Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Let Us Offer the Well-Pleasing Sacrifice

For see, we have our victim on high, our priest on high, our sacrifice on high: let us bring such sacrifices as can be offered on that altar, no longer sheep and oxen, no longer blood and fat.  All these things have been done away; and there has been brought in their stead "the reasonable service." (Rom. 12:1)  But what is "the reasonable service?"  Those through the soul; those made through the spirit.  ("God," it is said, "is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth"— John 6:24); things which have no need of a body, no need of instruments, nor of special places, wherein each one is himself the priest, such as, moderation, temperance, mercy, enduring ill-treatment, long-suffering, humbleness of mind.

These sacrifices one may see in the Old Testament also, shadowed out beforehand.
Offer to God a sacrifice of righteousness (Ps. 4:5)
Offer a sacrifice of praise (Ps. 50:14)
A sacrifice of praise shall glorify Me (Ps. 50:23)
The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit (Ps. 51:17)
What does the Lord require of you (Mic. 6:8) but to hearken to Him?
Burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure in: then I said, Lo I come to do your will, O God! (Ps. 40:6-7)
To what purpose do you bring the incense from Sheba? (Jer. 6:20)
Take away from me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your viols. (Amos 5:23)
I will have mercy and not sacrifice. (Hos 6:6)
You see with what kind of "sacrifices God is well pleased." (Hos. 13:16)  You see also that already from the first the one class have given place, and these have come in their stead.  These therefore let us bring….  And as much as a man is superior to a sheep, so much is this sacrifice superior to that; for here you offer your soul as a victim.

John Chrysostom, Homilies on Hebrews 11.5

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