I've been taking classes in American Sign Language at our local YMCA for about 8 weeks. We've gotten through the basics: family relations, pronouns, and everyday words for introductory conversation.
The last two weeks, however, we've been going through the "religious" words. Spirit, salvation, worship, bless, anoint, holy, sin, grace, hallelujah, baptize, etc. plus the signs for several denominations like Catholic, Jewish, AG, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Quaker, SDA, LDS, and Church of God.
But two in particular really struck me tonight.
The first is "crucify". Your thumbs go into your opposite palms like nails and then are "driven in" with a fist. There's something about signing that over and over and over for practice that drove home a real "ah ha" moment tonight. Picturing those nails...not to mention His life...all done for little ol' me.
The second was the sign for "sacrifice" and "give". They are very similar - the only difference is the way they begin. "Sacrifice" begins with both hands in a "S" of finger spelling at chest level and then you move your hands forward as if you are offering someone something. The tricky part, our instructor said, often is to remember to open your hands..."sacrifice doesn't work unless you open your hands to let it go."
How many times do we think we are giving something or of ourselves but never truly let go? Is it really a sacrifice for someone or, better yet, for God if we never truly let go of whatever it is?
I've heard it preached that God can handle your "baggage" but you have to give it to Him, let it go, and you can't pick it back up!! Praise God that this is true.
So, tonight, I'm remembering my Lord's true "sacrifice" for me through him being "crucified", nails driven through His hands and dying for me to allow me to let go of that baggage and find new life in Him.