‘Solomon consecrated the middle part of the courtyard in front of the temple of the Lord, and there he offered burnt offerings’ 2 Chronicles 7.7
In the account of the building of the first temple in Jerusalem, consecration and sacrifice seemed to go together. It is almost as if sacrifice proved the people’s commitment to what they were asking God to bless.
This has implications for us as we ponder God’s commitment to us. His love for us is not confined to words that are meant to bring comfort in difficult times, but is conveyed in terms of his utter dedication to us and to our joyful transformation. He does not achieve this by shouting commands from heaven, but by the total sacrifice of Jesus for us.
Jesus’ death on the cross challenges us to think about how seriously we take his love. Such love cuts right through the image of God simply doling out commands, and confronts us with an image of God sacrificing the very best that he had in order that we might grasp the reality and enormity of his love. Take a moment to hold before you an image of Jesus on the cross, and hear him ask you this question: ‘Now will you take my love seriously?’
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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