Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Smell of Sacrifice

For some people, working at your local Quizno's would be beneath them. Not this guy. I loved it. I loved the staining of my hands with banana pepper juice. I loved the dressing up in Quizno's Cup Mascot costume and scaring children. I even loved the onion slicing.

Well, sort of.

I was one of the only guys in the store who could handle slicing gallons of onions at a time. I'm not sure if I was trying to act tough or not, but all I know is some of my co-workers had a significantly lower tolerance for the smell of those onions and the tears they produced. I would watch as some of them sat red-faced and sliced away on our industrial onion-chopper, with their eyes pouring water like Moses' rock. We had a cool trick, though.

When someone could no longer handle the faucet their face had become, they ran to the walk-in freezer and, well... walked in. Almost instantly, the stinging pain of the onion's aroma disappeared. It was like a switch turned off, and there was no more burning.

"And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5)
This is the part of the show where unbelievers typically do not understand what I'm about to talk about. When Christians start talking about fountains filled with blood, a Ghost that's called Holy, or a sacrificial Lamb, things start to sound pretty weird. These words, which hold such symbolism of power, mercy, and forgiveness for the Christian, are cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs crazy for the one who does not follow God.

A fragrant offering would be one of those things. So let's dive into crazy.

Seeing as that it is Easter's Eve, I find it perfectly appropriate to reflect on the fact that God's sacrifice on the cross was the intersection of God's perfect joy and unrelenting torment. Joy because He knew that He had just paid for the sins of His people, and torment for the idea of being separated from the most perfect, life-giving union this world has ever seen. Every drop of Christ's blood was the sweet reflection that the most absurdly impossible feat of redemption had just been accomplished, securing God's victory in an act that, by all accounts, appeared to be His defeat. And while the offering was sweet, I know that there were was a sting to that offering. A red-faced, tearful sting.

But instead of walking into a freezer, Jesus walked out of a tomb.


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