I appeal to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice… Romans 12:1
A young ram stood quietly in the dusty courtyard, tethered to the hitching post with a dozen others. Smoke from the Lord’s altar filled the air, adding its aroma to the holy hush. The man who had brought this offering laid a weathered hand on his sheep’s head and a tear made its way down one cheek. He had sinned, and only perfect blood could make him right with God again. The lamb never resisted when the high priest slit its throat, as though it knew it had been born for this moment. With a few deft movements, the priest and his assistants drained the ram’s blood, sliced him from top to bottom, and arranged the sacrifice upon the stone altar. With a whoosh! the flames licked at the flesh, sending a purifying fragrance toward the heavens.
Now, imagine that you are that ram. You have no will of your own. No one will ask your preference or your opinion. You are there for one purpose only—to submit to the will of God. That’s the picture Paul painted when he instructed us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. God has already spilled the perfect blood of the Lamb for our sin. He has no more use for burnt offerings. However, those of us who have accepted His Son’s sacrifice in our place should now willingly offer ourselves to Him for His purposes. Just as a burnt sacrifice was under the complete control of the high priest, so is a living sacrifice. We must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God (Rom. 6:11). Living as a sacrifice means we choose to live each day on the altar.
Imagine lying on that altar. If the High Priest split your life open, what parts have not been sacrificed?