About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
Concern Through Sacrifice
was the Last Supper when Jesus shared the bread and wine with the
Twelve. Both elements were
metamorphic representations of His sacrificial life.
From the moment Jesus was conceived in Mary's womb, was the
moment His earthly existence would be sacrificial in nature, and why?
It is because the very essence of Jesus is sacrifice.
It's who He is.
thing I learn from the Last Supper is that sacrifice is front and centre
of the Christian life. The
fact that Jesus, in symbolic form, was sharing His sacrificial existence
with the Twelve, and then, asking them to share it with each other,
tells me that each one of the Twelve was to be willing to sacrifice his
will for others.
the religion of self that permeates both the world and the church, the
willingness to sacrifice for our brothers and sisters in Christ is not
often seen. When we, for
example, exercise our western world's concept of individual rights at
the expense of sacrificial concern for our brothers and sisters in
Christ, we fail to exhibit the lesson of the Last Supper.
Biblically speaking, more fundamental than individual rights is the
command to love, and Biblical love demands sacrifice. In
all we do, we must consider how our actions will impact others.
apostle John was one who participated in the sharing of Jesus' life at
the Last Supper. He wrote
this in 2 John 1.
"The elder [John]:
To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the
truth — and not only I, but also all who
know the truth — "
The word love in 2 John
1 is translated from the Greek word "agape," which expresses
love that is demonstrated through sacrifice.
This tells me that the elect lady and her children, John, and those who know the
truth, were living the lesson of the Last Supper.
Such communal concern means that all we do is not for the benefit
and good health of ourselves, but for the benefit and good health of
those to whom we are placed alongside in the Body of Christ.
It's how the world actually knows we are Jesus' disciples (John
the degree, then, that we can exhibit the sacrificial meaning of the
Last Supper will be the degree to which we will effectively be the
Christians and the church we are called to be.
1 John 3:16 is another passage that makes this clear.
"This is how we
have come to know love: He laid down his
life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and