This morning, we want to consider what it was that Jesus really did. It was Better Than Sacrifice – Heb 10:5-7; Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’”
He offered Himself because it was the will of His father – He was obeying God’s command.
He could have called on 12 legions of angels for His deliverance, as we read from Matt 26:53.
He could have chosen His own type of sacrifice, perhaps double of Solomon’s sacrifice and given 2000 burnt offerings.
He could have declared a Thousand-day fast. Night vigil, or any number of personal sacrifices.
But none of those sacrifices would have been an act of obedience.
Instead, He performed the one act that His Father wanted. He obeyed God.
What is God commanding you to do?
What is that god that is preventing you from obeying the God of Heaven and of Earth?
Oh yes, many of us have one or more gods to whom we sacrifice, and not all gods are made of wood and stone, not anymore.
• There is wealth (and all that money can buy – houses, cars, etc.).
o Many of us sacrifice double hours at work to the god of wealth. When you read Eccl 5:11 where the bible says that the more money you have, the more the consumers will arise – you will immediately end your second job.
o Did you know that you cannot control who will have your wealth after you are gone? (Eccl 2:18-19)
• Power is another god – in politics, the secular world, even ministry –
o The other day, we learnt how some pastors do whatever – anything except obeying God – so that their church will be large and glowing. Not all that glitters is gold, especially when it comes to mega-churches.
• Beauty – the need to look good - is another. What sacrifices are you making to that god? How many babies’ placentas are in your facial foundation? Do you spend $2,500 on your shoes, sell your body to raise the funds. Or deal in drugs or humans to fund your beauty need.
o What happens to your god at the age of 60? Or 70, that is, if you have not been driven to commit suicide before then.
• Social Success. Fame – Aaron Hernandez (former NFL star New England Patriots Tight end) hanged himself only this past week – what good was his fame then?
o Who remembers Michael Jackson the way we remember Apostle Paul?
You know your own god; sex addiction, alcohol, drugs, etc.
You know the sacrifices you are making to that lust, sacrifices that prevent you from obeying God.
Jesus obeyed God to the point of death. Or as Paul later described it in Phil 2:8; And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
• His death on the cross was an act of obedience.
• And although His obedience resulted in His death, He did it anyway, knowing that obedience is better than sacrifice.
Poor King Saul failed to understand that; He thought that fasting and praying could take the place of obedience.
Not so – in 1 Sam 15:22; But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams (NLT).
In any case, these self- or community-chosen sacrifices don’t have guaranteed results. 1 Samuel 3:14 And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
However, glory be to God, there is a sacrifice that has guaranteed results – the death of Jesus. Heb 10:11-12 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.
Seeing as Jesus has obeyed His unto death and offered one sacrifice for sins forever, what remains for us to do?
Let us hear it from Jesus Himself – John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
That is all – keep and obey His commandments so (i) God will love us, (ii) Jesus also will love us and (iii) He will manifest Himself to us.