Ephesians 5:1-2 (NASB)
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to GOD as a fragrant aroma.”
Isaiah 53:10-11 (MSG)
“Still, it’s what GOD had in mind all along, to crush HIM with pain. The plan was that HE give HIMSELF as an offering for sin so that HE’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life. And GOD’s plan will deeply prosper through HIM. Out of that terrible travail of soul, HE’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad HE did it. Through what HE experienced, MY RIGHTEOUS ONE, MY SERVANT, will make many “righteous ones,” as HE HIMSELF carries the burden of their sins.”
Easter is fast approaching.
Let us remember the kind of life we have been invited into – to watch what God does, and then do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents, and learn a life of love just as we observe how Christ loved us.
His invitation is for us to live and love like He did.
How has Christ loved us?
His love was not cautious but extravagant.
HE didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us, as an offering and a sacrifice to God.
Why did Christ offer Himself as a sacrifice for us?
He knew His Father’s plan would come to fruition through His life, in particularly, His death.
He knew that when He had made His life a sacrifice for our wrongdoings, in exchange, He would see life and more life come from His death.
He saw that it was worth it as many will be made in right standing with the Father.
Christ loved, offered Himself up and sacrificed.
We are called to imitate Christ and walk in love. How have we loved, offered ourselves and sacrificed?
Are our sacrifices acceptable to the Father?
Are our sacrifices pleasing to the Father?
Are our sacrifices displaying the Father’s glory?
Are our sacrifices bringing about the Father’s redemptive plan and purpose?
Are our sacrifices in exchange for life and more life?
Are our sacrifices “strange” fire to the Father – something He had not commanded like those of Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10:1-2)?
The Hebrew word for “sacrifice” is korban קרבן which means “coming closer”.
It derives from the root karev קרב which means “to draw near”.
Thus, the purpose of sacrifice is to gain intimacy with God by bringing Him a cherished gift that expresses His value and His worth.
And in drawing nearer, we know His heart and plans better and deeper, the more we want to bring Him a gift that matches His heart and brings His plan to fruition.
“Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies?
I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. Live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.” (TPT, Romans 1:1)
May your life come nearer and nearer to God through the way you live for Him as a true worshipper.
Bring to our remembrance the kind of life we have been invited into.
Let us never lose sight of the great sacrifice JESUS had paid for our sins in order to make this invitation possible.
Will in us to take our everyday, ordinary life – our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and offer it up to you as living sacrifices.
Because we have been forgiven much, we love much in our response to You and the people around.
We shall imitate You as beloved children, loving what You love, and hating what You hate.
Let us not be casual with our love but serious, radical and extravagant with our love for You.
May our sacrifices be acceptable and pleasing to You, display Your glory, and reveal Your redemptive plan.
May You increase and we decrease in our sacrifices.
May our sacrifices display Your value and worth.
Amen in CHRIST JESUS!