The Blessing of Sacrifice

Though it may be difficult, we are called to follow Jesus’ example and surrender everything to God.

Romans 12:1-2

In the Old Testament, sacrifice was a means of atonement. When a person sinned, he or she brought an animal to the altar, and through its death, reconciliation was accomplished. What, then, does today’s passage mean when Paul urges believers to “present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice” (Romans 12:1)?

Thankfully, there is no need for our blood to be shed; Jesus took care of that when He died on the cross for our sins. Instead, what Paul means is that our lives should be surrendered to the Lord. A surrendered life involves commitment. It’s a decision to defer to God’s will and His Holy Spirit instead of following our own preferences. Every aspect of our being—body, soul, and spirit—is to be a living sacrifice.

Though this may sound dreary, true freedom and joy are found when we yield to Christ. The Lord promised His followers that abundant life comes from losing ourselves in Him (Matthew 16:25). Psalm 16:11 says it best: “In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

Becoming a living sacrifice sounds like a tall order—and it is. But it’s a call we face with Jesus by our side. Remember: He is our constant companion and wants to help us.