“We all need to make some sacrifices.” I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase a lot recently as gas prices are on the rise, the economy is slow at picking back up, and many still face financial strife. During a stint of being unemployed, I had to make some tough decisions on what I was going to let go and what was worth saving. This week the word sacrifice comes up as we reflect on and celebrate the work Christ on Calvary. Truly understanding and embracing the Father’s sacrifice is transformational for how we view Him and how we live our lives.
Have you ever stopped to think about the sacrifice God gave for you? I mean really think about it? Sacrifice is an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy. God gave up His valued son to open a way for our reconciliation. We are reconciled to the Father, because, in His eyes, we are worth it! All those names people called you when you were younger, all that rejection you received from your parents or friends—forget about it. You’re worth was made known by the death of the Prince of all princes. The very image of God (Colossians 1:15) laid down His life so that you and I may live.
What a powerful thing to truly grasp and understand! As I sit and think about the selfless act of the One who had every right to be selfish, I wonder what right do I have to be selfish about anything. What sacrifice am I willing to make for He who created me and graciously breathed air into my lungs? We hear many stories of people who have survived terribly tragedies by the selfless act of others laying their lives down for them. You almost always hear something like this, “I’ve been given a second chance, and I want to live a life that honors and commemorates that person’s sacrifice for me.”
How often are we commemorators of God’s sacrifice? We’ve been given the most generous second chance in the history of the world. But are we consistently honoring that gift bought by sacrifice? There are many times in my own life when I choose to ignore the sacrifice and focus on my flesh. I certainly don’t live in commemoration when I’m on the highway stuck in traffic, or waiting in long lines at Disney in the sticky heat, or lingering far too long on inappropriate and unholy thoughts. I personally have downplayed the Father’s sacrifice of His son for little ole’ me. God dwelling among us in the man Jesus is not just a story from a book, or an event we celebrate two times a year.
We daily, monthly, yearly should be living out of commemoration for God’s offering of His Son. As commemorators we live constantly under the very real act of His love for us. God released His Son from Heaven, to be born a human, to suffer the hurts and rejection we all face, and to die a human’s death—all because we screwed up. We are all given a second chance, and even given the help of the Holy Spirit to give us the ability to move closer to holiness.
Is there a better gift than that? We’ve been lavishly given so much, and all He asks of us is to follow Him. The Father’s sacrifice is the sinner’s gain. As sinners who are derobed of condemnation and wrapped in cloaks of righteousness, we should live in homage with every breath. We must celebrate the One who gave it all by sacrificing our lives for Him. The truth is we get the better deal. For the chance to sacrifice ourselves, we gain freedom. To lose our lives is to find it. There’s nothing better.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1 (NIV)
The Father’s desire to make this world right at all costs took His Son to Calvary to pay the debt we could not pay. We have a Father willing to do anything for our best interest. As commemorators we honor Him, and follow His ways by giving up our own lives for Jesus Christ. Jesus saved my life from the emptiness of this world. He gave His life so that I could find it, and I want to live my life in a way that honors His sacrifice. Easter is a great reminder that this life is all about Jesus.