Let's Talk Sacrifice...
Near the end of his kingdom, David (2 Samuel 24) made a big mistake: he ordered Joab to count all the fighting men. When the number came in, he realized his sin. His seer, Gad, came with the consequences of David's sin. "Choose 3 years of famine, or 3 months of being pursued by your enemies, or 3 days of pestilence," said the Lord. David chose to fall into the Lord's hands, and the pestilence began killing immediately. When it finished, 70,000 were dead. Grieved and humbled, David made a sacrifice to the Lord on the property of Araunah the Jebusite. Araunah offered it to David as a gift, but David said to Arauhan, “No, I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” He made a sacrifice.
In Genesis 22, God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, then substituted a ram in Isaac’s place. Covid 19 has caused a year of sacrifice, we are 8 ½ months into it. Let's talk sacrifice. The word "sacrifice" is found 285 times in the Bible – in OT the book with the most uses is, of course, Leviticus, 32 times. In New Testament, the word sacrifice is found 42 times, 19 of them in the book of Hebrews, which constantly compares Jesus to the High Priest of Israel, talks often about sacrifices. I found 2 definitions of “sacrifice:
1) an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure.
2) an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
The greatest sacrifice ever made was the atoning death of the innocent Jesus of Nazaeth to pay for all sin for all mankind for all time. Here are verses that say so:
Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
1 Corinthians 5:7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
Hebrews 10 has “sacrifice” 7 times: vs 12-14 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
OUR CURRENT RESPONSE TO THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST…
1 Peter 2:4-5 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Here are 5 spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God.
1. A sacrifice of thanksgiving Psalm 50:14-15, 20
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me….The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”
Jonah 2:9-10 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the LORD!” And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.
2. A sacrifice of our bodies Romans 12:1
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
3. A sacrifice of financial gifts Philippians 4:17-18
Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
4. A sacrifice of praise Hebrews 13:15
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
5. A sacrifice of sharing with others Hebrews 13:16
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Don’t forget John 15:13 – lay down his life for his friends
These are days when God is calling on His people to make sacrifices, to do extra, to say more than usual, and to follow the example of our Lord who sacrificed!
Willing to sacrifice, Perry Floyd