The Cost of Sacrifice

Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 in Pastoral, Theology, Worship

But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24)

Sacrifice costs us something. Worship itself is an offering of sacrifice and praise to our great God. David refused to offer anything that did not “cost me something.” Otherwise, his offering would not have been accepted by God. And that didn’t work out so well for Cain (Gen. 4) or for Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1-2). God is a consuming fire (Deut. 4:24; Heb 12:29).This is both positive and negative, both blessing and warning. God consumed (accepted, “had regard for”) Abel’s firstborn flock sacrifice (Gen. 4:4) but rejected Cain’s (Gen. 4:5). He consumed Aaron’s properly prepared sacrifice (Lev. 9) but rejected Nadab’s and Abihu’s and rather than consuming their sacrifice, he consumed them! How dreadful it is to approach him haphazardly or flippantly!

By definition sacrifice costs us something. It cost the greatest and final sacrifice, Jesus Christ, his life as the only acceptable sacrifice worthy to reconcile man to God. He is the Lamb without spot or blemish (1 Pet. 1:19) who will present his Bride to himself without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27). His sacrifice cost him, and with that price he purchased a people for himself (Ps. 74:2). His price was the Cross.

So to is ours – not his Cross, but ours. Jesus  said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Lk. 9:23). We must sacrifice daily, remembering that our sacrifice is the sacrifice of obedience, the giving our lives in surrender to him who desires obedience rather than sacrifice. It costs us our life – but it will be worth it when we are accepted as the Church with spot or wrinkle!

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