The Supreme Sacrifice-A A +A
The Good News
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
ARE we willing to sacrifice our lives for our loved ones? Many will answer yes. Some will volunteer to donate one of their body organs to a dying family member, at the risk of compromising, even losing, their very own lives. Others will not hesitate to face the bullet, so to speak, just to shield their spouses, sons or daughters from a ruthless criminal. And not a few endure untold hardships working in foreign lands, just so their families will have food to eat, clothes to wear, house to live in, and education to pursue.
The next question is, “Are we willing to sacrifice our lives for people who are not lovable, or whom we do not know, or perhaps who in the past have hurt and offended us?” The natural human answer is no. Why would we in the first place?
The good news, however, is that there was somebody who sacrificed his life for humanity, and that includes all of us -- you and me, the saintly and the hardened sinner, the religious and the godless, the virtuous and the notorious. The Bible declares, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Yes, Jesus died for the ungodly, the perfect for the imperfect, the pure for the corrupt, the blameless for the wicked, the holy for the unholy. His was the supreme once and for all sacrifice which wiped out sins that animal sacrifices of the Old Testament failed to take away (Hebrews 7:27, 10:4).
This season of Lent, let us reflect on that great love. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all -- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Soaked in God’s love, we, like Paul may ask, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35-36), for which, again with Paul be fueled with the conviction to declare, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).
God loves us. Tortured and wounded, he carried the heavy cross that you and I should have carried. Mocked and humiliated, he agonized as nails hung his broken body on that wooden cross. Lifeless, his side was pierced by a spear. Yet he embraced it all, that you and I need not endure again the shame, pain, suffering and death due to us for our sins.
Won’t hearts melt because of this amazing love? Accept that love this Holy Week. Accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord. He promised, “… whoever comes to me, I will never dry away” (John 6:37).
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 21, 2013.