Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. – Romans 12:1
Do you want to really worship God? Here is how He says to do it: offer yourself as a living sacrifice.
To people familiar with animal sacrifice, this must have been a very powerful image. They had made them for generation after generation. This was not to appease God’s anger or as a way to get His attention, but as a sign that sin was serious and resulted in giving something up in a significant way. It was a reminder that sin took us from being close to God and brought about death.
But Jesus’ death and resurrection has done away with all that. He provided a once and for all sacrifice, a complete payment and forgiveness of our sins. That was an amazing display of God’s love and mercy, and completely turned around the meaning of the word “sacrifice.”
We no longer need something to cover our wrongs. We are forgiven. We no longer need to be reminded that sin separates us from God. We are forgiven. We can come to Him at any time knowing He also wants to be with us. We are forgiven.
And because we are forgiven, we give up our own pursuits and pleasures and seek to please our Father. We offer our service and selves to Him. This is what it means to be a living sacrifice. He has given us new life, transformed us, and we are alive as we never have been before. We give this “aliveness” back to Him.
That is real worship: I am alive, and here I am — all for you Lord! I’m a living sacrifice!