Originally posted on my blog unmaskedtheologian.wordpress.com 3/7/15
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul writes, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Let this verse resonate in your mind. Sacrifice should be meaningful to anyone who knows the Lord as personal Savior. Christ chose to sacrifice Himself on the cross for our sins and for the sins of the world. The idea of sacrifice should cause us to wonder. In awe, as we recognize that Christ demonstrated an act of great love. (Ephesians 5.1,2; John 3.16; I John 3.16: 4.10)
In the Old Testament the priests represented the people in their service to God. (Hebrews 9.1-10) On the cross, Christ sacrificed Himself, representing humanity in His service to God. (Hebrews 9.11-15) He was the perfect sacrifice, by himself; He purged sin. This reality should cause us to soberly consider sacrifice as an act of service to our God. The priests represented the people; Christ, the great high priest suffered in the place of people; now, as believer priests we are being summoned to accept our responsibility of self-sacrifice in service to our God and others. (Hebrew 4.14-16; Hebrews 9.11)
Paul is calling all followers of Christ to be a living sacrifice. This call has purpose, and we are to respond purposefully. We are called because of the mercies of God; God demonstrated mercy towards us, a mercy that was not demonstrated towards His Son. Because of this truth Paul urges believers to commit themselves.
Service to God should rank high in our priorities. The Scriptures state that sacrifice is a reasonable service. Christ has not asked too much of us. He has not asked more from us than what He was willing to do, for our sake. Christ lived holy and perfect in a world where He was rejected, despised, beaten, denied, betrayed, and murdered. Even in a moment of pain, agony, and turmoil concerning the future, He sacrificed Himself to the Father’s will. (Matthew 26.38,39)
Read it again, Romans 12.1, see if you are not moved to follow Christ as a living sacrifice. Read slowly and then close your eyes, now think about Jesus. Think about when He was worshipped in the manger, confounded the leaders in the temple, calmed the sea, raised Lazarus from the dead, prayed in the garden. Think about and imagine what it must have been like for God to be slapped, beaten, and crucified (if you can). He ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high. His earthly service to man and God is complete. Yet He continues to serve people by mediating and making intercession. If there was never a reason before to become a living sacrifice, perhaps now you will begin to think about the possibility.