As we anticipate the coming celebration of Easter, I begin thinking about the sacrifice Jesus made so that I could be reconciled to God. To help me focus on all that He gave up for me, I make a small sacrifice of my own. When I fast from something I normally enjoy, every craving for that food or drink or pastime reminds me of how much more Jesus gave up for me.
Because I want to be successful, I tend to give up something that isn’t a big temptation for me. Yet even then I fail. My inability to be perfect in such a small thing reminds me of why Easter is so important. If we could be perfect, Jesus would not have had to die.
The rich young man whom Jesus encountered along a Judean road was trying to earn eternal life by being good. But Jesus, knowing the man could never be good enough, said, “With men [salvation] is impossible, but not with God” (Mark 10:27).
Although giving up something does not make anyone good, it does remind us that no one is good except God (v.18). And that’s important to remember, for it is the sacrifice of a good and perfect God that makes our salvation possible.
My precious blood I shed,
That thou might ransomed be
And quickened from the dead. —Havergal