Two professors were having breakfast together and were debating whether making a contribution or making a sacrifice were essentially different. After some time both looked down and one remarked, “Of course our breakfast plates really hold the answer, for surely the chicken made only a contribution but the pig a sacrifice?”
Very recently we have been remembering the massive personal cost that the world wars and the more recent conflicts have entailed, sacrifices that are still being made to this day. But let me ask you this – what of Jesus? What category does Jesus fit in, was his a contribution or a sacrifice? You might say: “Well that’s a bit of a silly question isn’t it? Surely he gave up his life on the cross?” But let me propose to you that a very large majority only see Jesus in terms of a one who made a contribution. Allow me to explain.
We say, as a great teacher, Jesus has made a stunning contribution to mankind. As a great healer, he contributed wonderful wholeness. As a great leader, he has contributed more than perhaps any other single individual in all of history to utterly inspire people. So then, what of you? Do you place Jesus in that category of one who has made a matchless contribution to humanity?
If so let me suggest your focus is wrong – the bible too gives us the key on a plate. All four gospels make Jesus’ death and not his life the main thing thus his is a sacrifice and not a contribution. So then: “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” 1 John 2 verse 2