Think about everything you do for God. Ever feel pretty good about it? Ever feel a bit annoyed when God doesn’t seem to bless you enough for what you do? I mean you probably give time, money and more to God right? And that’s a good thing yes? But what if God doesn’t want your begrudging offerings. What if God wants you?
Before Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice, humans made animal sacrifices. Why? To make themselves right with God. To atone. Who were these sacrifices for? I always assumed they were for God, but the wages of sin are death not sacrifice, and throughout the Old Testament (and repeated in the New by Jesus) God states that He is not happy with sacrifice, but instead desires mercy.
So what’s the issue? I think ultimately sacrifice becomes selfish. We start to think of what we give and forget why we give. This happened with the Israelites, who instead of sacrificing the right things tried to use sacrifice as a way of getting rid of their less valuable livestock. A deformed sheep they can spare but the healthy firstborn? That will cost, that will have implications.
And so we think about how much we sacrifice for God, how much we do for Him, whether it is enough to get away with, whether it costs to much. Our sense of justice skews towards ourselves – is it fair that I give this much [insert your sacrifice here]? We see what we do for God in terms of sacrifice but how accurate is this? Does it really compare to the sacrifice Jesus made so we could have new life? Isn’t there a better way?
Matt 9:13 ‘ But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’