The DNA of Christ

A group of scientists have set out to examine DNA from the blood that is on both the Shroud of Turin (the cloth believed by many to have covered Jesus in the tomb) and the Sudarium of Oviedo (a veil believed by many to have covered the head of Christ while his dead body still hung on the cross). A study in 2016 showed that the blood on both the shroud and the veil were from the same person.

If indeed, it is the blood of Christ, these scientists want to map the DNA and use it to identify living descendants of Jesus’ relatives. What an interesting thought . . .  that Jesus had DNA . . .  that there are living descendants of his relatives who share his DNA and can be identified.  Maybe they live next door to you? Maybe they are you?

Weird, mysterious stuff!  I love it!

But did you know that scripture talks about the DNA of Jesus?

Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God’s sperma abides in them; they cannot sin, because they have been born of God. (1Jo 3:9 NRS)

Sperma is the Greek word that, as you might imagine, describes the DNA material used in reproduction. In other words,

Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God’s DNA abides in them; they cannot sin, because they have been born of God. (1Jo 3:9 NRS)

This is weird stuff. First, who doesn’t sin? Secondly, who has God’s DNA? Paul explains this in Romans:

It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as sperma. (Rom 9:8 NRS)

Interpreted into better English . . .

It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise who are counted as having God’s DNA. (Rom 9:8 NRS)

We all sin. That is a fact. But Paul teaches that God promises not to count those who have his DNA as sinners – instead they are God’s children.  In other words, those who desire and allow the Spirit of God to live within them, become a new race of people.  The Spirit changes our spiritual DNA. We take on the DNA of Christ. Sadly, we still make mistakes, still miss the mark, still sin, but God sees the DNA of Christ within us and does not count our sins against us.

In addition, the DNA of Christ, like a virus, mutates our spiritual DNA to become more and more like Christ. We call this sanctification in theology class and it is the work of the Spirit. In a way, the Spirit of God is the DNA of Christ joining itself to us and transforming us into usable vessels.

Weird, mysterious stuff!  I love it!

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