materialized.
But, at what cost?
Jesus said, “Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, where no thief comes near and no moths destroy.” The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. No assurances when you lean on a brain. Only hope.
Jesus told the parable of the slave being dressed for action and keeping a lamp lit for when the master returns. He said, “You must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
Your brain will not be able to project that time.
The lamp is in the heart, and the Egyptians had a special vase in which they mummified a heart. That was because the afterlife, just like this life, requires a heart.
The brain, on the other hand ….