“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6, NIV).
Do you know that God is personal? He is not some deistic being that never involves himself in our lives. Jesus' sacrifice on the cross is what offers us a personal God, but it is our “yes” in surrender of our will to His that gives a personal relationship with Him. His sacrifice of His life is the only thing that does make God personal. He, who was absolutely sinless, took our sin in order that each person could be set free from sin's control. God placed all the sins of the world on Jesus Christ, and all the things in our lives that separate us from His love. He took them to the cross for you and for me. You can't get much more personal than that. He absolutely surrendered himself for mankind. He gave his life and bore our sins so we might be healed and made whole. He surrendered his life for us. Such love calls for a response from you and me. You can't ignore such a sacrifice. You either accept it or reject it. If you accept it and surrender to Him, you discover the incredible depth of His love that gave all for you. If you reject it, you sacrifice the greatest love ever offered.
Accepting His love means that you surrender all of who you perceive yourself to be to who He knows you are. What is your response? What is mine? Do we allow Him just a little of ourselves, and reserve our total commitment? He is a personal God, but waits for us to approach Him. He doesn't force himself upon us. His love is a gift. He tells us that we can come boldly before Him in our time of need. Coming to Him in need means that you approach Him with your own surrender and sacrifice. What you lay on his altar is really yourself. So many times we don't want to lay that thing down that separates us from His love. Perhaps it is even a gift or a calling that He asks us to lay down for His sake. ,,,.just as He laid all down for ours. Sometimes we must lose the gift or the calling or whatever is important to us to understand that those things are not what really matter. What we perceive to be loss of self, is not that at all. In surrender, we discover our real identity. We discover a depth of joy and purpose such a complete sacrifice brings.
If we take our eyes off His sacrifice, we lose everything. If we say “no” we lose everything. If we lay down all that we have and all that we are, and place Him above everything else, we discover a personal God beyond human imagination. We discover the greatest love ever offered.