Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is fraught with meaning and significance for humanity; indeed the very act of sacrifice is something that we as Christians are called to adopt in our daily lives. Jesus poured himself out for us in his life, ministry and ultimately in his death. This was necessary so that the penalty for our sins would be satisfied.
As for us, we encounter situations regularly where we are presented with the decision of whether we should do for ourselves or do for someone else – do we let another car go ahead of us in traffic? Do we let someone else in front of us in the supermarket? Do we give essential things to those in need? Do we give our time to family, friends or even total strangers that might need help or simply encouragement? All of these are acts of sacrifice wherein we take something of ours (money, things, time, effort, etc.) and give it to someone else. In the Bible, we are called to “carry one another’s burden” (Galatians 6:1-4), to give another our coat and cloak (Matthew 5:40, Luke 6:30), to lay down our lives for others (John 15:13) and to take up our cross and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24-26, Luke 9:23, Mark 8:34).
The Holy Spirit will guide us in this and we should be careful not to take pride in or to boast in our actions ((Ephesians 2:9, Matthew 6:4). With the help of the Holy Spirit, such obedience will come out of gratitude for what has already been done for us, not out of expectation of what we might get.
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