All over the New Testament, we hear how the death of Jesus was an atonement for our sins, covering the debt that humans owe God for contributing to all the evil and death in the world. The New Testament also talks about the atonement of Jesus Christ as a purification. Like the blood of the animal sacrifices, it is now Christ’s blood that washes away all of the damage and side-effects of sin, purifying and sanctifying the world.
The story doesn’t end there, though. Because Jesus was able to conquer death and rise from the dead, Christ made Himself the perfect sacrifice who now continually offers Himself to anyone who needs Him. Because Christ became the perfect sacrifice, the ritual of animal sacrifice was no longer required.
How did the video help you further appreciate or understand Jesus’ sacrifice?
In the letter to the Romans, Paul writes about Jesus’ sacrificial mercies towards us and invites us to put our hope in these mercies. In light of what Jesus sacrificed, Paul calls us to offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” in response. This means relying on what Jesus has already accomplished through the cross and joining in his sacrificial lifestyle—becoming like him. This is a totally different way to live because the world teaches us to pursue goodness, pleasure, and perfection apart from Jesus. When we become living sacrifices, we are transformed by the good, pleasing, and perfect will of Yahweh, leading to a life of sacrificial love and humility that serves others and overcomes evil with good.
Question 1:What stood out to you most in this chapter?
Question 2:What happens to our communities when we rely on Jesus’ sacrifice but neglect to join him in a sacrificial lifestyle? Why is belief and action so important?
Question 3:Paul gives some practical guidance for what it means to be a living sacrifice. A transformed lifestyle includes a humble mindset (3-5), that serves in community (6-13), and overcomes wrongdoing with good (14-21). How did Jesus model and empower this lifestyle? How is this lifestyle different from what you’ve seen in the world, and how does it display Yahweh’s good, pleasing, and perfect will?
Question 4:What is one area where you relate more to the world’s lifestyle than to Jesus’ humble, serving, and overcoming lifestyle? Pray for a renewed mindset.
Question 5:Jesus’ humble sacrifice made us one in him. Reflect on the connection between sacrifice, humility, and unity in verses 1-5. What happens to unity when all members are not honored as equally valuable? What is one sacrificial act of humility you can do this week to build unity in your church or family?