Thursday, 10 April 2014

Lent day 35 - sacrifice

I've been studying the martial arts for years, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for 12 years. You sacrifice quite a bit to get good, or at least to improve. Then at some point it dawns on you that you need to sacrifice some of your training for the improvement of others. You teach classes, roll with people who might not help you improve, but you might help improve. You give up of your time.

Many people sacrifice for others, a parent for their child, a spouse for their partner.

The heart of Easter is sacrifice. Not insane, suicidal martyrdom, but a sacrifice that achieved peace and reconciliation. The scene from Gethsemane is a painful one to read (Matthew 26:36-46), but shows that the cross was an act of obedience, not a morbid fascination with death. Jesus needed to pray about it (Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want), and appreciated the prayers of others.

The question that burns in the mind is: why would God demand this? There are many theories on this, for now it is sufficient to know that Jesus' death achieves what it sets out to do, to bring life and peace.

Further, Jesus' sacrifice and approach to it is a model of humility and obedience to God's will. But it also shows us the need to pursue God in prayer over our situations; to discern whether or not some purpose is served by what we go through, or whether there is another way. Seeking suffering for its own sake is not at all Godly, which speaks against aestheticism per se.

Finally, having others pray for us - hopefully with more diligence than the disciples - is important. No person is an island.

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