All posts tagged: Sacrifice

Trebes, France Credit: Didier Descouens/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

A willing sacrifice

An attack on a French supermarket on Friday, March 23, 2018, revealed the stark contrast between Christians and Muslim extremists. An ISIS radicalized Moroccan-born man, Radouane Lakdim, 25, stormed a grocery store in Trèbes and took hostages in an effort to have Salah Abdeslam released. He was the sole survivor of a group of terrorists responsible for an attack in Paris in November 2015 that killed 130 people. Prior to his arrival at the Super U grocery store, Ladkim had fired on a car in the neighboring town of Carcassonne killing the passenger and wounding the driver. He stole the vehicle and then drove to a police barracks and shot at police officers jogging nearby severely injuring one. From there he proceeded to the grocery store in Trèbes where he took hostages. In the end, Lakdim murdered his three hostages before being killed by police. One of those hostages was a French policeman Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrane, 44, second in charge with the responding police gendarme, as they are called in France. When the police cornered …

Credit: -stefano-/Flickr/Creative Commons

What does surrender to God mean?

Does surrender conjure up images of a criminal giving up his gun and surrendering himself to the police?  For many Christians this is what we envision and it terrifies us. In her article, Winning Through Surrender, Kathy Cordova writes: “For most of us the word surrender has a negative meaning because we think surrender is waving the white flag and giving up.” We consider the spiritual process of surrender with giving up, but spiritual surrender is not about defeat. It is about acceptance, joy and faith.   Spiritual surrender is about a mutual relationship with loving reciprocity between the creator and the creation. It’s about  accepting the gift of salvation and experiencing the joy of a relationship with the God of the universe who  not only loves us but knows us well. I realized that after all these years as a Christian I did not have a healthy perspective of what surrendering to God really meant. I felt that I could never live up to the traditional Christian perception of surrender. I was fully aware of …

Jesus, the Passover lamb

[by Dean Smith] The Catholic tradition of Easter has diluted the connection between Jesus’ crucifixion and Jewish Passover and its annual sacrifice of a lamb. Even renaming it “Easter” disconnects it with the most important sacrifice on the Jewish calendar. During Passover, each family bought an unblemished lamb (called the Paschal lamb) to the temple as part of their sacrifice. It was sacrificed in the outer court, the blood collected by the priests, and parts of the animal sacrificed. Later that evening the family would eat what was left of the lamb in the Passover feast called Seder. The connection and Catholic diluting starts at Christ’s birth. We read in Luke 2:8-20, about shepherds out in the fields watching their sheep, when an angel appears announcing the birth of Israel’s savior. Why did an angel announce the birth of Christ to a group of shepherds and no one else?

A woman’s perspective: Why do I feel guilty every time I say ‘No?’

[by Barb Smith] About a year ago, I came to a new understanding of the biblical term “dying to yourself.”  It seemed every time I said “no” to a request for help or an outing, I felt guilty if I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my time and deny myself for the sake of someone else. Often, I over commit and say “yes” even when my body is screaming “don’t do it!”  The reason I say “yes” is because I feel so guilty when I say “no.”  This is an ongoing struggle and I am in a constant process of finding a balance that is right, not out of selfishness, but out of the need to function as an emotionally healthy woman. I realized my sense of worth was determined by what I did for others. The verse “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,” as I understood it, meant I must die to everything, all the time, as a spiritual sacrifice to God.

Does the rebuilding of a temple in Jerusalem hinge on a red heifer?

The recent discovery of a one-year-old red heifer in America has Orthodox Jews buzzing about the possible rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. The Romans destroyed the last Jewish Temple in 70 AD. Its destruction was actually prophesied by Jesus (Mark 13:1-4). It was the Jew’s third temple, the first having been constructed by Solomon and destroyed in 586 BC by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25:9). The second was built during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah and it fell into disrepair. The last version of the temple was re-built by Herod in 19 BC. However, the Jews have always believed a third or fourth temple (depending on how you look at the previous two) would be constructed because of a prophecy by Ezekiel describing a yet un-built temple (Ezekiel 40:2f). Many Christians believe the temple will be built during Jesus thousand-year reign because its construction takes place after the destruction of Gog (Ezekiel 38-39). Though a Muslim mosque sits on the temple mound in Jerusalem, some Jews suggest there would be room for a Jewish Temple …