The moment God the Son left Heaven and became a wee little embryo, the sacrifice began.
Every tear He cried because He was hungry, tired, or had a tummy ache was a sacrifice. Every drop of blood from skinned knees and split lips. Every time a neighbor died, every time He saw a loved one suffer. Wearing shoes, having an itch, being stung by a bee, eating, breathing, sleeping were part of the sacrifice. Every headache, every smashed thumb, every day – a sacrifice.
He was God. He didn't have to be here. He chose to be. He chose to leave Paradise and come to live among men. The sacrifice was in the coming and in the living.
We all know He sacrificed Himself in His death. When He hung upon that cross and bore terrible physical pain. The moment that He took my sin upon Himself and wore it as a covering; that was the greatest sacrifice of all. When God the Father looking down could no longer bear the sight of His own Son because He was wearing my clothes. Jesus looked like me hanging there in that filth and grime, the sins of my soul, and the Father turned away. God the Son forsaken by God the Father. God forsaken by God. Christ the man hanging utterly alone dripping with my wickedness mingled with His atoning blood. Then He could give to me His spotless robe so that when the Father looks at me, He sees Christ's Righteousness and I am accepted. The sacrifice.
But it began the moment He stepped into time. The instant He was conceived in a young woman's womb.
This is Emmanuel. God With Us.
God bless us, every one.