Jews living in Israel 3,000 years ago knew all about sacrifice. The idea of worship being a band, a preacher, communion in disposable cups and maybe an entertaining video would have seemed utterly preposterous. To them, worship was all about an animal, a knife and a lot of blood. Worship without sacrifice was unthinkable. Because in that sacrifice, they gained forgiveness from their sins. They gained the opportunity for a better life. They found a miracle in the sacrifice.
Jesus had the perfect life in heaven. Everything revolved around Him and everything was centered on His pleasure. Angels served His every need and focused on His every desire. And He sacrificed all of that to be born as a baby in a dirty stable in Bethlehem. It might be the most illogical move in the history of…well, everything. He had absolutely no motivation for the sacrifice other than His deep love for His creation – for you. And in that sacrifice, in the Christmas story, we find the miracle of God coming to touch and change the lives of His people.
When that baby boy hit 30 years old, He left His life of carpentry and began teaching. He started doing miracles and gathering disciples around Him. Three years later, He was arrested, beaten, tried and sentenced to death on a cross. The Lamb of God, a cross and a lot of blood combined to make the biggest sacrifice mankind had ever known. In it, we gain hope and forgiveness and life. A miracle. A sacrifice. Once again, they go together.
Fast forward a few years and read that “sacrifice” word again. Paul wrote a letter to the church and said, “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is true worship” (Romans 12:1). Paul did some simple math here and came up with this equation… You + Sacrifice = Worship = Miracle
History shows us that miracles accompany sacrifices of worship. So the question would be… “Do you want a miracle?” And if you say, “yes,” what are you sacrificing?
Don’t forget these 3 statements…
1. Worship is action.
2. Miracles come packaged in sacrifice.
3. Actions speak louder than words.