Once upon a time there was a Hen and a Pig that decided to make an escape from Old MacDonald’s Farm. Their timing was awkward because it was Sunday morning and a church was right across the road, so they waited till everyone was singing and they could run away unnoticed. As they passed the chapel, the church sign was now in view, which they never saw from inside the Farm. It read “Today’s Sermon: What Shall We Do For The Poor?” . The Hen told the Pig, “Now that we are free, we can do what we want,…what about giving the ‘Poor’ a Ham & Egg Breakfast?” The pig replied, “That may be a nice contribution for you, but a sacrifice for me”. Many Christians realize that giving is easy when it’s only from our abundance, but when do Christians realize that giving can also be a sacrifice? The problem we have, is that we see giving as the Hen & Pig see it. Is giving what we want to do, or is it what God wants us to do? When Jesus realized His Father had the Cross in mind, how did He react? Prayerfully ! The question of contribution or sacrifice can only be answered from fervent prayer. There are many ways Christians make sacrifices. Jesus taught graphically about them in Matthew 18:1-10, cutting off feet if they made you stumble and plucking out eyes if they caused you to sin. But that is not what Christians do, is it? No we seem to never take our fight against sin so seriously. The truth is, God isn’t interested in our sacrifices that maim ourself, but He is desiring us to do whatever we can to kill off our fleshly desires that lead us into sin. Read Colossians 3:5.
Some Christians live with sin, others fight with it, but none of us obliterate it, until Jesus comes again. So does that mean we give up? No. God has always called us to recognize His own superiority and guidance over sin. In Jesus he defeated it. The Old Testament shows us His attitude he wants us to adopt concerning sin. In the Templegrounds, the burnt offerings for sin was always OUTSIDE the Temple itself. The offerings inside the Temple were Oil, Bread and Incense. None of these were about sin, they were about our expressions of holiness and thankfulness, grattitude. But in the Holy of Holies, blood was brought from the outside and offered on the mercy seat inside. The blood went through the place of offerings, sanctifying them all. The apostle Peter entitled all Christians with the following description: (1st Peter 2:9) “But, ye, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a peculiar treasure, that the excellences, ye may tell forth, of him who, out of darkness, hath called you into his marvellous light”
What is a priesthood all about? Making sacrifices. Christians should make sacrifices for our King. The sacrifices we make, should give credit and glory to Jesus, not ourselves. Why? To Mediate between the Lost and a Holy God. If we do not have a priesthood, no one gets access to God. What qualifies the priesthood to sacrifice & mediate? The royalty and holiness of Jesus. Without Him, we are unqualified as a priesthood, It is His Power in his royalty and his Purity in His holiness that qualifies us. The apostle Paul called all Christians to live like they themselves were sacrifices, (Rom. 12:1)
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies a living, holy sacrifice, unto God acceptable,—your rational divine service;”
Sacrifices to God were burnt, this means they smelt. There were also the offerings of incense, resulting in an aroma. Paul spoke of this very effect in our lives as Christians. Ephesians 5:2. And walk in love—even as, the Christ also, loved you, and delivered himself up in your behalf, an offering and sacrifice unto God, for a fragrance of sweet smell.” We are priveleged by Christ to be the reality of Temple offerings shadowed from the old covenant. Why? Because we (Christians in the Church) are a Temple! 1st Cor. 6:19-20. See Philippians 4:18, also. Even our praise of God is a sacrifice, Hebrews 13:15. What a privilege to be a Sacrifice and make sacrifices!