Sacrifice

Psalm 51:16-17For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Typically, a sacrifice is that which costs you something.

In comparison to the selfish desires and direction we want for our life, we feel it a sacrifice to give God the time to attend church on a Sunday morning. Many think they are ‘sacrificing for Jesus’ by doing the very things we’ve been commanded to do.

Inconvenience is not sacrifice.

Even when we’ve done more than most and pride want us to be recognized for our ‘sacrifice’, we miss the mark – entirely.

Please pardon my harshness right out of the gate this morning, but, in light of what sacrifice has been given to me for my salvation; whatever I have to offer pales in comparison.

The exercise of one’s faith to trust Jesus’ sacrifice – the death, burial, and resurrection – and receive it fully, wholly, and totally as the payment for my sin, brings salvation. That is the fundamental truth of what makes you a saved child of God.

Seemingly, some walk away with their ‘ticket to Heaven’ or their ‘fire insurance policy’ and never stop to realize just what it cost or meditate on just what it is they received. The immediacy or urgency that brought them to repentance disappeared when the cares of this world sprung up and choked out the life that Christ blood had bought.

Please, bear with me…

I, too, have had times in my life when the world and its cares overtook my focus and became my god… for a time. But I thank my God for my church, for my pastor, and dear godly men who came alongside me and firmly admonished me to confess and repent of my sinful choices that put me in the bonds of sinful, worldly behavior.

I have heard sermons read accounts of medical doctors, and historical accounts of what a person suffers when subjected to Roman crucifixion. I have thought on the complete degradation of body, soul, and spirit that Jesus suffered – for me… for my sins.

He was physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. So, much stress was placed upon Him that in the garden, He asked if He could pass, but came to accept the will of the Father to redeem all of mankind. As he prayed, sweat drops of blood came from His pores. A physical condition that a human being under extreme stress can experience.

He was utterly and totally rejected by those He came to save. The ones singing His praises; laying palm branches and saying “Hosanna” were six days later shouting, “Crucify Him.” Those disciples He poured His life into and instructed, ran away at the last.

His body underwent the most excruciating torture before being hung on the cross to die. Many who were scourged as Jesus, never survived. The loss of blood or the sheer filleting of the skin from the body brought about the cruelest and most painful death.

But there, on the cross, He suffered the most. The Holy Spirit who filled Him was now gone. The weight of the sins of the whole world; past, present, and future, were placed upon Him. Then, something Jesus had never known – ever. His Father had to turn away to not look on or be in the presence of sin.

Matthew 27:46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Jesus’ faith in His Father was evident now as His God. All other references to Jesus addressing His Father was just that – as Father. Only here, on the cross, He addresses Him as my God.

The excruciating pain from the scourging and the cross; His extreme exhaustion; the cruel mocking; the rejection and aloneness wholly and totally left Jesus there to die for our sins.

What was given to us for our salvation cannot compare to anything you or I may call ‘sacrifice’… His was the ultimate and final sacrifice ever needed.

We should not feel it a sacrifice to serve Him. Out of a heart that has a sense of sincere gratitude and appreciation for what has been done for us to obtain the freedom; the liberty; and the promises we now possess; should willingly and lovingly surrender all rights to have any power over our life.

It is the struggle we are left to endure in this life. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans chapter 7.

We also must realize those rights we think we possess, have been bought and purchased at salvation.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

When we embrace this truth, surrender is the only option.

Because we have been given a free will to choose, we are tempted and lured to take back that which we have given. God will not wrestle away possession of your will; the direction of your life, and the influence of your mind. We must surrender ourselves to Him.

Knowing the price that has been paid for our soul – it cannot be called a sacrifice to give God what is rightfully His.

When I look at my most recent sins and think to the added weight of sin placed upon my Savior; my heart is broken and becomes contrite and brings me to my knees to confess and repent.

That spirit is what made David ‘a man after God’s own heart’.

May we seek to pursue God with a heart that can be said is “broken and contrite”.

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