Today’s Reading: Luke 23:44-24:12
Key Verse: “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.” Luke 23:46
Sacrifice will cause others to mock you. As Jesus was on the cross, they shouted at Him “He saved others, but He can’t save Himself!” (Mark 15:29-32)
Just a few days before Jesus’ death, He was in the home of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Not long after the meal had been served, one of Lazarus’ sisters, Mary, took a bottle of very expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’ feet. Immediately, one of Jesus’ disciples, Judas Iscariot started to put up a fuss. “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money used to help feed the poor?”
True sacrifice will rarely ever make sense from a human perspective. When you bring your sacrifice of obedience and service and offerings to Jesus, expect others to not understand or to mock you. Maybe you’ve heard something like “You would get up on a beautiful spring morning like today and go to church? That doesn’t make sense! Why not go golfing with me or to the amusement park or to the lake. Who wants to sit and listen to some boring guy tell you everything that’s wrong in your life for 30 minutes or so when you could be enjoying the great outdoors with your family? And you mean to tell me that you actually give financially to that church?
In 1921, perhaps one of the most amazing operations of all time occurred. The physician was Dr. Evan O’Neil Kane. Dr. Kane was a strong advocate of using local anaesthetic whenever possible instead of general anaesthesia. But in order to prove his theories, Dr. Kane needed to find a volunteer. No one was willing. They were afraid that the anaesthetic would wear off in the midst of the surgery. The thought of being awake while they were being operated on scared them half to death. Finally, Dr. Kane found a candidate for the surgery who was willing. The surgery was to be an appendectomy. Dr. Kane had done approximately 4000 such operations, so he knew the procedure well. The patient was prepped and taken into the operating room. He remained awake during the entire operation and reported only minor discomfort. The patient went home from the hospital two days later, much faster than patients with general anaesthesia usually did. Dr. Kane had proven his point. Local anaesthesia worked and was much safer than general anaesthesia. Modern medicine owes much to this innovative doctor and his brave patient. By the way, the patient’s name was Dr. Evan O’Neil Kane. He had operated on himself in order to prove his point. His sacrifice caused others to believe his words more than any lecture or logical argument ever could have.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, a soldier and a criminal believed words that they would have accepted in no other way. When you are willing to die – willing to sacrifice everything – for what you say you believe, that is when others stop and take notice. What are you willing to sacrifice so that Christ will be honoured? Golf? Rugby? Your favourite tv show? We all have something to give.