Without sacrifice, there is no future…
Sacrifice is a very interesting concept.
When we think of Old Testament sacrifices, we usually turn up our noses.
“Didn’t they know that God desired mercy, not sacrifice?”
“Did they really think that God, or the gods, needed the smoke from animal meat?”
“How could people participate in such a gross and messy ritual?”
However, think about the deeper implications of sacrifices.
When animals were sacrificed, they were usually the best of the best. When crops were brought as an offering, it was 10% (tithe) of the harvest and the first-fruits. There was no guarantee that the rest of the crop would be as good or usable.
Sacrifice represents giving up something in the now for a better future.
Sacrifice is a part of life, and it’s only possible for a conscious, rational person to do.
Think about it. Animals can’t understand the concept of sacrifice. If you fill their food bowl, they will eat all the food. There’s no saving for the future.
Only rational humans, made in the image of God, have the capacity to be self-aware; the capacity to plan for the future and understand death.
If we don’t sacrifice today, we may die tomorrow.
For example, if we lived 200 years ago and we were farmers in the midst of winter, we would know that we couldn’t eat the seeds we’ve stored. We know it’s better to get through the cold months with a bit of hunger so that we could plant the seeds in the spring for a full harvest.
The Hebrews of the Old Testament understood this.
God understood this as well, and he was willing to sacrifice his son, Jesus, for the future of the cosmos.
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, … For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:12, 14 RSV)
All is accomplished and our future secured.
Now, we are called to follow Christ’s example: sacrifice in the now for the future.
What are you willing to sacrifice? What do you need to sacrifice?
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