In the time of Christ, sacrifice was nothing new to the Jewish people. The Israelites were experts at sacrifice. So, after centuries of every kind of offering imaginable, what was so special about Christ’s? What made it so different from the sacrifices offered by the Levitical priests for centuries before his death?
Well, to adequately answer that question would consume whole volumes. And, of course, the first and most important reason is that Christ was the son of God and the savior of the world, not a random (if “unblemished”) lamb offering. It was only by the blood of Christ that we could be redeemed.
But another answer is this: Christ’s sacrifice cost him. In fact, it cost him everything. The offerings made by the Israelites through their priests cost them too, of course. They gave of their flocks, of their household stores, of their wealth. But Christ gave differently. He gave of himself. He gave until it was all gone.
Such is the highest form of stewardship: the gift of self to the point of discomfort. It can take a multitude of forms and I am not saying we are all called to be nailed to the cross. In fact, for most of us, our gifts will not involve physical discomfort at all. But certainly, stewardship demands discomfort. It demands that we go against our human nature of putting ourselves first, of thinking primarily of our own needs and desires. And most of all, it demands love. For that, above all else, distinguished the gift Christ gave us.
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS