Sacrifice is a word that may make some of us uncomfortable. The fear is not giving of ourselves….but it is having to give until it hurts that may make some of us balk at the idea of being sacrificial in our own lives. We like to help people, but we like to help ourselves first and when coming alongside someone else will cost us our comfort, we see the cost as too high. Yet, being a disciple isn’t about dwelling on the cost, it is about dwelling on God’s glory. Jesus knew suffering well.
Just as Christ was a lamb lead to slaughter & bore the wrath of God that was due us, He did not dwell on the suffering. He dwelt on God’s glory.
Yet the Lord was pleased to crush Him severely.
When You make Him a restitution offering,
He will see His seed, He will prolong His days,
and by His hand, the Lord’s pleasure will be accomplished.
11 He will see it out of His anguish,
and He will be satisfied with His knowledge.
My righteous Servant will justify many,
and He will carry their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give Him the many as a portion,
and He will receive the mighty as spoil,
because He submitted Himself to death,
and was counted among the rebels;
yet He bore the sin of many
and interceded for the rebels.
~ Isaiah 53:10-12
Because Christ was the Suffering Servant, I am a righteous son of God. He was crushed and crushed the serpent. His affliction was my atoning work. Sacrifice saved. God knows the pain of true sacrifice but there is so much richness in sacrifice as well. So God does not call us to give of ourselves without understanding of what lies ahead. Yet, Jesus still calls us to sacrifice the control of our lives that we may follow Him.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.
~ Matthew 16:24-25
Christ’s call to His disciples is one of a death to self. No longer is your life about your comfort, your pride, your plans/preferences, or your drive to climb the social ladder. None of these things are necessary for who am in Christ. I find myself in Him and for me to find myself in Him I must sacrifice myself.
The disciple of Christ is one who is willing to give it all for His name and glory. In doing that I may lose the respect of friends and coworkers. I may feel lead to give in ways financially that may mean I don’t drive a nice car or take a nice vacation. My pursuit of Him may lead me to the African desert instead of the corner office. I might have to give up being the guy in the background to be at the forefront of telling others about the Gospel. My very life could be the cost.
But is the sacrifice worth the cost? That is the question you MUST ask yourself.
I am a disciple. I sacrifice.