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THE VALUE OF SACRIFICE
March 25, 2017
A sacrifice is the surrender of a great value . It could be the only value. Full sacrifice is full surrender of all values . It might mean your very life itself without any reward . If you wish to achieve full virtue , you must seek no self aggrandizement in return for your sacrifice , no praise , no love , no admiration , no self-esteem , not even the pride of being virtuous ; the faintest trace of any gain dilutes your virtue and the sacrifice is incomplete .
If you pursue a course of action that does not add to your life any joy , that doesn't bring you any material value in anyway , no value in spirit , no gain , no profit , no reward—if you achieve this state of total zero , you have achieved the ideal of moral perfection .
We are told that moral perfection is impossible to man—and , by this standard , it is . You cannot achieve it so long as you live , but the value of your life and of your person is gauged by how closely you succeed in approaching that ideal zero which is death .
If you lose your life because it already has become worthless to you , it is not a " sacrifice ." . A sacrifice is giving up , what is precious to you .
“ Sacrifice” is the surrender of that which you value in favor of what will benefit someone else .
If you exchange something old for something new , it is not a sacrifice ; if you exchange your brand new cherished favorite shirt to someone who doesn't even have a shirt , that's a sacrifice . If you achieve the career you wanted , after years of struggle , it is not a sacrifice ; if you then renounce it for the sake of giving the rest of your life to aide a worthy cause , for people in need , it is .
If you give money to help a friend , it is not a sacrifice ; if you give it to a total stranger in need , it is . If you give your friend a sum you can afford , it is not a sacrifice ; if you give him money at the cost of some comfort to you , it is only a partial virtue , according to this sort of moral standard ; if you give him money at the cost of disaster to yourself—that is the virtue of sacrifice in full .
If you renounce all personal desires and dedicate your life to those you love , you do not achieve full virtue : you still retain a value of your own , which is your love . If you devote your life to random strangers , it is an act of greater virtue . If you devote your life to serving men you hate—and who hate you—that is the greatest of the virtues you can practice .
If you start , however, as a passionless blank , as a vegetable seeking to be eaten , with no values to reject and no wishes to renounce , you will not win the crown of sacrifice .
The ' Crown of Sacrifice ' could be properly attributed to the real passion of Jesus , a man of God , with perfect moral stature , a man after the complete heart of God , whose desires are born of rational values , His sacrifice was the surrender of all rights of heaven to wrong , the purest of good to the evil .
Jesus' sacrifice was not to renounce the bad for the good , to refuse the rich and successful for the poor and unwanted . It was not a sacrifice to give His life , for a reward or a personal gain . For Jesus to achieve the highest virtue of sacrifice , He had to have the greatest need to live , He must love it beyond measure , He must burn with passion for what life was all about and for all the splendor it was to Him— HE WAS LIFE ITSELF AND THE CREATOR OF IT ALL !
Jesus had to feel the sting of every cut by every slash that tore into Him , removing the very essence of purity , wholeness ripped away . Every blow took from majesty .
He the incorruptible was introduced to corruption. One Who was immovable was intensely moved and His very life and love drained away , out of His reach .
The passion of the cross was not just an idea for a most sensational murder session but it was to lead and end with a death sentence and prove to be a total crushing and horrific inescapable surreal end of precious life,
To Jesus . . . the cause of truth and need for . . . a moral sacrifice .
Jesus held out for a complete slaughter and death by slow torture and an intense bleed out with loss of Himself , His glory , HIS HEART AND SOUL . He had to surrender to what is mere flesh and the total degradation of man, of mortality succumbing to the reality and incredible agony of the tearing separation from Who He really was .
Even if Jesus wished to save the last of His dignity , He was prevented from doing so . . . it would have cancelled out His very effort of true self sacrifice if HE preserved the tiniest part of Himself .
If a man dies fighting for his own freedom , it is not a sacrifice : he is not willing to live as a slave ; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of man who’s willing to die for the cause of FREEDOM !
Why did Jesus die ?
Jesus says: " The one who has found the world ( and ) has become wealthy should renounce the world . " His disciples said to Him : " The kingdom – on what day will it come ? " " It will not come by watching ( and waiting for ) it . With great expectancy ! They will not say : ‘ Look , here ! ’ or ‘ Look , there ! ’ Rather, the kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth , and people do not see it . " God’s Providence = “ the Kingdom of Heaven ” : All things work together for good to them that love God .
( Romans 8:28 ) Trust in the LORD with all your heart ; and lean not unto your own understanding. ( Proverbs 3:5 ) Therefore I say to you , Take no thought for your life , what you shall ea t, or what ye shall drink ; or anything for your body , what you shall put on . Is not the life more than meat , and the body than raiment ? Behold the fowls of the air : for they sow not , neither do they reap , nor gather into barns ; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them .
Are you not much better than they ? ( Matthew 34:25-26 )
JESUS GAVE ALL FOR THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM, FOR YOU AND ME .
JESUS GAVE UP HIS LIFE ( achieve the ' ideal ' of moral perfection the state of zero ) to give us real life . . . for us . . . to alone love God . . . to " see " and " know " God ! How ? by nothing of our self, but all about perfection . . . just all about God. Him as our ALL AND ALL.
That is why Jesus died, for us .
( BY GIVING ALL , JESUS GAINED ALL . JESUS GAINED ALL BACK TO THE PERFECTNESS OF GOD . JESUS BECAME IMPERFECT SO THAT, WHAT HAD BECOME IMPERFECT NOW BECAME PERFECT AGAIN . . . THE REJECTED STONE BECAME THE FOUNDATION STONE , THE PULVERIZING STONE , ENDED IMPERFECT. )
HOW DOES THIS COMPUTE ?
1. Nothing can stand up to the righteousness of God.
Jesus is the righteousness of God !
2.Nothing is greater than God because all things
are created by God !
3.Where does even evil come from ?
God said I made the destroyer to be destroyed !
Jesus did a good job !
4.What is the Perfect Sacrifice ?
It is when the ideal of moral perfection = Jesus
meets the ideal state of total zero = death , Jesus proves is GREATER than DEATH itself !
Great is our God !
Greater than what happened in the time of Elijah against the pagan god Baal , the God of Israel proved far superior and Baal a fraud. The fuller context, Jezebel, wife of King Ahab and queen of Israel, had replaced worship of the God of Israel with worship of her god, Baal. The focus of this story is the question of who is able to bring lightning and the associated rainfall. Lightning and rain were believed to be powers of Baal, but Elijah proposed to show that these powers belong to the God of Israel alone; Baal was a fraud.
Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God.” (1 Kings 18:38–39, NASB)