“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16 NIV)
Good Friday commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
The book we call Hebrews compares the death of Jesus to the ancient Jewish ritual of an animal sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus’ sacrifice, however, was so much more effective in the sense that it removed the necessity for the annually repeated rite of animal sacrifices (Hebrews 10:10-18).
But does that mean we no longer need to offer sacrifices?
The biblical writer says “No! We should still ‘continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise’.” (Hebrews 13:15 NIV). This is the Greek phrase that is translated in the Older Testament as sacrifices of thanksgiving.
In other words, our response to the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus on Good Friday should be to express our thanks and gratitude to God.
And if saying “thank you” seems too little, the writer immediately suggests another example a sacrifice that God would love to receive.
“Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
Every Lent and Easter season, we help each other to “not forget to do good” by running our “The Giving Methodist” campaign. If you haven’t remembered yet, you may go to www.TheGivingMethodist.SG.
Let us thank God by offering sacrifices that do good.
|Bishop Dr Gordon Wong was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2020.
He served as President of the Trinity Annual Conference from 2012-2020.