Surrender: a) to give oneself up, as into the power of another, b) submit or yield to some influence, course, emotion, etc; c) to yield or resign; in favor of another…
“Surely, Surely, I say unto you…”
“You have heard it said… but I tell you… “
The New Testament is filled with the words of Jesus instructing us as how we ought to live. We know, as Christians, that we are to live pure and blameless until he comes again. We know that we may be the only reflection of Christ that a person may ever see. We know that when we pray we are to pray “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name…” but what does us knowing what to do really mean.
As a Christian, we like to use the word sacrifice. Jesus was the sacrificed lamb, taking on the sins of the world, in order for us to have life forevermore. We are to mirror his life, his perfect life… imitating him and the instructions he has set out for us.
The words and life of Jesus = Life Instructions for Dummies
I believe that we confuse the word sacrifice and surrender. I will go so far as to argue that it is easier if we use the word sacrifice rather than surrender. If we tell ourselves that he sacrificed himself for us he becomes a gift, He is something he gave to us. We are able to keep him neatly contained in a gift-wrapped box tied with a bow on top. But, did Jesus really sacrifice himself for you and me?
Jesus’ life was not about being a sacrifice for us. His life was about teaching us how to live a life that is completely and fully surrendered to God. If Jesus were simply a sacrifice, undoubtedly, as any human would, he would have removed himself from the possibility of the cross. No man can or would humanly sacrifice himself for all the sins of the world. And Jesus was human, lest we forget.
Jesus’ life and death was to teach us to surrender to a God that created you for a relationship with him. Jesus tells us that he comes because his father sent him. His first act of surrender was agreeing to come as his father requested.
Everything Jesus ask of us is for the father – forgive others so your father will forgive you; be perfect as your father is perfect; ask your father in heaven and he will give you what you ask; you cannot know me [Jesus] without knowing the father; and countless other examples. Jesus was in favor of his father.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done…”
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Every facet in our walk with Him should be a life of surrender. When we trust, we surrender. When we forgive, we surrender. When we love, we surrender.
To say that I surrender my life to Him is much more difficult than saying I will sacrifice my life to Him. To surrender means you relinquish control whereas if you sacrifice you are a martyr, a victim, and the one in which everything then revolves around. Jesus’ death on the cross couldn’t possibly then be simply a sacrifice, the cross, if anything, is not about Jesus, it is about the hope of salvation for all the world.
God wants us to surrender to Him and in that surrendering we will find more than we could ever hope or imagine because our focus has changed – we are no longer about the sacrifice of our life rather now we are in favor of another to give us life.
When I look at the cross, I no longer see simply a god that sacrificed himself for me, instead I see a man who surrenders to his father, fully and completely – I want to be like that man, fully and completely surrendered.
Are you living a life of sacrifice or surrender?
Arms stretched wide, hands unclenched, heart beating; life you give, fully surrendered – spirit, soul, and body – in order to make all things new again. ~ Pj