You laid down your life, the greatest sacrifice.
It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it line. Sung in the lower registry. Right before the big kick into the chorus. But when I last sang this song, it was like I hit a pothole in the road and my axel broke. There was no moving forward from this one thought.
Usually, when I think of the “greatest” sacrifice, I think of it in terms of the biggest scope. After all, Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all of humankind. That’s a pretty big requirement to fill.
But as my mental car was smoking in the aftermath of the musical pothole, a thought came to me. Maybe his was the biggest sacrifice because it was the biggest risk. After all, he made his sacrifice not knowing how we would react. All his cards are out there on the table. He’s given all he can. He’s paved the way. And now the ball is in our court, and there’s no guarantee that we’ll take him up on his offer.
I have a hard time giving up things when I know there’s a benefit on the other side. (Giving up carbs or sugar or extra portions of food to lose weight. Giving up going to the movies to save a few bucks. Giving up an extra hobby to make time for my family.)
And though things rarely turn out the way we expect them to, we know what we get out of the deal when we take Jesus up on the forgiveness and wholeness thing... and usually God surpasses our expectations. So while we do “sacrifice” for him…it’s a known risk. We have a history of faith to look back on and be confident in our decision.
But he had no idea.
Remember this line from Bruce Almighty? Bruce asks, “How do you make someone fall in love with you, without messing with their free will?” and God (as the super cool Morgan Freeman) answers, “If you figure that one out, you let me know.”
To sacrifice everything, without knowing if there’s going to be a return? That’s a pretty great sacrifice.
Here I am humbled by your Majesty
Covered by your grace so free
Here I am, knowing I'm a sinful man
Covered by the blood of the Lamb
Here I am humbled by the love that you give
Forgiven so that I can forgive
Here I stand, knowing that I'm your desire
Sanctified by glory and fire
Now I've found the greatest love of all is mine
Since you laid down your life
The greatest sacrifice
Your grace has found me just as I am
Empty handed, but alive in your hands
Forever I am changed by your love
In the presence of your Majesty