“I beseech you therefore, brethern, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice . . .” – Romans 12:1
I was reading this scripture just last night and something stuck out to me. In the Old Testament a sacrifice was always killed or given up. Most of the time it was an animal that died in order to cleanse someone from sin.
When Paul said present your bodies as a living sacrifice, he was saying something totally new. Unlike in the Old Testament, our sacrifice is not in dying. In fact the Bible clearly says that Christ made us alive when we were once dead in our trespasses.
So what am I getting at? In the Old Testament a living animal became a dead sacrifice. In the New Testament we, once dead, become a living sacrifice to God. We don’t dedicate our lives by simply dying – that was the old covenant and the new is so much better! We dedicate our lives by living for God! Another example of how the new covenant brings life where the old brought death.
Just like death causes complete surrender so our lives are to be in complete surrender. Just like a dead sacrifice no longer gets back up to serve itself so we must remain faithful to our cause – the Lord Jesus.
This is a voluntary sacrifice but it is a “rational” one. It is our “reasonable” duty. And most importantly it is our joy!