(Part one is here)
The first part dealt with the God who calls an end to human sacrifice. Which sparks the question: “then why did he ‘sacrifice‘ his son on the cross?”
Here is one possible way to understand this seeming paradox.
As a parent, how can you expect your children to obey you if you don’t show them an example?
How can you possibly expect your children to have good manners and be polite if you yourself are not well mannered and polite?
How many children do you know that at a young age did not imitate their parents to a degree?
As a parent, how can you possibly expect your children, when they grow up, to go out and work in a job to earn a living, or to be hard-working housekeeping parents themselves if you have never lifted a finger to do housework or gone out to be a breadwinner?
It’s to do with good stewardship – using the God-given talent you have to the best of your abilities and taking responsibility for your life. Children who see their parents behave in this way are much more likely to grow into adults that act responsibly and pull their weight appropriately.
So what does that have to do with God ‘sacrificing’ Jesus on the cross?
Admittedly, there are lots more layers to this act, but this particular layer, I believe is about setting an example.
Jesus says in Luke 9:23-24
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”
This is not a small thing to ask, it is actually a very big thing to ask.
So that God is prepared to give up to death on a cross his only son who is the most loved and dearest in all the world is God setting us an example.
God is saying “anything I ask you to do I am prepared to do myself first.” Jesus ‘sacrifice’ is not to do with human sacrifice, and God is not ‘inconsistent’ in the act of Christ’s death as ‘a sacrifice of atonement’ (Romans 2:25-26).
God is showing us a divine principle of parenting – an example.
God says, in the death of Jesus “I am prepared to sacrifice my son for you, will you be prepared to sacrifice anything for me?”
What does he want us to sacrifice? Something of ourselves, possibly the something that we hold most dearly and love the most that is getting in the way of a deeper relationship with him.
Romans 12:1 (The Message)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
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