I was inspired to illustrate this fact after reading a small excerpt from Tim Keller’s book, Center Church, which he attributes to Ajith Fernando.
“Have you ever had an infected wound or sore? When you open it, what comes rolling out? Pus. And what is that? It is basically the collective corpses of white blood cells fighting the infection that have died so that you may live. Do you see? Substitutionary salvation is in your very blood.”
What an analogy! It’s mind boggling to think that our bodies are being saved without us even knowing it. It’s even worse when you consider that we’re both unaware and unable to actively participate.
So why is it that such a glorious, salvific act finds it’s culminative expression in a disgusting, white-yellowish ooze? It’s seems horribly ironic and an undeserving end to a good story.
That is, until we remember that the most significant acts of sacrifice we’ve witnessed, given, or received were messy, misunderstood, and not always immediately appreciated. Through another lens, the act or result can look ugly, or even embarrassing.
True sacrifice has to endure through suffering AND shame. Torture AND mockery. It’s a willingness to look foolish to every one else while hoping that the object of your love will flourish.
The Cross is the perfect expression of real sacrificial love. It fully embodies the duality of foolishness and glory. Jesus of Nazareth was tortured, mocked, and died on a Cross 2000 some years ago to offer God’s incredible love and forgiveness to sinful humanity. Jesus substituted himself for us before we were even capable of acknowledging it so that we would have the chance to truly live. It has more to do than just cells and science. Sacrifice is in your blood.