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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Accouraging April 2014 ~ Part 3

Sacrifice –

Honestly I don’t think that as Christians, we should be any more ‘holy’ during Holy Week, or on Good Friday than other day of the year…however I do think that this church season is a special and wonderful time for personal reflection/contemplation and outreach.

Personally, I am not so sure about people who eat fish on Good Friday rather than red meat, and attend a church service…yet every other day carry on their life in their own strength…

There seems to be so much confusion out in my world about who Jesus is, and what He has done…yet an apathy in regards to finding out any more…and this truly saddens me because there is so much joy that the truth brings…

I remember in Religious Education classes with children, some thought that Jesus died EVERY Good Friday…enduring the cross every year!

As I sit here and reflect upon Good Friday and Jesus’ life, SACRIFICE is the word that comes to mind to describe Jesus’ life as a human being, here walking on our earth…

SACRIFICE the outworking of His love for us…the laying down of His life FREELY for us.

JESUS SAID:“15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”  John 10:15-18, NRSV

Jesus was persecuted and hunted down un-justly, yet He gave up His life freely, He like you and I, had free will, yet still accepted the will of His Father and obeyed.

So if sacrifice is the outworking of love…perhaps obedience is the outworking of faith and trust…which is what we see when we look at Jesus.

Scripture says:And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Phill 2:8, NKJ

During the days when Jesus walked here on earth with His disciples, before ascending into heaven for a time before He returns, dying on a Roman cross was utter shame…disgraceful and a terrible end for one’s life…

Yet this public, shameful, disgusting death was the death you and I deserve for our rebellion against God who is Holy and Pure…

Scripture says:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23 NRSV

What love and mercy God has provided for His children…this is the TRUTH that the world and it’s leader, our enemy does not want you to hear!

There is NO salvation from our rebellion, and peace with God through any other means but Jesus Christ – every other so called ‘way’ will tell you about how YOU can do it…

Yes I am serious, if you don’t think I’m right check it out for yourself…the world will try to trick and deceive you into thinking that there are many ways to God and that you can work your way up the ladder so to speak.

No it is only through Jesus Christ…I pray it be said of me, by Him one day that I was faithful to proclaim the truth while I was here on earth.

Have you ever read Issiah 53?

53 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?2  For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,And as a root out of dry ground.  He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.5  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.6  All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.8  He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation?  For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.9  And they made His grave with the wicked—But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.  When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.  By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53  NRSV

This Easter I am reflecting…if God is love and His love has been shown by sacrifice, and lives in me…am I living a life of loving obedient sacrifice to those around me…not because I can earn my forgiveness or salvation but because of His love in me and from gratitude?

Sometimes as Christians we are despised and rejected because we bear His name…Jesus even warned of this which is recorded in Matthew, Luke and John.

However if obedience is the outworking of faith and trust and leads to sacrifice…what a true testimony to the power of Jesus to heal and change lives this is.
For indeed our lives should reflect His don’t you agree?

Let me leave you with this wonderfully encouraging song, 'I wonder' by Leeland, in love, Melanie.


Adron Dozat said...

Thank you for the post. It was well written and gives one much to think about.

Melanie Baker-Nash said...

Getting out what was on my heart Adron :) Thanks for your comment, glad it was thought provoking. Melanie.