When Jesus sacrificed His life for ours He knew exactly what He was doing and why. He was changing the covenant between ourselves and God, and after Jesus the world would never be the same.
As I was reflecting on Jesus’ sacrifice for us, it occurred to me that whether we realize it or not, we too are sacrificing our brief lives for whomever or whatever it is we spend our time and energy thinking about and doing.
For me, my sacrifices haven’t always been the result of a conscious decision – often they really haven’t involved a decision at all. I’ve spent much of my life doing what was expected of me by other people, and far less of my time doing what was expected of me by God.
Far too many times I realize that what I have been sacrificing my time and energy for involves material things or worldly gain; things that no longer mean to me what they once did – if they ever did. Things that are illusions — empty promises — that leave me unfulfilled. Sometimes I was carried along by momentum from long ago. Sometimes I was simply foolish or misled. Always I was unsatisfied.
As I reflect on the gratitude I feel for Jesus’ sacrifice, I realize that I’m changing. As my focus changes towards God, so does how I spend my time.
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. Christians will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and victory over death. In a sense, I will also be giving thanks for mine.
Jesus’ sacrifice has a way of changing people — and resurrecting something spiritual within us that is good and of God.
With His death, He brought me life. With His resurrection, He set me free.
His love changed me.
It is the change that comes from a fulfilled promise; it is the change that breathes with an open heart.
It is the change that comes from a divine plan, a rebirth of spirit, and the realization that our lives have a purpose that is interwoven with one another.
All these years I have been a butterfly in the making; by accepting Christ’s sacrifice and God’s tender mercy, my life as I once knew it is in the past. It is forgiven.
“And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy — the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you,” according to the Apostle Paul. (Romans 12:1-2)
Photo by Sutisa Kangvansap