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What the Bible says about Sacrifice, Costliness of
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Exodus 6:6

Exodus 6:6 contains the first biblical mention of redemption. At this time, He does not mention the redemption price, only that it will be at the cost of great judgments. Exodus 13:2, 14-16 supplies those details.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Elements of Motivation (Part Four): Obligation

2 Samuel 24:24

From this verse we can extract a principle to understand, at least in part, why God said David was a man after His own heart. When David was preparing to build the Temple, he purchased what is now the Temple Mount from a man named Araunah, who certainly knew who David was. When the king came to purchase his land, Araunah wanted to give it to him, as well as the animals to make offerings to God, but David rejected the offer. From this comes a principle. David said, "I will make no offering to God that costs me nothing." There is no sacrifice in that; he would not have been giving of himself at all.

Perhaps we are unaware of the awesome size of the offering David made to build the Temple. In today's money, it was about a billion and a half dollars. David was wealthy, but a billion and a half dollars! What David offered cost him dearly in money. David understood the purpose of the sacrifices.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Preparing to Be a Priest

Luke 14:25-27

That which costs nothing is not worth anything. When King David needed to build an altar to the Lord, he would not accept the free gift of the threshing floor because it cost him nothing (II Samuel 24:21-25). To David, a sacrifice was worthless if it cost the offerer nothing. The discipleship to which Christ calls us means a life of surrender to God's will and sacrifice for His cause. If we count the cost of a full submission to Christ's claim on us, we also must count on His grace and help to become one with Him. His disciples do not make the journey to His Kingdom for free—it costs them their lives.

The costliness of commitment to God's will is seen in the example of Jesus. He requires nothing of us that He Himself has not done. Christ lived with the humiliation and agony that often accompanies living according to the will of God. Both the Father and the Son counted the cost before proceeding with their plan for the salvation of humanity. In being sent into the world, Jesus knew ahead of time what it would take to accomplish the divine goal. He left His Father's house to build His church so that the gates of Hades could never prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

Martin G. Collins
Parables of Counting the Cost

2 Corinthians 4:16

Once fellowship with God is established through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that is not enough. This fellowship must be built upon. For it to continue, it has to be renewed day by day. In other words, sacrificing has to continue. Our relationship with God, then, is not constant because we are not unchanging as God is. Our attitudes fluctuate, our faith increases or decreases, and our love, joy, and peace ebb and flow in their intensity.

Sacrifice, whether it be the sacrifice of Christ or our own personal sacrifice, plays a major role in all of this because these things are not constants within us, so they have to be renewed daily. We can conclude that a sacrifice is then either a means of reconciling or a means of strengthening what already exists—a necessary means of becoming or continuing at-one-ment with God.

We need to add another factor to this. In the Old Testament, the gifts given to God are arranged in the order of their value: An animal is of greater value than a vegetable. Consider Cain and Abel's offering. Abel gave an acceptable one, while Cain gave one that was unacceptable for that circumstance. It might have been acceptable in a different circumstance. Nonetheless, the Bible arranges them in order of priority, as in Leviticus 1-3: A bullock is of greater value than a ram, which is of greater value than a kid or a dove. There is a principle here.

Let us step this up even higher. The offering of a son is of greater value than the offering of any animal. When Abraham offered Isaac, it was far greater in value than the offering of a lamb, ram, or even a bullock. In this case, God would not accept anything less than the very best. It had to be the offering of what was nearest and dearest to Abraham's heart. From this we learn that it is not just the intrinsic value of the gift, but also the relative cost to the giver to which God attaches the greatest importance of all. A widow's two mites can be a greater offering than all of the silver and gold a wealthy man can give.

From this, then, we can extract another principle: The greatest gift of all is self-sacrifice.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Preparing to Be a Priest

Hebrews 10:5-7

He explains that, when He came into the world, God provided Him with a human body, thus enabling Him to be a sacrifice. He carries this thought further by saying that God did not desire the Levitical offerings to serve as the means of forgiveness and acceptance before Him. Rather, God sent Him into the world to fulfill His will—to be the sacrifice for mankind's sins.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Six): The Sin Offering


 




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