I've been thinking a lot lately about the Gospel, and where I fit into God's plan to share it. This past Sunday, we talked about the phenomenon of the Gospel in Living Hope's college class, and I was nearly blown out of my seat with newfound amazement at the power and gift of the Gospel. I mean, think about it... if it weren't for Jesus, we would still be offering up animal sacrifices every time we even looked at someone wrong. Personally, I'm not sure that way of living would appeal to me! I highly encourage you to read Hebrews 10, which makes the reader aware of Christ's very real gift to us by providing us with an ultimate sacrifice. Here's just a small tidbit of that chapter (although I should just write it all out; it excites me!):
"Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this Priest [Jesus] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool, because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." -Hebrews 10:11-14Isn't that incredible?! Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice, so that we would not have to keep trying to abide by the law and be bound by it. When I watch those who follow other religions than Christianity (or live by a Christianity that is not Christ-following), my heart grows heavy and my mind spins in circles. I remember watching Balinese women lay incense offerings before their temples several times a day, just hoping that the fragrance would appease the wrath of whatever's out there. I remember talking with a Guatemalan woman who was unable to experience God's grace because she was trying too hard just to do the right thing. Her sacrifices came in the form of physical and emotional pain each day as she tried to be "perfect" for God. I plan on going to west Africa next summer, and I am prepared to experience even more of this sacrificial lifestyle. We see so much of this in America, as well.
Through all of this, I have found a hope and a dire need for Jesus as my Ultimate Sacrifice.
If it were up to me and my daily sacrifices, I would fall to complete ruin... but God has provided forgiveness. What a sweet, sweet word!
I'm thankful for the Gospel. I learned the basics of the Gospel message at an early age, but I am completely floored by it more every time I hear about it! I'm thankful that I no longer am obligated to sacrifice out of fear and obligation to the law... Christ was the ultimate sacrifice. And because I take so much joy in my life from this truth, I see no greater ambition in life than to share it with people who have never heard of it.
Offerings, thrown in the sewer after fulfilling their purpose: