We Christians periodically refer to “sacrifice” as an element of our faith and our walk with the Lord Jesus. It is right to do so; Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice, and untold numbers of Christians since Jesus’ time have also been killed because they are Christians.
Thinking about that the other day, I noted that in itself, sacrifice is not an unusual part of life. We are always sacrificing something to obtain an item that is higher on our value system list. I sacrifice sleep to care for a sick or dying person. I sacrifice what I could buy for a hundred dollars to enable someone to make a trip, or pay a medical bill. A mother sacrifices good health to bring a child into this world. One child sacrifices a college education so that a sibling can have one. Soldiers sacrifice their life to help the cause of national freedom.
- What makes sacrificing oneself for Jesus categorically different from the kinds of sacrifices I just mentioned? Is it because I am sacrificing myself for one who has sacrificed Himself?
- Is it because I sacrifice myself as my contribution to someone’s well being?
- Is it because I have finally figured out that there are some people whose ongoing life is more important than my ongoing life?
- Is it because I finally realize that others have a contribution to make to God’s Kingdom that is greater than my ongoing life would contribute?
- Do I sacrifice some things, laying them into the hands of another, because I know that the one now having those things will accomplish more with them than I would accomplish?
Sacrifice is not abnormal. You don’t have to be of a particular religion, vocation, nationality, ideology, culture, or psychological orientation to sacrifice a little or much. But, to sacrifice does require that we not think too highly of ourselves. Sacrifice for the sake of the Highest is not only admirable; it is reasonable. Sacrificing oneself for the lowest is staggeringly righteous. We could say it is Godly!!!