Yes, “soul-jar” is a silly pun on “soldier”. But this is the kind of soldier we are; not one of force, but vessels of Christ crucified, the Treasure inside. The power of God is of Him and not of us.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Cor. 4:7, ESV)
People seem to love protesting of late. They want to force people to hear. Protestors are soldiers of sorts because soldiers come to impose someone’s will over another’s. But Jesus did not go out in protest, forcing Himself to be noticed or heard. Rather, when reviled He remained silent; when abused, He said, “Father, forgive them.” His power was not the type characterized by dominating force; rather it was seen as defeat by worldly eyes. Rather than trying to save or justify Himself, He laid it down. Jesus was dead to that self and alive to the Father.
When Jesus is in us, He is this Treasure. We can’t “off ourselves” by the power of ourselves. We need a Higher Order power. That is union with Christ. In Romans 6:11 we are told to “logizesthe” ourselves dead. That means we are to reckon or logically count ourselves as already dead due to our union with Christ. He is dead to the flesh, therefore we are too. He shares that treasure that is Himself and not of us.
…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your “logiken” worship. (Rom. 12:1, ESV, author modified).
When the Treasure is in our soul jar, we experience Christ being Himself as “crucified but living”; or as Revelation 5:6 pictures Him, “slaughtered yet standing”. That is what a “living sacrifice” is. It is not of us; rather it is of Him.
For a long time I have heard Christians speak of themselves as “crawling off the altar” as if we are the “living sacrifice” afraid to stay there. But that is only part right: we ALWAYS crawl off the altar. In fact, we probably never make it to the altar by the power of self. We are the sheep that have gone astray but the Lord is the One, Lone Sheep that went to the altar in Isaiah 53. We do not have the “self” power to be a living sacrifice.
That is where the “logiken” worship of Romans 12:1 comes in. A living sacrifice is our “sacred, considering worship” or our “reckoning priestly serving”. We are dead in union with Christ, and He is alive to the Father. Therefore, our bodies of flesh–themselves containers of the soul–can share the soul reality that Jesus has.
That Reality is endless but single. It is knowing Jesus according to His death, burial and resurrection in a living way and in an ongoing basis, where the power is Him and not you. It has always been pictured in the priestly worship at the temple where sacrifices were given. The worshipers did not lay themselves down on the altar to die. They presented a body, then laid their hands on that body, and it died. Its death was reckoned as their death.
If the Spirit shows you this, don’t just know it in your head, rather become congruent inwardly so that His death is your death, and His living to the Father is your living to the Father. And like the priests who served, it is not about us but unto God. The direction is always God’s direction.
In the verse prior to Romans 12:1, Paul makes it clear that all things find their source in the Father, live by and through Him and into His purposes. If you really want to hop onto the right “J—train” like a soldier off to war then know you are caught up in something larger than yourself. The origin and destination are already predetermined. The Treasure in the soul-jar will take you there.