John 19:1-42

So much of the Bible is about the idea of sacrifice. From the story of Cain and Abel in the opening chapters of Genesis, to the discussions of the Old Testaments rules in the Epistles of the New Testament, sacrifice is one of the central themes of scripture. 

And for the Christian, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross is the centerpiece of our faith, and it is central to this holy week that we are celebrating now. In this act, Jesus showed us what all of the talk about sacrifice in the scriptures was really about. It wasn't about keeping score and being sure to make God happy by paying him the right amount in livestock or money. Rather, sacrifice is about healing our relationships with one another and with God.

When we give something up for someone else, we're saying "I admit that I'm not the center of universe. I admit it's not all about me." Jesus showed us how to truly do that, by living a life of pure generosity, even when it meant giving up his physical life on Earth. The sacrifices we make as Christians aren't about earning something, or gaining favor, or making ourselves feel good about our lives. The sacrifices we make as Christians are meant to mirror the sacrifice of Christ; when we live truly selflessly, we experience a fullness and a joy that help explains why we would call Good Friday "good." 

May the meaning of Christ's sacrifice find a place in our hearts today, as we complete the journey of Holy Week and prepare for Easter on Sunday.