This is what Holy Week builds itself upon, isn't it?
Christ offered Himself as a religious sacrifice to God for the sins of the world. Christ became the lamb so that we could have life. The weight of His act...there are no words to fully describe the depth of His offering.
But, are we living in the freedom of His sacrifice?
I hesitate to answer with a yes. Not fully for me, anyway. I get a very small dose of what sacrifice looks like - it's hard choices, choosing great over good, choosing family over fun, choosing healthy foods instead of junk food, choosing to say no to the dress because it's not in the budget, choosing to stay inside and write at my computer instead of napping in the shade on a beautiful day. This season of my life has been filled with sacrifices but I am becoming more aware each and every day that while I am making personal sacrifices I am not living in the freedom of Christ's sacrifice for my life. I don't always invite Him into the decision of what I'm going to be sacrificing and why it's the right or wrong decision to make. I just go at it on my own and then I wonder why I feel so tired and anxious.
This is my confession, the cry of my heart. I want to celebrate and live free and give Jesus praise for all that He has done in my life, but sometimes I let my own shame and struggle and selfish nature tempt me away from the sacrifice Christ made for me on the cross. It's the messy, honest truth.
While we all make sacrifices, I don't think we all live fully aware or appreciate the sacrifices others make for us. I know growing up, my parents made tons of sacrifices for me and my brother so we could play certain sports, have certain cars, go to certain colleges. I (usually!) told them thank you but I didn't fully understand what that sacrifice cost them. Now, as a parent, I get it and am a little more aware of the sacrifices other people make for me, as well as, the sacrifices I make for my kids.
Many of us are aware that Christ died for us on the cross for our sins. We are appreciative too. But, we don't know how to live in the freedom of His sacrifice.
Christ tells us this, "Abide in me, and I in you (John 15:4 NASB)."
To abide means "to follow, obey, accept, respect, keep." To fully live in the freedom of Christ's sacrifice is to abide in Him. Abiding in Christ moves us past being aware and appreciative and into a space where we can't live without Him. This changes things, doesn't it?
If we are in Christ, He is in us. Call to Him, and He will answer. Wait for Him, and He will arrive. If we give Him every part of our days, we will see change in the cracks and crevices and choices of our lives.
But this takes sacrifice.
p.s. - I'm forming my Launch Team for Invited book (yay!) this week. To learn more about being on a launch team, read this post.