He offers an exchange: His life for ours. He showed us what He meant by giving Himself. The overwhelming fact of the Son’s obedience to the Father—hell itself harrowed by the Infinite Majesty—does it not call us far out of ourselves, far beyond the pitiful, calculating, cowardly, self-serving, self-saving pursuit of what the world calls happiness?
He offers us love, acceptance, forgiveness, a weight of glory, fullness of joy. Is it so hard to offer back the gifts that came in the first place from the wounded hands—body, mind, place, time, possessions, work, feelings?
We have not, of course, exhausted the list of things to be surrendered. We have included only a sampling as an aid to perceiving the principle of self-offering that works this way:
If we suffer with Christ, we will reign with Him.
If a grain of wheat dies, it produces fruit.
If we relinquish our mourning, God gives us a garment of praise.
If we bring our sins, He replaces them with a robe of righteousness.
Joy comes not in spite of, but because of, sorrow.
When discipline becomes a glad surrender, “Every day we experience something of the death of Jesus, so that we may also know the power of the life of Jesus in these bodies of ours.”
Elliot, Elisabeth. 2021. Joyful Surrender: 7 Disciplines for the Believer’s Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell.