Real Sacrifice

Our observation of Lent this year has succeeded in proving to me what a spiritual whimp I am. Despite my pre-Lent jokes, I didn’t give up vegetables; I chose soft drinks—especially my beloved Pepsi. And even though I had already cut way back on them months ago (only having one at night and at our Tuesday morning Men’s Bible Study), I’ve still found myself whining inwardly about my “sacrifice.”
I put the word “sacrifice” in quotes because it’s nothing compared to the sacrifice Jesus made for me, which is the point of the practice of fasting from something during Lent. Jesus gave His life; I gave up sugared water with caffeine. There’s absolutely no comparison between the two. In fact, even using the word sacrifice for both things is a disservice to Jesus. Fasting for a time from something we enjoy is an inconvenience at best. He deserved worship and obedience, and He chose suffering and death—all because of His love for us. Comparing that to having to drink water or lemonade or orange juice or tea or Kool Aid or the hundreds of other options available for a few weeks just isn’t a fair fight.
I hope that you’re having a similar experience. I hope that, as you crave that thing you gave up, you’ll be constantly reminded that your “sacrifice” is nothing compared to the one Jesus made for you. And I hope that as we approach Easter that you’re planning to be part of our services: The Maundy Thursday service at 6:30p.m. on April 18; the Good Friday Service at 6:30p.m. on April 19; and the Sonrise Service on April 21 at 6:30a.m. Is it unusual to have three services in four days? Yes. Is it a sacrifice? No.