Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sacrifice Cures Pride

Scripture Texts: Exodus 40; Hebrews 8:1-10; Hebrews 9:1-15

High Priests, Holy Places, the Holy of Holies, these are not terms that are used often in the church much less outside of the church. So when we read these passages of Scripture it is easy to tune out until we get to the parts about Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate High Priest, and because of Jesus we have access the the Most Holy Place in all creation.

This means that we do not have to collect in all the animals needed for sacrifices. We do not have an elaborate system of grain, oil and wine offerings that need to be made. No, we have a High Priest, Jesus, who became the sacrifice required by God, once and for all. The only thing we must do to experience the atonement of Christ is offer our lives through confession and forgiveness of sin. The sacrifice is not ours, rather it is Christ offering himself as our sacrifice.

Sacrifice is a primary element of marriage. We must be willing to give up ourselves for the sake of our spouse. Amazing things happen in a marriage when both spouses are willing to sacrifice for the other. Selfish ambition is cast aside. The desire to be right every time seems to disappear. Even the need to be the center of attention fades into the back ground.

The opposite of sacrifice is pride. In the marriage relationship pride is one of the most destructive forces out there. When we put our needs and desires ahead of the needs and desires of our spouse pride begins to enter in. Selfishness rises up. We demand that we are right in every situation, and everything becomes centered around me. Pride will quickly steal the joy of a relationship, and ultimately steal the relationship if we let it.

The antidote for pride is sacrifice. We humans can learn about being a sacrifice for another person by paying attention to Jesus, our High Priest. Jesus, unlike us, had every reason to be prideful. He was perfect in every way, never sinning, and always making the best choice. Jesus always loved perfectly and did not consider himself better than another person. All of this when Jesus is the one person to ever walk the planet that had the right to pride. Yet, that is not the route he took, Jesus chose sacrifice. We can chose sacrifice with our spouse because Jesus chose sacrifice with us. Not only did Jesus choose it, Jesus showed us how to live it. May we fight pride with sacrifice everyday of our life and marriage.

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