The Ultimate Sacrifice

Love is an action verb.

Often times, we state the degree of our love by professing what we would do for the other. In that mindset, giving your life for someone is the ultimate act of love. Who could argue that?

But what if I told you that your life may not be the greatest gift you can give?

Especially on Easter, the mere thought may be perceived as sacrilege. But bear with me…

The ultimate sacrifice varies from individual to individual: What do you prize most?

So what is your defining desire- your greatest love? Is it your life? Material possessions? Loved ones? Your identity?

Whatever IT is, IT is the greatest gift you could give, the most difficult sacrifice you could make.

Though for some life itself is the most valued possession, for others the most cherished prize is not the breath of life, but the principles and beliefs that comprise our identity. It is not WHAT I am (flesh and blood) that I am so unwilling to give up as it is WHO I am (My integrity, values, passions).

It would be far more excruciating to surrender my identity than to surrender my life, which makes my identity the greatest gift I have to offer.

So, on this Easter Sunday, I ask myself “What about Jesus?” Jesus gave His life for me on the cross, and does this thesis not cheapen what He did that day at Golgotha? HIS SACRIFICE WAS THE GREATEST IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND TY. HOW DARE YOU QUESTION THAT!!!!

But what if I told you that, on that hill called Calgary nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus’ life was the least of what He gave?

Men die every day, and far too many of them die unjustly. Jesus was neither the first nor the last man to die for a cause, and many good men have laid down their lives for others.

So what was the big deal about THIS man and His sacrifice?

It was not that He gave up His life, but that he surrendered His Holiness. Jesus is God, and He never needed the body anyways. Look past the blood, the nails, and the thorns! Those are the visible evidences of His crucifixion, but there is another: The Sin. Jesus, the only perfect man to ever live, the Holy Son of God, took on the enormity of the sins of mankind (past, present, and future), and in doing so sacrificed His righteousness for us. His righteousness was the one thing that separated Him, God, from us, Man, and yet He willingly gave it up for us!!

Jesus didn’t “just” die for us. He gave up His place in heaven to come to Earth. He sacrificed His holiness and embodied our sin. He went to Hell in our place. Hallelujah!

We tend to get too caught up in Jesus’ death. If Jesus had stayed dead, he would just be another martyr. In Acts 5, when the apostles were called before the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee named Gamaliel points out that many men came before Jesus “claiming to be somebody”, but each of them was killed, and their following scattered. And the same would have been true of Jesus had He remained in the grave. But He did not! After three days, He rose again, defeating death and making it possible for us to have eternal life by entering into a relationship with Him!

If He had remained in the ground, He would have been remembered as just another martyr. Instead, He is the Savior of the World!

 

Happy Easter!

 

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

 

 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

2 Corinthians 5:21

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