Obedience was the leading feature in Jesus' sacrifice, and it should be in our daily sacrifice as well. Is it?
2 Corinthians 5:19 tells us - "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them..."
Sin brought a breach in the relationship between God and man. Hence, the whole world became alienated to its Maker.
God, the offended party, sought to be reconciled - to become friends or be at agreement once again. He was more disposed to pardon and forgive mankind than to punish them severely for their crimes.
His means for bringing about this reconciliation was His Son - the Lord Jesus Christ. "God was in Christ..." - By means of the Savior's death, God and sinners were reconciled. Hallelujah!
1 Timothy 2:5-6 says - "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
The "one God" - the Maker, Governor, and Preserver of all men from every nation, culture, and creed - desires that all men be saved and in right relationship with Him.
Someone was needed to stand in the gap for erring mankind. Jesus was that Middle Person - "Mediator" - Peacemaker, if you will. Through His sacrificial death, He paid the price - the "ransom" - the redemption price of life in exchange for another life - so that all men could be freed from the power and penalty of sin.
1 Timothy 4:10 says -"For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Savior of all men, specially of those who believe."
Jesus, "the Living God," is called "the Saviour of all men" by virtue of His death on Calvary's tree. He tasted death for all men so that all could be saved. There is not a person on the face of this earth who is excluded from enjoying the great benefits of this Great Sacrifice. All who "believe" and repent of their sins can be saved. All who "believe not" and refuse to repent will be damned (Luke 13:3,5).
1 John 2:2 says - "And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
Man had disregarded God's will and violated His law. The Almighty was justifiably angry with this offender. Man deserved His righteous punishment. Was there any way possible to turn away or appease His wrath?
The Lord Jesus did it! Through His death on the Cross, He took on Himself the punishment for the world's sins and satisfied God's righteous judgment against sin.
When we think upon this "Suffering Servant," we cannot help but wonder in absolute amazement at His outright obedience in carrying out the Father's plan of redemption and salvation for the reconciliation of the world unto Himself.
At the same time, as we reflect upon our own lives as believers - those who have tasted of God's gracious gift of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ - can we see the same spirit of submission and obedience as displayed by our Savior?
Are we willing to carry out the Father's plan - no matter what the cost or price may be - so that others can come to a knowledge of the Truth?
What exactly is a top-priority in our spiritual walk?
1 Samuel 15:22 indirectly informs us as to what should be the main emphasis in our lives - "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams."
It cannot be stressed enough that what pleases God most is our obedience to His will. There is nothing more provoking to Him than disobedience - which consists of the setting up of our wills in competition with His.
What we - as believers - should seek after and aim for in our Christianity is total conformity to God's moral standards as outlined in His Word. This is the only type of sacrifice which He recognizes. It's a holy sacrifice which denies Self and brings great Glory to Him.
Psalm 51:17 says - "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise."
This holy sacrifice consists of "a broken spirit" and "a broken and a contrite heart." At the slightest sign of wrongdoing or offense against this Holy God, the mind and heart are crushed and broken in repentance and godly sorrow. There is no resistance, stubbornness, or hardness of heart but a ready compliance to say what God says about the matter.
says - "To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice."
It also consists of having the mentality that righteous living is far more important than church duties or daily religious restraints or sacrifices.
Amos 5:21 says - "I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies."
The people in the days of the Prophet Amos were very zealous in their sacrifices and worship. They offered burnt-offerings, peace offerings, and observed the various ordained feasts with great joy - accompanied by exuberant praise and worship. Yet God was not pleased! In fact, He outrigthly declared - "I hate, I despise your feast days..."
God knew the motives of these people. Rather than put away sin from their lives, they were hoping to appease Him by their religious services. Instead of repenting of lust, adultery, idolatry, hatred, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, rebellion, worldliness, etc., they performed their duties with remarkable zeal and passion. He turned His face away from such gross hypocrisy!
Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross was a sweet smelling savor in the Father's nostrils for it was the act of Perfect Obedience to His will.
What about our sacrifices? Can we say the same about them?
Have we made obedience the top-priority in our lives?
Let's not forget - religious people are zealous people. They will subject themselves to all kinds of restraints in order to appear"righteous" in the sight of men. But it is nothing but Self- righteousness - which is abominable in God's sight.
They will Praise and Worship the Lord for hours, fast and pray, and go to church every night of the week. They will sing in the choir, visit the sick, and give abundantly in the offering plate for the upkeep of the church.
However, there is one thing that they will not do - they will not live in compliance with God's Will. They will do things when and how they want to do them. And no one will be able to tell them otherwise.
In light of Calvary's Cross, what is God saying about your life today?
Is it a pleasing offering unto Him?
Is it filled with the daily denial of Self?
Is it filled with one act of obedience - followed by another?
No other sacrifice is acceptable.
Calvary says it loud and clear.