Welcome to Day 22 of the 31 Days to Hallway Praise challenge!
When I was at college, we heard the Cross preached almost daily. In fact, I almost grew tired of hearing, "Christ died for your sins." That's a little hard for me to admit, but it's true. And isn't it sad? We as believers should never take for granted the work that Jesus did by dying in our place.
I think part of the reason I struggled so much during my college years was that it seemed to me as though the Cross was most often presented to unbelievers needing to be saved, and I as a believer wanted more than just being told of Christ's death on the Cross. There is so much more to His sacrifice. It goes so much deeper than merely a man being executed for something He didn't do.
But one pastor did speak of Christ's sacrifice from the standpoint of the believer. "Remember Calvary every day," he told us. It's excellent advice. If you've been a Christian for a long time like I have, it's easy to fall into complacency. As terrible as it is, it's easy to forget all that the Lord did for us.Today, I want you to remember Christ's sacrifice.
As I just mentioned, there is so much more to Christ's death than merely a man dying on a cross. From the fall of man way back in Genesis 3, God orchestrated the substitution of His perfect Son to die in our stead. He first created the original-but-imperfect sacrificial system of the Old Testament that gave way to Jesus' ultimate, perfect sacrifice. All through the Old Testament, God promised to send His Messiah, and in the New Testament, we see that promise fulfilled in Christ.
The Cross - and Christ's resurrection that followed - spans the course of history. And we need to stop and think on this amazing act of God's mercy and grace, lest we grow hardened and forget.
More than that, the more time we spend to remember Christ's sacrifice, the more we fix our eyes on Him. And the more we fix our eyes on Him, the smaller our hallways become. Everything we do in life needs to be focusing more on the Lord and less on ourselves.
Admittedly, this is something I really, really struggle with! I like thinking about myself. A lot. It doesn't matter if we think of ourselves too highly or too lowly; either way, we're still thinking of ourselves too frequently. Turning our eyes back to the Lord will be a constant battle for all of us, but it's one of the best ways to praise Him even when life is hard.
Today's action steps: Read Old Testament passages on the Jewish sacrificial system. Then go through the Gospels about Jesus' death and resurrection that ended the animal sacrifices. It's incredibly powerful to see how God wove His perfect plan of salvation through the entire Bible! We can praise Him for His amazing sacrifice.