Random Musings

Once Upon an Altar

Tonight I am finding my place on the altar.

We’ve heard that each man or woman must take up their cross and follow Him, and somehow we allow movies or well meaning Sunday School teachers to determine how that is depicted. We hear WWJD and we somehow romanticize self sacrifice and think “I got this.” But in reality we don’t have anything. Emulating the Master? Following the One who says that He (although Diety) did not come to be served, but to serve…Imitating the One who bowed low and washed His dysfunctional disciples’ feet. And even that’s ok, but then He invites us to go and do the same.

The Christian life is marked by sacrifice. His sacrifice for us and our sacrifice for Him.

Tonight I find my place on the altar.

Sacrifices are bloody, flesh is mutilated, carcasses laid bare. Birds of prey circle overhead, the smell of blood filling the air. They salivate as the anticipation of feasting on the flesh mounts. Suddenly you come to the realization that you are the sacrifice. You lay there on the altar looking up or looking down, but you blink incessantly hoping to wake up from this horrible nightmare. It’s your flesh that must be offered…you’re the helpless animal. The news gets even better…
We are supposed to do this daily.

“I therefore urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship.” Romans 12:1

God calls it reasonable.

According to Mathew Henry’s Concise Commentary “This is a powerful appeal. We receive from the Lord every day the fruits of his mercy. Let us render ourselves; all we are, all we have, all we can do: and after all, what return is it for such very rich receivings?”

Every single day, we are to crucify our flesh. We make it sounds so churchy and awesome. We go get new dresses and wear our best suit for Easter. What is Easter? The day we celebrate the death, burial and in particular, the resurrection of our Savior. Once a year we love sacrifice. But it’s gut wrenching, painful…and well, beautiful.

Once we crucify ourselves…mortifying our sinful flesh…then the life of Christ can truly be lived through us. That is when we transform from being mere mortals to supernatural sons and daughters of God.

Tonight, find your place on the altar.

“Lord, not my will, but thy will be done.”