Martyr Me Not

Romans 12:1,2
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice” the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Because last month is set aside for Black History, I thought it would be a great idea to get “Amistad” through Netflix. I had forgotten how good of a movie this was. My absolute favorite scene has to be when the one guy was showing Cinque (Djimon Hounsou), what he understood of the Gospel message through the pictures inside of the Bible. However, this time as I watched the movie with my family, I couldn’t help but linger on a particular scene that took place after the second round of trials had been won. It should have been a time of celebration because the abolitionist had finally seen justice. These brave African slaves found liberty not once but on three different occasions, only to have freedom snatched from them yet another time. Then, Tappan (Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd) who was a champion of the cause for the African’s said to Theodore Johnson (Morgan Freeman) himself a former slave, “They may be of more value to our struggle in death than in life”.

My jaw dropped open again as if this was the first time I had saw this scene. This idiot, I thought. Then soon after a spiritual context camped out in my brain, these are what I call a “David & Nathan Moment”. These are those moments, when you throw your hands in the air and say, “I’m guilty”. I’ve found myself making a similar statement not with my words, but with my lifestyle.

The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6b)

It’s a tale of two sacrifices. The old covenant called for many sacrifices, death was imminent. Death is demanded. But, the new and greater covenant that we now have in Christ brings life through the Spirit. His sacrifice was the final sacrifice. Why do we insist on moving towards the old, when the new is better? I can only reason its because the new, is much more difficult. In our human thinking, we sadistically, hold onto and try to fulfill the law. Help us, Lord! Why do we feel as if we have to die for Christ and not visa versa at times?

Death may be scary, but once it’s done, it’s final. However, to live for someone other than yourself is not an easy task at all. It’s a decision that has to be made every day of the rest of my life. Each day we need, say and mean “Today Lord, I chose to accept your sacrifice, and live for you”.

“The problem with a Living sacrifice is….. it keeps getting up off the alter” – unknown

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