Journaling Lent: Day 34, The Good Shepherd

John 10.11-18 Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." 

The God of sacrifice.

I often think of stories in the Old Testament with Israel making sacrifices to God for covenant, sin, and worship. In the beginning, Cain and Abel made sacrificial offerings to God. After the flood Noah made animal sacrifices to God. Abraham was called to "sacrifice" his only son to God. 

There are things in my life that I am called to surrender or sacrifice, but is He the God who requires sacrifice? 

Or, is He the God who sacrifices? 

When Christ appears before John the Baptist, John says, "Behold the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world." In the scripture that this post started with in John 10 it says, "The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." In real life, would a shepherd actually do this? If there is a flock of 50 sheep, and one sheep is getting attacked by a wild animal wouldn't the shepherd sacrifice that one sheep to escape with the remaining sheep? Perhaps. But Christ is saying that the Good Shepherd would actually die for the sheep.

"I have come to serve not to be served."

Then the most glaring example of all is Christ Himself dying on the cross for the sins of all. 

We often think of our lives as "living sacrifices" to God - which to an extent is true. But it seems to me that He actually sacrifices for us in order for us to be with Him.

He is not the God of sacrifice, but the God who sacrifices. Why?

Love.