The word sacrifice is not really a pleasant word. When you hear it, you may think of weird archaic rituals involving blood and animals. You may think of giving up something you love or like to save money or to save your waistline. Sacrifice is not a word we use often, and it’s often used with negative associations. But in a strange twist, the action of sacrifice is well regarded in popular culture and our collective societal imagination.
Some time ago, an older friend, now a parent, was telling me how the way his father treated him in childhood caused him unnecessary suffering. Now, as an adult struggling with anxiety, he has spent much time in a psychologist’s office.
Self-sacrifice—the ability of some people to put the lives of others above their own—is not at all easy to understand.
Love stories have the ability to captivate us with the details of an undying beauty, to overshadow the uncertainties about their permanence, to introduce through the front door the hope that one day we will live such a story, which will bear the signature of eternity.
Why couldn’t God simply have forgiven sinners? Precisely because sinners cannot be forgiven until they completely understand sin, with all its far reaching consequences, or before the wages of sin are paid.
For centuries, the sacrifice of God the Son and the divine plan for man’s salvation have generated several dilemmas and raised more questions than we could imagine. And the answers that have been found have revealed more implications of the cross than we used to believe, whether we are Christians or non-Christians, believers or skeptics.