What’s so important about sacrifice?
“Don’t do it!”
That’s what everyone told him when he decided to go to war. Even if they didn’t say it, they thought it. Self-preservation and conventional wisdom united their antagonistic whispers in a way that made him wonder if he actually was crazy. He was leaving the comfort of home to risk his life on foreign soil. He knew it didn’t make sense, but in some corner of his heart, he had a level of clarity foreign to most. He wanted to do this; he needed to do this—for his sake and for theirs.
The Nature of Sacrifice
Why would anyone risk his or her life so others could keep theirs? Some of those who were saved would likely waste the life they’d been given. Some would even go so far as to mock and ridicule his decision. He was willing to give them everything, fully aware that some may not appreciate it.
That’s the nature of sacrifice, and soldiers know it all too well. They leave families, friends, and homes to fight for a nation and values.
The church should have a greater appreciation for sacrifice because we know we need someone to fight for us.
The Ultimate Sacrifice
Each of us was created with a God-given purpose, but each of us is born with a condition called sin that keeps us from experiencing all that God designed us to do. When we sin we commit cosmic treason against the God that created us. The bad news is that we can’t do anything to save ourselves from our treasonous condition so we are destined to die the death of a traitor. In our sin, we are hopeless (Ephesians 2:4-5). We need someone to sacrifice their well-being so that we can walk free. But who in their right mind would die for a traitor?
His name is Jesus. The Son of God sacrificed the life of a king to walk on earth to save traitors. He lived the perfect life that we could not live, died the traitor’s death that we deserved, and rose from the dead so that we could follow Him in a life of freedom (Romans 6:4, Galatians 5:1). That is good news for any traitor.
We are drawn to stories of sacrifice because we know we need to be rescued. We know we can’t save ourselves.
As we remember those who've served, let’s stop and reflect on why we are so drawn to stories of sacrifice. We are drawn to stories of sacrifice because we know we need to be rescued. We know we can’t save ourselves. That’s OK. Jesus’ offer of salvation is open to any traitor willing to follow Him.
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