Summary: Sacrifice is not often talked about today, it is the price love paid.
The Price Love Paid
New Hope Community Pastor Bob Briggs March 17, 2001
Sacrifice: a word which conjures a variety if thoughts. I have been on jury duty this week and have known the sacrifice involved. Many of you last Sunday night watched the 9-11 special. The sacrifice paid by the firefighters and law enforcement officers pale to the sacrifice of jury duty. The freedom’s we enjoy as Americans were paid for by the sacrifice of men and women who served our nation in the military. The movie, “We were soldiers” graphically brings out the sacrifice of a troop of soldiers to hold ground during the Vietnam War. And I could go on speaking of sacrifices made throughout history to move some cause forward. The ultimate sacrifice is that which we celebrate this month, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the price loved paid.
John 15:13 reads in the Amplified Bible, No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.
In our small group Wednesday night, we talked about the sacrifice of Jesus, mentioning this passage in John, and how difficult it is for people to potentially give their lives for someone they know through organ transplant such as giving a kidney and then later finding they might have a need. I made the decision to become an organ donor when I die and that was not an easy decision. I was worried they might think my quality of life was not up to par and decide to harvest organs before I was dead. I don’t think I am the only one who has had those thoughts.
What is the price love paid? We have already been talking about one price…
1. The price of sacrifice
Mr. Alter’s fifth-grade class at Lake Elementary School in Oceanside, California, made headlines when the boys in the class decided by themselves to shave their heads. They did this because one of their friends, Ian O’Gorman, developed cancer and after undergoing chemotherapy, all of his hair fell out. To make Ian feel better, all his friends agreed to shave their heads [with their parent’s permission] so that when he returned, Ian wouldn’t stand out from the class. No one could tell who the "cancer kid" was. The teacher, Mr. Alter, was so moved by the spirit of his class that he shaved his head too!
In Luke 22:1-7 the doctor writes Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present. Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.
And Jesus became that Passover lamb who was sacrificed for all of mankind, paying the price for all our wrong, taking on the punishment of the world’s wrong ways. The total price love paid.
The price of love is not just sacrifice, Jesus also paid…
2. The price of loneliness
In Matthew 26:40-41, Jesus had gone to spend time with God the Father and took with him some of the disciples so He would not be alone. Here we read of His experience with his fellow life travelers, Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
Thomas Wolfe said “The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.
I don’t believe it is the central and inevitable fact of human existence, however all of us have experienced times where we have felt alone. In truth, we were not totally alone, because God has always and will always be there for us, even when the dark tides of life may seem to be nipping at our heels.
Jesus could not always say this. The price love paid was a price of loneliness, of isolation, not just with the disciples, but with God the Father. The Bible says It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:44-46