Sacrifice to Mercy

mercy1Giving up something for the benefit of another—that is sacrifice simplified. In baseball, lessons are taught on the proper way to sacrifice: how to hold the bat, how to stand, and how to follow through. In families, parents demonstrate the need to sacrifice in order to raise children to become adults that contribute to society. Co-workers sacrifice schedules in order to assist a peer with needs they have.  Couples sacrifice wants in order to show their love and commitment to the one another.

Can sacrifice reach a place where it is too much? Can we be confident that we are accurately defining the sacrifice?  Can you recall your first sacrifice?

As we count down the days to Easter, many feel pleased with themselves because they have been successful in “giving up” something in preparation for Easter. They have set aside 40 days of having no coffee, social media, fast food, sedentary habits, or whatever they desire most. It can feel good to experience such delayed gratification. To prove to yourself that you can live without Twitter or Starbucks. To be able to say, “I did it!”

As I examine scripture and read what it has to say, it is clear that in the Old Testament, so much effort was put into the sacrifice itself. It was quite an event. Sacrifice is described using words like prepare and go, “Let us go and make sacrifices to our God,” providing the reader with a picture of all that it would take to sacrifice to our God. It took days of preparation that ultimately ended in offering up the sacrifice.

The New Testament changes the established approach to sacrifice in the first book. In Matthew 9:13 we find the words, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” In Matthew 12:7 we read, “If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.”

WOW! That’s what my heart felt as I read those words.

He desires mercy.

He desires mercy.

After Christ was raised, mercy became the sacrifice. Through His death and sacrificial death, I am now free to offer mercy. Instead of the preparation needed for sacrifices offered previously, I have been given the opportunity to offer mercy.




No preparation, no going into the mountains or desert to offer it—I can offer mercy at any moment. Again I think, WOW! What a privilege.



Sacrifice to mercy provides us with a way to be his hands and feet. We can reach others immediately, if we choose to.

This New Testament mercy provides a pathway for us to be as responsive as He needs us to be, if we choose to.

Mercy as we come to understand it, provides us with a way to share the truth, it builds in us a desire to share the truth as He has given it, if we choose to.

When I let the words of scripture penetrate my heart, I am blessed to be able to offer mercy instead of a sacrifice. As I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, I pray that I offer mercy to others as He intends.

Alleluia He is Risen, and I serve a risen Lord!

Connie Ambrecht
Founder & CEO
Sparrow Solutions Group

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