I finger the tiny plastic cup filled with grape juice. The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ shed for your sins and mine. The same words I have heard hundreds of times. But today something is different; today I am a mom.
I bow my head and look at the dark liquid representing his blood. Spilled for me. A sacrifice.
I have a lot of baggage with that word. I have been told to sacrifice more to spend time with the family, to sacrifice more for my career, to sacrifice for the future. I view a sacrifice as something someone does out of duty--something they can check off of their sacrifice list. It is painful, and it makes it hard to love someone because"I sacrificed this for you so you better make it worth it." We hope our sacrifices pay off.
I picture even Christ's sacrifice for me as something done out of compulsion. He spills his blood, and I am in debt. I once heard that every time I sin, I shame that blood. And no matter how much I try to believe otherwise, I functionally live as though I can in some way make up for the sacrifice--as though in some small way I can make the sacrifice less for Him.
To be honest, I don't believe God really loves me. His sacrifice must be just like the ones I have been asked to make--out of duty, counting all the costs, even begrudging. I better make it worth it.
But today the word hits me differently. The sermon is on sonship--how we are made sons of God through His blood spilled for us. Today I have a son. And I realize: I spilled my blood for him.
I sacrificed my body for nine months and then for many hours of labor, and there isn't a part of me that wouldn't do it for him again. I did it out of love and eager anticipation. I did not do it out of duty or counting all the costs. It was complete and utter love for this boy from even before we knew he existed until the time he entered the world. I spilled my blood for him on a small scale. He does not have to make it worth it; he is worth it.
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Sparing nothing. Gave. Graciously. Just like how I view my son. I did not spare my own body, and even now I give of it again and again for him. And I will continue to give gladly over and over. I don't need him, just as God doesn't need me, but I love him fiercely, and I can't imagine life without him. Nothing he does can change how much I love him.
The cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. A new covenant. A covenant of life and not death. The blood is spilled so I can know God, so I can teach my son about him. The blood is spilled to make me His child. The blood is spilled, and my sins are wiped away. The covenant is new. I am new. And all this is because of deep, deep love--a reckless love that flies in the face of what is reasonable and spares nothing.
Sacrifice. Blood spilled for me. A gift not from duty or compulsion, but from love, adoration, and delight. Maybe today I can believe just a little bit more. Drink from it all of you. I sip down the sweetness.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jer. 31:33-34
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:32
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