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A Living Sacrifice

The offering of a sacrifice to God was a religious observance. Genesis records the first sacrifice by Cain and Abel, which states that Abel offered to God an acceptable sacrifice, but gives no account of the origin of the idea. The custom is clearly approved by God, and in Mosaic Law it is adopted and elaborately developed.

Sacrifices varied – could be grain or wine offering but mostly it was an animal. Only the best was ever offered – to give anything less showed great disrespect to God.  The main reason for a sacrifice in the Old Testament was for the sinful person to come back into a right relationship with God.

In the New Testament, worshipers offered no sacrifices. Their sacrifices are spiritual, the offering of their bodies as a living sacrifice, and generally the doing of good. There is no place for other sacrifice because Christ has offered the perfect sacrifice that put away sin once and for all.

What is meant by a living sacrifice??  Does it mean to die for one’s faith as John the Baptist, St. Paul and others did. It is possibility!  At the conclusion of the Eucharist we say ‘Father we offer ourselves to you as a living sacrifice through Christ our Lord. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory.’  We are required to give ourselves totally to God in body, mind and spirit. To live our lives in the same way as Jesus did. We are part of this earthly life, the reality is though, that we should be striving for a place in the heavenly realm and that can only happen if we are but living sacrifices for our Lord Jesus. We cannot offer second best.