Sacrifice with the LORDAs Christians, we like to know that our beloved LORD was subjected to terrible acts of violence for the sake of our immortal souls. My favourite bit was when the Roman Centurions bent His legs backwards, stuck needles into His elbows and punched Him in the kidneys wearing pointy knuckle-dusters all at the same time! Boy oh boy, nobody takes a beating like the Saviour; and, unlike Ricky Hatton, Jesus can take a punch with the best of them. Forget Muhammad Ali, Jesus was the original king of the old 'rope-a-dope' technique. Just when they thought he was down for the count - BAM! He's off back to Heaven quicker than you can say "next time we should use a bigger rock."
What is often neglected in this glorious blood-drenched gore fest though, is our duty to make a similar sacrifice to show our commitment to the LORD'S word. Of course we need not go as far as Jesus. After all, nowadays most of us don't get the chance to be nailed up by the Romans, however hated by important Jews we may be.
I think you'll find a small gesture will catch God's eye just the same as a bloody massacre. Why not have a go at leaving that last sweet in the packet for Jesus and then throwing it away. Try it; you might be surprised by how righteous you feel.
These simple but important sacrifices will bring you closer to the Lord and increase your sense of equality with the suffering of the Almighty. You will have given proportionately as much as He, and He will almost certainly reward you with riches in the next world.
You might think that your puny sacrifice may pale in comparison to that of Jesus on the cross, but you'd be wrong. You should remember that Jesus is God for starters, and this means that He has been living in Heaven for ever, and will continue to do so for all time. An eternity in Heaven is a very long time to live the good life; so long in fact that if we were to mathematically compare the time God has and will spend in Heaven to that spent on Earth as Jesus, the time He spent being Jesus on Earth would not even be a measly 0.0000000000000000000000001% of His lifetime! So don't worry about God for Christ's sake; He's just fine thanks.
And God isn't really that fussed about His sacrifices anyway, as the story of God completely messing Abraham about over the stabbing up of his son (Genesis 22) tells us. Abraham ended up sacrificing this dodgy old sheep he found lying about in the bushes instead, and God was like: "Yeah, whatever, have yourself some kids there Abraham, you're OK in my book." And, as we all know, God's book is the Bible, and that's a book and a half!
"Isn't it odd that an all-knowing mega-being such as the LORD would even bother with these stupid games, seeing as He knows the outcome of everything anyway? Does He really need to test anyone, especially in a way which might be frowned on by child protection services?" I hear you ask. Well, yes He does, and here's why. God isn't really too hung up on details and stuff like that. Yes, yes, I know a lot of people think He is, but they're all completely wrong, as I can demonstrate with a quick delve into the Good Book.
Take these passages into consideration:
"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man"
"And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am."
So what does this mean? James says God doesn't tempt people, and yet we can clearly see that He does!
Are we to think that James didn't read Genesis? Was he talking about a different God? This isn't James the male stripper waffling here people, this is James ' "whoops no, I can't sit there it's not Holy enough for me", writes books of the Bible in his spare time, disciple big boots, bearded chosen one of Jesus' for Christ's sake! I think he might know just a little about what he's talking about don't you?
And please consider what book we are discussing here; this is God's book, not a load of old rubbish by L. Ron Hubbard or some other lunatic! You think that God would let even the slightest error into His mighty bestseller? Have you read it? It's huge, and there isn't even one spelling mistake!
No, there can be no error here. The only possible reason for this contradiction is that God is showing us that He's not all that fussed about the details: just the general ball park is fine with the LORD. So when it comes to sacrifices, don't get too hot and bothered over every little thing. Put a bucket on your head and smoke a cigar, or do your belt up a notch too tight if that's what floats your boat - it's all good.
If you asked Him, God would tell you that the really important thing about making even the tiniest sacrifice is not what you actually did - it's banging on about it for the next couple of thousand years, every God-damned day. Now, we're afraid we can't promise a thousand years worth of airtime for your deeds on our humble website, but if you would care to contact us with the details of your personal sacrifice we'll add your name and a short description to the list of Holy Martyrs below.
Our Martyrs' Sacrifices:
Margie from Luton: Destroyed her 3rd favourite and rarely used frying pan.
Dennis from Peckham: Left 4 chips on his plate when he wasn't quite full.
Tony from Reading: Stopped reading his book one sentence earlier than he would usually do before going to sleep.
Janet from Kent: Made herself blink an extra 2 times during her favourite adverts.
Ian from Stoke: Threw a five pence coin at a car from a bridge and ran away.
Roger from Hammersmith: Purposefully burnt his toast before throwing it in the bin and making some more.
Theo from Yorkshire: Voted for the BNP even though he's Greek.