I have to say that my two favorite breakfast foods are bacon and eggs. The bacon needs to be extra crisp almost to the point of being burnt and the egg yolks nice and runny. I like to break the egg yolks so I can sop up their deliciousness with my toast. It makes me hungry for breakfast just thinking about it. I never thought that my favorite breakfast foods could teach me about how I should be living my life for Christ and what real sacrifice is. For that, we’ll need to think about breakfast a little different.
Bacon and eggs provide the perfect allegory of sacrifice. We have two players here, the chicken and the pig. Both contributed to my morning meal. Both had to sacrifice something. Now the chicken I’m sure had to work hard at laying the egg. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to lay an egg. I remember what it was like passing a kidney stone and that thing was tiny compared to the average egg. She also had to part with her precious egg that she worked so hard to lay. Not that she really had a choice in this manner, but lets not take away from the act. Now the pig, the pig is another story. The pig couldn’t just give part of himself to provide the bacon for my breakfast. The pig had to give up his whole body. Again, I don’t think the pig really had a choice but lets just go with it.
So what does this have to do with following Christ? Following Christ requires sacrifice. We can choose to give a part of ourselves like the chicken. Sure we might suffer a little in the process, but in the long run, our sacrifice really doesn’t affect our lives. You recover and continue to produce eggs. Or, we can give our whole self. We can deny what we are and give our life as a sacrifice.
In Matthew 19, Jesus is asked by the unnamed rich man, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” (Matt. 19:16). Jesus’ answer is simple, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. then come, follow me.” (Matt. 19:21). I’m sure this man in thinking, I lived a good live, I’m a good person, maybe if I just have to give a little more on Sunday morning and I’ll be all set. But Jesus knew the truth. He told him, you are putting your heart in the wrong place. Let go of the things that keep you from giving me your all and come follow me. This man had been living his life like the chicken, giving some but not all. Jesus asked him to be the pig and give up everything. When the rich man realized he would have to give up everything, he turned away sad. What Jesus asks each of us to sacrifice is unique to each individual. It may be money as it was for the rich man, or it may be friends. Only God knows what it is for you.
Jesus asks us to give up everything to follow him, but he also promises much in return. “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Matt. 19:29)
Each one of us must make a decision. Am I a pig or a chicken? Will I sacrifice lay down my life to follow Christ? If you haven’t done so yet, take this opportunity to commit to follow Christ. Ask Him to show you what has been holding you back from having a committed relationship with Christ, and then ask Him to help you walk away from it.