In the Old Testament, those who worshiped God participated in animal sacrifice. The believer took their sacrifice to the temple, put the animal to death, and placed its body on the altar to be consumed in the fire. Because of their sin, the worshiper should have been the one who died. But God, in his great mercy, allowed the animal to die in place of the believer. culminated
As significant as it was for an animal to die instead of the believer, this gracious, sacrificial system culminated in Jesus when God sent his Son to die on the cross. Jesus—the perfect substitute—died on our behalf. He paid the penalty of our sin one time for all time. God’s great mercy for us was vividly demonstrated in the death of his Son, Jesus.
Now, as those whose sins have been paid for by Jesus, Paul used the past system to present a fresh start. Because of God’s great mercies, we can present ourselves before God.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Because of God’s great mercy, we are to give our whole selves to him. We are to offer our whole lives, every moment of every day, as a “living sacrifice.” Jesus did not hold out on us. Now it’s our turn. Don’t hold out on him. Follow hard after him with a fresh start.
Lord Jesus, thank you for going to the cross on my behalf. Now, please help me keep giving myself to you as a living sacrifice. Amen.