Good Friday is a time to remember the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the sacrifice He made for us in the cross of Calvary to save us from our sins. Sacrifice is the foundation in which Christian faith stands and without sacrifice there is no meaning to our faith. Jesus Christ lived as that sacrifice and died as the same. It is for the first time, the cross became the symbol of glory, pain became worthy, suffering became meaningful and death became life.
I honestly believe that this is also a time to remember the numerous martyrs, saints, men and women of God who gave away their precious lives as sacrifice for this Gospel. They laid their lives, time, money, knowledge and relationships at the altar as a sacrifice for God’s service. They took the Word of God seriously, obeyed it completely and whole heartedly took the cross and followed Him in His mission of saving souls from destruction. They forsook every comfort, glamour and desires of this world to establish His Kingdom and considered the struggles as joy in order to bring the truth out in open, travelling from one corner of the world to the other with a burden in their hearts to serve the humanity in showing God’s divine love with humility and with grace. It’s truly a time to be proud of these brave men and women and to humbly submit ourselves to carry forward the legacy that they left behind in order to fulfill God’s call in each of our lives.
Jesus says in John 12:24. “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” Centuries have passed, but the cross is always there to be carried and the burden of the cross only has got heavier, not lighter. From John the Baptist to Stephen, Peter and Paul, from Justin the Martyr to Polycarp, from David Brainerd to David Livingstone, from Saint Thomas to Graham stains, Jim Elliot and Sadhu Sunder Singh, there were many who laid their lives and still laying down selflessly in various parts of the world for Christ to be preached in love. From the believers of the early church who got burnt alive in the days of Nero to the Christians facing persecution recently in Nigeria and in other parts of the world, have laid and laying foundations for many churches to be built across the globe.
From the writers of Gospel to Luke, Paul, Tertullian, Eusebius, Jerome, Augustine, Tyndale, Wycliffe, Martin Luther, Ziegen Paul and many who have given away their lives and knowledge to contribute so much to the enhancement of Bible and Christian Literature. There are people who still continue their work in the form of Bible societies working tirelessly for the Word to reach every single household. The Good Samaritans, who took service as their purpose of life, still hold the key and heart of our society by giving us hospitals and schools for generations.
In the time when women were afflicted and considered weak, God raised many women for His service, who took the challenge and never looked back for any of their personal desires, from Mary, Tabitha, Amy Carmichael, Ida scudder to many missionaries who amidst their weakness contributed so much to the poor, needy, sick and afflicted in the community to show Christ through their service. Leaders who took their stand for their faith, Revivalists who inspired the hearts to continuously seek God, Evangelists who made the difference in many people’s lives by their uncompromising sermons, sacrificed in one way or the other to this precious Gospel. The result of these efforts is for all to see, even the smallest of sacrifice to God made such large differences in the lives of people.
The Man who laid the foundation for this sacrifice knew that the burden and the cross that He bore will leave such an impact for generations. Yes, it didn’t surprise Him, but He is overwhelmed by these faithful servants. And still, He is looking out for many who can take up His call, to sacrifice and devote them for His work as it is not yet finished. He needs Men and women who are willing to say “Here I am Lord, Send me.”
“Will the cross seem heavy to bear, if your savior is near?
Don’t you know He will take care?
But the question is:
Are you willing to share?”
Jesus says in Matthew 11:29, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life”. Are you ready to sacrifice your life for the Gospel?