What I Believe: Sacrifice

Ancient sacrifice vs. Modern-day sacrifice....
Since the crucifixion of the Jesus Christ (aka the sacrifice on the Son of god), the need for blood-sacrifice ended.  Which makes sense, since the blood-sacrifice was to be done in symbolism of the eventual coming & sacrifice of the Savior.

To put it plainly, and historically speaking, been there-done that.

So where does that leave inhabitants of the Earth until Christ's Second-Coming?

Still sacrificing, only on a whole different level.

Enter-in, the Sacrament which Christ, Himself, introduced in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, & John, in the upper room just prior to His entering Gethsemane and the subsequent sacrifice of the Savior.

The sacred Sacrament is our weekly vehicle by which we can repent of and sacrifice our sins.

There was a young man in our ward a couple weeks back who was asked to speak to & teach the congregation about the topic 'sacrifice.'  He's about 14 or 15 years old.  Many things he spoke of regarding Sacrifice we had all heard before.  However, when he broke down the steps of ancient blood-sacrifice, and compared it to the steps in our own modern repentance & personal sacrifice, a new chord was struck within me.

He mentioned the selection of the first-born and unblemished sacrificial lamb (which was symbolic of the Savior himself), it reminded me of what I would sacrifice.  Not just the extra things in my life, or the easy sins to repent of...no.  I suddenly thought of the hardest things for me to give up.  The toughest, oldest, most troubling sins that I know are wrong but aren't quite ready to let go of.  THOSE are what I must systematically give up each week.  Gotta go down the list and just scratch 'em off!

He also mentioned the actual step of slaughtering the animal.  Many people cringed a little to hear the word uttered from the pulpit, but I needed that word!  Slaughter = breaking the animal.  Thus the animal being a perfect, yet broken offering.  I too must offer a perfect, yet broken offering.  My heart is perfect (not saying I'm perfect in any way, nor that I love perfectly.  It just perfectly fits the order.).  It is what is required, nay-requested by the Lord.  It must be broken....humble....without pride or blemish.   

"The Savior's perfect submission to the Eternal Father is the very essence of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Christ's example teaches us that a broken heart is an eternal attribute of godliness. When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Spirit of God and recognize our dependence on Him for all that we have and all that we are. The sacrifice so entailed is a sacrifice of pride in all its forms. Like malleable clay in the hands of a skilled potter, the brokenhearted can be molded and shaped in the hands of the Master.
"A broken heart and a contrite spirit are also preconditions to repentance."

Therefore, the slaughtered animal = my broken heart & contrite spirit. 
It is me, fully submitting to God.

The lesson was more than needed.  The message plain & clear.

I love that my heart was open & through the blessings of the Holy Ghost I was able to receive the truth.

I'm so grateful that Jesus Christ has provided a way through His Atonement, for us to sacrifice our sins via repentance and the sacred ordinance of the Sacrament.

How I view my weekly communion with the Lord has been changed, as I have a greater reverence for the opportunity each week to sacrifice my sins, and offer up a truly broken heart and contrite spirit.


Garden of Egan said...

Your thoughts were so beautiful!
I love that picture. It creates amazing imagery in my mind.
You are an amazing thinker, ponderer, doer!

Ann Marie said...

I love your thoughts on Sacrifice and the Sacrament. Amen!
Beautifully written.. and powerful testimony...

Cherie said...

Great lesson there! We also had a wonderful talk on the Sacrament in Stake Conference last week that went a totally different direction. Just goes to show how much we can learn about this and how much we need to learn about it!
Your thought are right on and great!

Heather said...

Keely you are truly amazing! I loved this post. It was so beautiful!

Sounds like that talk was pretty good. It is amazing how the youth of the church are so filled with the spirit.

I love that picture of Christ passing the Sacrament! It truly makes you think about why you take the Sacrament and why those young priesthood holders have a sacred responsibilities.

Valerie said...

Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I was going to post on the sacrament on Sunday, but didn't get time. But this is a totally different topic than my thoughts and I'm glad to contemplate even more of such a sacred and beautiful ordinance.

Valerie said...

Btw, that painting is at the Springville Museum of Art where I was this past week. And I've gone to see the exhibit like 3 times already. It makes you think, huh?

M-Cat said...

What a fantastic post!! Thank you

And I love the picture with the Savior administering the sacrament. Strong reminder~!

Katie said...

I love this. That last picture is definitely a great visualization of what we should all feel and think during the sacrament!

much love


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