Sacrifice

Built on a Rock

Ryan Arnold of Denver, Colorado, knew what was important to him. He also knew the risks. In fact, there were many risks to consider, but the decision he made demonstrated that he had his priorities straight: the life of his brother was worth risking it all.

Before the surgery, where Ryan planned to give his brother Chad part of his liver, they had one last embrace. Sadly, this would be the last time Chad would see his brother alive.

After the surgery was over, their father entered into the waiting room to update the anxious family. He said, “Ryan is gone, but we still serve a God who is good.”

It’s hard to understand the pain and suffering one faces, especially in a situation like this, but what Ryan risked showed that even in the face of death, he knew what was important.

In John 15:13 Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.” Ryan was a man with such faith and compassion that he was willing to lay down his life so that his brother might live.

In Matthew 13:45-46, Jesus tells a short but important parable about sacrifice. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” However, this isn’t a parable about our sacrifice.

Who is the merchant in this parable? It is Christ. So, who or what is the pearl? It’s you. It’s the whole world.

Christ sacrificed himself for you. He loves you so much he does not let you live in your sin, but he seeks you out like that merchant looking for fine pearls. He calls you to faith through his gospel and brings you into his kingdom through baptism.

Jesus has made a great sacrifice to make you his own. Jesus sacrificed himself to pay for your sins and reconcile you to God and give you life.

How do we respond to this great gift? The sacrificial love of Jesus inspires us to make changes in our lives to live according to God’s will.

We may never be asked to risk our life for another person, but living the Christian life brings with it a sacrifice of our old ways of thinking. We submit our wills to God’s will. We now live with faith toward God and love toward others.

 

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