I am a spiritual being. I was created that way. Scripture confirms it. Experience in my life affirms it. I am the created, and began in the mortal realm in which I reside today. And, I am asked to sacrifice, as He sacrificed for us.
There was another spiritual being. He is. He was. He always will be. In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with God, and The Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. (John 1:1-4)
Earlier this week, I was given the opportunity to speak to a group of college students, and not so ironically, they asked me to speak to the theme of sacrifice. In thinking about and preparing for that moment, I recalled the old Shel Silverstein book “The Giving Tree”.
Its a story about a tree, and a boy, and how they share life, and how the tree sacrifices again, and again, and again, for the benefit of, and out of love for, a boy. In the end, the tree gives almost all it has to give, and the boy is blessed. So is the tree, even in its sacrifice.
In many ways, I see a strong Christian allegory imbedded in that story.
We discussed Jesus’ love and sacrifice in our Bible class time this Sunday morning. The reality washed over me regarding my creation, and my opportunity to sacrifice as He did and to share with HIm in eternity. He was not created, He was the creator, and he took on relationships of a whole different kind, so that we could do the same.
When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
“Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,
“They divided my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.”
So this is what the soldiers did.
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:23-27)
Jesus took sacrifice to a new level. Being a spiritual being, and becoming in all forms human, subject to human pain, and hunger, and fatigue, and relationships, and sorrow, He experienced that which He was not subject to enduring before. And, He did so willingly. That is hard for me to fathom, and even more awesome for me to understand, and to appreciate.
It it makes all the difference. When I am old, and tired, and worn, I will find rest in Him.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (Jn 1:5)
And the tree, and The Word, was happy.