When we think of “sacrifice”, the image that comes to our minds is that of God sending his Son to die for our sins, a fire-fighter who runs into a burning building to save someone trapped inside, or a mother giving up her life to shield her child from the danger of an oncoming car. But sacrifice is more than giving up life. To maintain relationships, we often must sacrifice of ourselves daily.
The moment sin entered the world this reality of sacrifice was introduced by God. The nature of sin demanded a sacrifice in order to salvage the broken relationship we had with Him. Although he did not cause the break in relationship, in order to restore us, He reached out to make the way for reconciliation. Sin is dangerous and ruinous and in order for the person who was wronged to make an effort to restore the offender to a good relationship s/he will have to sacrifice something. In our current societal structure if a person stole from us, it’s not enough for the offender to acknowledge his/her wrongs and ask for forgiveness. It is required that the criminal pay a debt to society, by serving time. This penal system does not do anything to restore the two parties to a right relationship.
Through God’s great love for us he offered Himself as a means of paying the debt we owe Him, as it is written, the wages of sin is death. Hence the solution for sin is sacrifice and when we walk as Christians, we practice a life of sacrifice for the benefit of others (friends and foes). In practical terms we make the first move and sacrificially reach out to those who wronged us in order to restore the broken relationship (when it is possible).
Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou? 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.