Every Lord’s Day we are tasked with remembering the death of Jesus on the cross and His ultimate resurrection that marks our salvation. In order to focus our minds on His death, I would like to focus on the concept of sacrifice.
To sacrifice anything is a tall order for many of us. And for us to sacrifice anything there must be a particularly good reason. The most common reason for one to sacrifice for another is a deep love for another person. Parents often sacrifice their time, money and well-being in order to create a better and more enjoyable life for their children. Likewise, the Lord sacrificed His own Son on our behalf due to His immeasurable love for us. This brings to mind the sentiment expressed in John 15.3:
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Additionally, we are reminded by Paul in Romans 6.8 that Christ died for us while we were still sinners in a demonstration of His love. Not only did Jesus lay down His life for those He loved (which is described as the greatest showing of love), but He sacrificed His life for us while we did not deserve it.
The significance of this sacrifice is further expounded upon in Hebrews 10. Starting in verse 12 it reads….
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Under the Old Law, sacrifices and offerings were a requirement for the atonement of the sins of Israel. The Israelites, through the priests, were required to give blood, peace, and sin offerings amongst others in order to gain forgiveness for their sins. However, Christ, in His immeasurable love, offered a single sacrifice that can save us for all time.
This serves as a reminder that Christ’s sacrifice bore the weight of all sins for all time. Each and every one of our sins added to the weight that pushed the nails further into His wrists and His feet as He suffered a cruel death on the cross.
Let us think on the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord.
Oh what love! Matchless love!