How praise is made possible

the-cross

Reflections based on Hebrews 13:11–16

‘Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.’

I believe that this passage is a great reminder of our need for a saviour, and the ultimate sacrifice that he had to pay. Before He came, communion with God was only possible through a hugely complicated set of rules and animal sacrifices. Jesus’ death did away with such rituals and opened up the way to the Father.

Let’s ponder Jesus’ sacrifice a little more. Remember the agonising struggle that He had in Gethsemane when he thought about what was about to happen to him? Take a look at Matthew 26:36–46. ‘My soul is overwhelmed’ seems like a very apt description but somewhat inadequate too! Thinking about His humanity, Jesus must have been petrified at this point and yet He was still able to pray: ‘Yet not as I will, but as you will.’ Wow. But thank goodness He was able to do that, as it is only through what He suffered and endured, and then fought and conquered through His resurrection, that we are able to have a relationship with God. Today we are able to worship God freely, without needing to go through a priest.

While Jesus paid the sacrifice for our sins in a way we are totally incapable of doing for ourselves, God does still ask us for sacrifice. We are told to take up our cross on a daily basis (Luke 9:23). We are also asked to put others before ourselves (Philippians 2:1–4). But when each of these things is done from an attitude of thankfulness and remembrance of what Jesus has done for us, they don’t seem like so much of a sacrifice do they?

Prayer: Thank you Lord for paying the price that I could not for my salvation. Help me to live in the light of what you’ve done, remembering to take up my own personal cross daily as well as put on an attitude of thankfulness and praise.

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