The Last Stretch: SACRIFICE

Isaiah 53:4-16; 10-12
Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;

by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

Good Friday… What a bittersweet day in the history of the world. Christ’s sacrifice to willingly take on our transgressions will forever reverberate until Earth is no more.

What sacrifices are we making that will ripple into the next generation?

I know not all of you reading this are parents (as I write this, I keep thinking of my own parenting journey and dude… what a parallel. Parents, take heart!!), but everyone can relate to family in some way. Our families are where we conceive our world views, our understanding of good and bad, love, faith, and so forth. Some of us have seen beautiful sacrifices our loved ones have made on our behalf. Some have experienced terrible pain from what happens when loved ones choose themselves over their families. We all feel the effects of these decisions and today we are making decisions of our own that will impact our own families.

Everyday we have a choice: Will we sacrifice to make our families, our world, our Church better than when we found it?

I do not suffer well when sleep deprived! Granted, I’m no weakling. I can totally do it if there is a definite end in sight. Like, give me 50 cups of coffee and I’ll push through for the next 48 hours to make that deadline. But bring on the wailing infant where no end is in sight and sleep is a dirty word to the kid, and sacrifice takes on a whole new weight. It can be CRUSHING. It can overwhelm. It can totally kill you.

Until the resurrection of a new day… When that difficult infant becomes an incredible 5-year-old who talks to the neighbor kids about Jesus’s love for them. Christ has proven to us that sacrifices bloom into beautiful legacies. Just as His agony and crushing death took on a victory that we all partake in to this very day thousands of years later.

Philippians 2:3-4 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

This is where our Church is hurting. We fear the sacrifice. We are looking for comfort in a world where the comforters should be US! Let’s be bold, brothers and sisters. Embrace the sacrifice. There WILL BE a glorious good from all of it.

Take a Victory and a Blessing!