TO be very realistic in life, we have to be ready and eager to become a sacrificial lamb. This is not bad news. This is Good News. Let me explain. Our problem is that, unfortunately, the expression, sacrificial lamb, has suffered a great diminution of appreciation in the world today. It is simply considered in the context of practical advantages and disadvantages of a given situation.
Obviously, with that frame of mind and only and exclusively with that attitude without any other higher consideration, no one would like to be a sacrificial lamb. Even the commonest of common sense would be averse to that idea. Everyone would like to flee from that predicament as much as possible. But the phenomenon of sacrificial lamb actually has a very wonderful significance. Our Christian faith tells us that given who and what we are, we have been taught right from the beginning of humanity, that we need to offer a sacrifice as a way of expressing and affirming the truth that we come from God and we also belong to him. God, our Father and Creator, has been the one who teaches us about this duty. He has also equipped us in our nature so that we can comply with this duty that only shows the intimate relation we have with God. In short, God, who is love, has been teaching us, who are his image and likeness, how to love.
This whole business of offering sacrifices is actually the language of love. It acts out the dynamics of love which is that of mutual self-giving between the lover and the beloved. Each party becomes both lover and beloved in the ideal state of love. In the beginning, the sacrifice was made by offering things. This started, when man was still in the state of original justice, as something easy and spontaneous to do. But with the entry of sin, this offering of sacrifice became more and more difficult and complicated to do. Inspite of sin, God continued in the flow of time to tutor humanity about this duty of making sacrifices. This process of divine tutelage passed through tumultuous route given man’s wounded condition. All sorts of resistance and rejection, distortion and confusion, tended to empty the meaning of sacrifice.
But God persisted by sending us his only Son who became the perfect and ultimate sacrifice, the true sacrificial lamb, who out of completely gratuitous love, and without deserving to suffer in any way, assumed all our sin, died to them and offered us a way to reconcile ourselves with God in a perfect way. It was John the Baptist who pointed out Jesus to us, calling him the Lamb of God. “Behold, the lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world.” (Jn 1,29) Christ is the one who bore all the sins of man, showing us the way of perfect love.
We have to understand from all this that the life and death of Christ, especially the supreme sacrifice of his life on the cross, should be the model and motive of our life and death as well. This is when the worst thing that can happen to us, that is, to be in sin, alienated from God, can turn into the best thing for us as well, as long as we know how to unite ourselves with Christ.
That is why we have to learn to make sacrifice, first of all, because, it is the most natural thing for us to do considering who and what we are in relation to God. Then, we have to make a sacrifice because we have to make up for our sins and mistakes. And ultimately we have to make sacrifice because we have to follow the example of Christ all the way. That is why, if for some reason or another we find ourselves in situations and predicaments that make us feel like sacrificial lambs, that is, made to suffer though we feel we don’t seem to deserve it, we should actually feel happy and privileged, because in that way, we are being conformed to Christ in his best act of love in a most intimate manner. It is good, therefore, that we condition ourselves to aim at being sacrificial lambs. We ought to welcome every opportunity to be so and somehow be happy with it. The saints and holy men and women through the ages have always felt that way. Thus if we suffer some extraordinary difficult problems and conditions, we should never fail to see the great blessing we are actually receiving.