A Good Ending

36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered” (Romans 8).

In those days, the ultimate purpose for any sheep was simply the provision of a meal.  That’s it.  A sheep was simply “considered” a beast to raise and feed and ultimately “slaughter” for its food.

Now, this word “considered” here, is the very same word for the word “numbered,” when Jesus said He was, “numbered with transgressors” (Luke 22:37).

Our identification with the death and resurrection and glory of Christ is wonderful — but it also means being “considered” to have no other value outside of providing “food” for those outside of Christ who would devour us.  They “number” us alongside all those who “transgress” their ways and do not follow their worldly rules and standards.  We, like salmon, swim against the cultural current, and are swallowed up by bears poised upstream in waiting for their meal.

With this as our lot, we might despair — if not for the three little words: “For Your sake!”  Is all the slight and hatred by this world toward us not worth it for the sake of our Lord Jesus?  As a young Christian I remember hearing many prayers end with the words, “In Jesus’ name and for His sake.”  This is indeed a good ending.

Lord, help us This Day to consider our lives as an offering to You — that everything we do should be for Your sake, and any mistreatment by the world should be considered worth it — for Your sake.  Amen.