On the Gospel of John, Part 33: Light and Truth
In our last presentation from chapter 12 of the Gospel of John, we made the assertion that Self-sacrifice is the Ideal Sacrifice. Speaking of the sin which is made manifest by the Law, Paul had informed his readers in chapter 5 of his first epistle to the Corinthians to “7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us”, and then in chapter 10 of his epistle to the Hebrews Paul had written “11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” So there is no other sacrifice that Christians can make except where Christ Himself had admonished, as it is recorded in three gospels, that “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Therefore self-sacrifice is not only the ideal sacrifice, but it is the only sacrifice which is expected of Christians, and everything else, the rituals and the sacraments and the pretensions of piety, is superfluous and vain.
This is also evident where, the second time that this same admonition is recorded in the Gospel of Mark, in chapter 10, we see an exchange between Christ and a wealthy young man, which occurred after Christ, being in Judaea, had once again been challenged by the Pharisees, and then we read: “17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”