Last weekend, Christians celebrated the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which is widely known as Easter. Christianity as a whole is mainly based on this and reference is always made to John 3:16 where it says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. This is interpreted as the greatest act of love and shows how much God loves humanity.
The Bible says God gave his son and I’m wondering; did He just give up Jesus just like that? Did he explain the pros and cons of this sacrificial mission to Jesus? Did Jesus ponder on how painful this mission is going to be? In fact, what would make someone leave all the pleasures of Heaven to come to a world full of struggles and pain?
According to Jewish custom, animals were sacrificed to atone for the sins of humans. The Jewish High Priest goes into the Most Holy Place every year with the blood of an animal. But the blood of these animals did not take away the sins of humanity so Christ approached God and said: “You neither want nor are you pleased with sacrifices and offerings or with animals burnt on the altar and the sacrifices to take away sins”. Then he said, “Here I am, O God, to do your will”. So God does away with all the old sacrifices and puts the sacrifice of Christ in their place. Hebrews 10:8-10.
From this text, it means God didn’t just give up his son but His son volunteered himself. It has always been God’s will for Christ to die for humanity but it only came to pass when Christ Himself volunteered himself. What made Christ make this move? Because He recognized, the blood of animals didn’t wash away the sins of humanity? Also, he realized God didn’t take delight in the blood of animals. I’m beginning to wonder if Christ hadn’t offered himself up, does that mean salvation wouldn’t have come to humanity? I believe there were other heavenly beings standing with God aside Jesus observing how animal sacrifice didn’t atone for sins and saw sadness written all over God’s face.
Imagine Jesus saying “I’m not the only one who can see animals don’t atone for sins. The numerous heavenly beings can see it so I’d just sit back and watch”. What would have happened if he went with this mentality?
This is where we find ourselves currently as a society. There are a lot of unpleasant things ongoing around us but we’re all waiting for someone to fix it. Out of love for humanity, God gave up Jesus but Jesus volunteered to die because he recognized an anomaly that needed to be fixed which was a burden on God’s mind.
He didn’t for a second think about how this venture would cost him his life. He didn’t ponder about how he’d be deprived of 33 years of pleasure, royalty, and power that comes with his heavenly status. Our society is where it is today because we as a people are self-centered. Fixing the ills around us comes at a cost i.e. denying ourselves of pleasure and as a result, we turn a blind eye to them hoping someone would do it. And since everyone is waiting for another person to do it, the ills remain, multiply and is gradually destroying our society.
We’re so quick to forget that, God entrusted this earth into our hands to take care of. My Christian folks have this mentality that “We’re not of this world, we’re just passing through” so they sit down unconcerned when there are ills going on in society. Well, Jesus also wasn’t of this world either but when He saw an anomaly ongoing on earth and there was no one to fix it, he stepped out from eternity into time to get it done. Not only did he make a transit through earth but he impacted His surroundings before going back to Heaven.
Well, you might say it was God’s will for Jesus to die that’s why he did it. This is true but when you peruse Hebrews 10 carefully, you’d realize even though God wasn’t pleased with animal sacrifice, he didn’t turn to Jesus to sacrifice Him because it was already predestined to happen. He was silent until Jesus volunteered before that will came to pass. Could it be that all along, God was just waiting for Jesus to make a move?
This goes a long way to tell Christians that not until humans make a deliberate effort to make a move in the direction of God, Gods will won’t come to pass and the will of God is for sanity to prevail on earth through humans and not Him coming to do that.
Interestingly, we’re oblivious to the fact that every luxury or privilege we’re enjoying is a result of someone’s sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed and salvation came into the world and His name has been weaponized to the extent that demons tremble when it is mentioned.
We’re enjoying independence as a nation (Ghana) because the likes of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and a host of others laid down their lives and fought for independence. Some even lost their lives in the process.
Nelson Mandela gave up 28years of his life to serve a jail term because of his resolve to fight apartheid and foster racial reconciliation in South Africa.
Martin Luther King lost his life for fighting for equal rights in America.
The Methodist Church is standing today because of the likes of John and Charles Wesley.
What would have happened to Ghana and South Africa if the likes of Mandela and Nkrumah hadn’t volunteered to fight for independence? Imagine the pain the families of the likes of Martin Luther King went through just because of the sacrificial decisions their loved one took.
Just like Jesus, they chose to look beyond themselves and laid down their lives for the benefit of humanity. That is life for you. It’s all about making sacrifices for the greater good of humanity.
If you’re out there and living just for yourself remember “Your today is a result of the sacrifices some people made yesterday” Some people buried their life to create a future you call today. Would you deprive posterity of that bright future you were given or you’d create a bright future for the generation yet unborn?
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