As I begin writing this week, I'm trying to think of special things people have done for me, sacrifices made. My parents provided for me very well, so I know they made a lot of sacrifices on my behalf. One time comes to mind when my husband and I had to move. After a full day of packing the U-Haul, he had to go to work. He was working the graveyard shift at the time. We had to be out of the house the next day. He got off work that morning exhausted from working the night before, we loaded up the kids and headed to our new home. I was uncertain if we would be able to get everything unpacked and moved in, knowing he was so tired. I will never forget when we arrived at the house and our cul-de-sac was full of friends from our church. They had given up their Saturday to help us. I began to cry because of the effort they made to show their love for us. A small sacrifice, yet it meant so much.
Can you think of what sacrifices others have made for you? There is one sacrifice that nothing else will ever compare to. It is the sacrifice Christ made for you at Calvary on the cross. He died for you! The world does have kind people who will do things for you, but none will give up heaven, a throne, a relationship with His father, or His life for you. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." How moved are we when someone gives us a gift, shows us a kind heart, shares a caring word, or gives up their time for us? Why then are we not in awe and overwhelmed with the great gift and incredible sacrifice of Christ? Wake up! Think about what He did! I want so much to be able to help you to see, understand and believe what Christ did for you. Ephesians 1:7 "In Him we have redemption through His blood the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace." Why did He sacrifice for us? Why did we have to have redemption? Because Romans 3:23 tells us "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." No one is good enough for God. He is our creator, God of the universe, almighty, powerful and perfect holiness. If you haven't figured it out yet, we are nothing compared to Him. Yet He loves us - yes- you and me. It's amazing He would love us. Isaiah 64:6 "All our righteous acts are like filthy rags." There is only one way for us to have redemption and righteousness. Romans 3:22 "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe." It is a free gift. Romans 3:24 "We are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." God is holy and can't accept sin or us as sinners. In order to free us from the penalty of sin, the bondage of sin and have eternity in heaven with God - He sent Jesus. The greatest gift/sacrifice we will ever receive. Through this heart breaking crucifixion of God's perfect son, Jesus we can be redeemed. Romans 3:25 "God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished." Think back - who makes sacrifices for you? In this self-absorbed world probably not many people do. Recognize today that Jesus did - He paid the highest price for you because He loves you.
The words of this song say it much better than I can:
Lamb of God son of man how you suffered, how you bled
With a crown of thorns pressed upon your head
You chose the road of pain
You walked the hill of all my shame
In the shadow of your cross, I will live for all my days
How could I forget the price you paid
In the shelter of your love I will give you all my praise
In the shadow of your cross I will stay.
Man of sorrows crucified pure and holy sacrifice
As the hammer hit the nail you offered up your life
You gave up heaven for your own
You took our punishment alone
You were so alone
O King of Majesty
Forever I will sing
Of the gift you gave to me
You gave to me