Sacrifice Much?

Our ability to contribute to life is dependent upon our ability to suffer and sacrifice. He whose sacrifice is the greatest, contributes the most.

Recently I donated blood at a local clinic travelling through town. I’ve often scolded myself for allowing so much time to pass between donations.

It wasn’t much of a sacrifice…about an hour of time, no physical pain (nor squeamishness in my case), and some refreshments to boot.

However, the results could be of the greatest good. It’s deemed the gift of life for obvious reasons.

Usually, the themes of life and sacrifice are attached to blood. Billy Graham has said that the blood of past generations has become a blessing:

“The human world is tinged with the blood of sacrifice. The strong must sacrifice for the weak, the good for the bad, and the innocent for the guilty. The mother suffers for her offspring, the father for his prodigal son, and the soldier for his country. Nationally, the blood of past generations has become a blessing. The blood of patriots is our boon; their battles, our victories; their suffering, our success.

Our ability to contribute to life is dependent upon our ability to suffer and sacrifice. He whose sacrifice is the greatest, contributes the most.”

(https://billygrahamlibrary.org/living-out-the-gospel-sacrifices/)

Bringing it Home

It’s difficult to argue otherwise: One whose sacrifice is the greatest, contributes the most.

Sometimes we romanticize thoughts of monumental sacrifices for “king” or country, or for damsel in distress, likely due to our ridiculous exposure to movies.

Most of us, however, will never be in a position for one of those heroic sacrifices. Only law enforcement or military could occasionally or regularly be subject to highly sacrificial situations (as in one’s very life), otherwise it’s just one’s presence in a fateful circumstance.

So we must contribute the greatest good where we’re at in life. Sacrificial opportunities are readily available in our marriages, in our parenthood, and in our servanthood within communities.

The sweet irony is that sacrifice brings greater good. Sacrifice within marriage brings about a stronger marriage. Blood, sweat, and tears in the work place usually result in greater performances and output.

Don’t resent sacrifices you make within your family. Consider them your greatest opportunities to contribute to society and individual lives.

The Greatest Sacrifice of Blood

Here’s one of today’s greatest contradictions. Non-Christians or wayward Christians will revile talk of the blood of Jesus as a sacrifice for sins. They will use it as an excuse to reject Christianity or to falsely alter its truths. They will detest its death of a Savior for the unsettling, nauseous feelings it causes.

They enjoy making God out to be a bloodthirsty monster. YET, the manifest and shameless spilling of blood is a boon to the entertainment industry. You may find the same protesters glued to their devices, enjoying a “good” slasher or shoot-em-up film.

This contradiction is just another example of making excuses to suppress the truth of the Gospel (Romans 1:18).

However, the doctrine of the atonement is the most beautiful of truths when not watered down. Jesus bore the punishment for our sins and was the perfect sacrificial substitution on the cross so we could be forgiven and made right before a Holy, Loving, and Just God.

Crime without punishment is unjust. Unethical and bad behavior is just plain wrong and increases exponentially without stern consequences. Why, then, should we excuse sin?

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If your sister or daughter’s rapist went before a judge and pled for mercy, you would be furious if that judge reprimanded the accused but gave him freedom with only a warning. A righteous judge would convict and penalize.

God is the righteous judge and won’t let sin go unpunished. However, His Son stepped in and didn’t plead for our innocence; rather, He accepted the necessary punishment as a sacrifice for our sins.

It’s a beautiful, wonderful, purifying truth that all should accept. Only then can we allow the Holy Spirit to transform our lives, and begin to replicate the image of the One who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Leviticus 17:11

For the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord.  It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.