Have you heard the news? God is back! Easter is past, but He lives on and there is nothing like the humorous interpretation of a child to really set the story straight. Dan, the three-year-old son of Joanne Hinch spent the day before Easter coloring eggs with his mother and sister. WhileÂ engaged in this activity their mother took the time to teach them about the sacrifice of Christ and the traditional Easter morning greeting and response, ”He has risen”¦He has risen indeed!” The children planned to surprise their Dad, a minister, with that greeting on Easter morning. As soon as Dan heard his father stirring around the next morning he got up quickly and dashed down the hall shouting the good news: ”Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, God’s back!”
Indeed, God is back. Perhaps that’s how Mary felt too after viewing the empty tomb as she goes from weeping to rejoicing in John 20:16 as Jesus calls out her name. Amazing, shocking, and magical are just a few of the words that Mary must have thought. Or maybe she needed a stronger word like the little girl’s superior response to her Sunday school classmate. The pastor has just told the children about the resurrection of Jesus when one child asked, ”What did Jesus say right after He came out of the grave?” The pastor explained that the Gospels do not tell us exactly what He said. But one little girl insisted she knew as she bounced her hand up and down in the air shouting, ”I know what He said: He said, ”˜Tah-dah!”’
A Tah-Day Moment
The awesome resurrection of Christ is certainly a ”Tah-Dah” moment. It is indeed a seemingly magical moment as all the wonders of God are. In addition, it is a mind-blowing beyond belief miracle of sacrifice that is as miraculous as it is daunting. Yet, through the disciples’ and other followers’ account of the death and resurrection of Christ, they confirm He lives.Â And it is because of His sacrifice for us that through our belief we live. It is by His grace that offers this gift to us.
There are no requirements for repayment but because of His ultimate sacrifice for us, we should strive to give our own sacrifices to please God. There is no way to repay this debt but there are things that certainly offers praise to the one who honors us with life. Paul’s concluding words in Hebrews 13,Â challenge us to grow in faith and to live in obedience to God each and every day. We should do what we can for others while never forgetting the ultimate sacrifice made for us.
One way we can do what is pleasing to God includes loving others in the manner that He loves us. A life of sharing and caring filled with kindness and love. A life that Elsie Holdren, a 68-year-old woman exemplified. Ms. Holdren lost her position as a security guard not because she didn’t do her job properly but because she was too courteous. Her superiors wrote, ”Due to your caring and giving nature, we feel you are compromising your position as a security officer. Being caring and giving is not a job requirement, nor is it what you’reÂ paid to do.” She sacrificed her job to simply do what she knew was right. Ms. Holdren did what she could for others with what she had.
Sacrifice ”“ What Does It Mean?
No matter what we do for God, it will never equate to the ultimate sacrifice given to us by Christ. David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary, and explorer spent thirty-three years in the heart of Africa. He endured much suffering as he labored to spread the Gospel and open the continent to missionaries. But he claimed no sacrifice was made by him. He once said:
“People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger now and then with a foregoing of the common conveniences, and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink, but let this only be for a moment, All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall hereafter be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice. Of this, we ought not to talk when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father’s throne on high to give Himself for us.”Â (Chambliss, 2015)
God doesn’t expect a sacrifice from us, but we should feel it necessary to offer up our praise. And whether we do so with the type of kindness displayed by Elsie Holdren or the extreme sharing of the gospel like Dr. Livingston it all praises the Holy One on High.
And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. Hebrews 13:16 (NLT)
Everyday Praise and Sacrifice
So, as you move forward from the Easter celebrations focus on the one that gave His all. Thanking Him for His sacrifice on the cross by sharing your knowledge with others by word and deed. Continue to show your kindness even if unnoticed and thankless. He is back from the grave and because of that, you hold everything you need for life. Remember the cross and the sacrifice made for you and offer your own sacrifices in praise and honor of Him anytime and anywhere with anyone.
Be challenged to show kindness and share the Good News of Christ to others as your living sacrifice to honor Him. Allow your convictions in Him to replace your wants recognizing that you have all you need for life. Find your motivation in knowing that He sacrificed all for you to live while you surround yourself with the knowledge of His love displayed on the cross for you.
Love in Christ,
God did not save us solely so that we could go to Heaven. He calls and commands us to have an impact here on Earth as well. When we trade the shame of the cross of Christ for the plaudits and acceptance of men, we have forfeited the power to shake the world. Far better to be despised and even persecuted than to live a life without making a difference for God.
Thomas C. Reeves
”And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”Â Luke 14:27
What Are Your Thoughts?
Have you fully contemplated the sacrifice that Christ made for you? Do you offer the sacrifice of kindness and sharing with others you meet as your praise to God? Share your thoughts on the ultimate sacrifice made for you by Christ.
Credits Chambliss, J. (2015). The Life and Labors of David Livingstone. Arkose Press. The Joyful Noiseletter. (1998, April). The Joyful Noiseletter, 2.