A Short Easter story.
All eyes were turned to the boy as he slowly progressed forward, cuddling the little lamb lying quietly in his arms. His mother silently watched from afar, her heart broken over a pain in her son’s deepest being that she could never kiss and make go away. His father walked beside him—stone faced. He could not betray his inner emotions, the turmoil welling up inside of him. How well he remembered his first sacrifice and the conflicting emotions that warred within him.
For weeks his son had loved and cherished this innocent creature, this spotless lamb. For weeks this lamb named Precious—for he was truly precious to the boy—grew to love and trust the boy, even curling at his feet during the long cold nights. Surely the boy would do nothing to harm him. This was “his boy” and he was “his Precious.”
Forward the boy continued, each step as if it weighed a ton, forcibly placing one foot in front of the other. He had known this day would come. He prepared for it as best he could. But how do you prepare for your heart being wrenched from the very depths of your soul?
Tears welled up in the back of his eyes, but no sound did he make. He was thirteen now. He was a man. He would show no weakness.
Very gently he placed his Precious on the altar before the priest. Lovingly, the boy placed his hand atop his Precious’ head. Precious looked up with sweet inquiring eyes, as if to say, “I trust you,” then obediently laid his head upon the altar.
In the flash of an instant, down slashed the knife through the throat of Precious. The boy was sure he saw that look of love in Precious’ eyes even as his life force seeped out and ebbed away.
The boy stood very still. “Good-bye my Precious,” he whispered.
Precious had willingly given up his life for the boy. The boy had willingly sacrificed his Precious, the one nearest and dearest to his heart, for his God.
Thus, did the boy experience his first true act of worship! In sacrificing that which was precious to him, he consecrated his allegiance to Him that is most precious of all!
Worship in its truest form: Total disregard for oneself, coupled with total regard for “He” who is most precious of all. In this story we come face to face with outward worship, the act of complete submission. We are also confronted with inward worship which comes from a heart wholly devoted to its God, even in the midst of pain.
From the very beginning man was created to exhibit both forms of worship. But man’s outward worship became nothing more than a show, not of submission, but of piousness and legalism. Transforming it from an act of devotion and submission into nothing more than cold-hearted selfishness. Proof to all around, including himself, that he was religious and God must accept him. This was never meant to be.
Animal sacrifice is no longer required. Christ’ death fulfilled the need for blood to be shed. His blood was sufficient for all. Yet, sacrifice was to remain an integral part of worship. What is the difference between then and now? Instead of lying an animal on the altar, we are to present ourselves as the sacrifice. A “living sacrifice,” (Romans 12:1) totally submitted to God.
Still, for many of us, we prefer to offer the animal sacrifice. A deed completed, easily forgotten, not to be remembered until the next day of sacrifice. Animal sacrifice was never intended to turn worship into a cold, mechanical act. It was meant to pierce deep into the soul. An act of love, bringing the eyes of all who participated to the Messiah—the one true Lamb who shed His blood for all.
Author’s note: I hope you enjoyed this this little story about worship. What did you think?