My last post was about Rob Bell's video "The God's aren't angry", which discusses the broad trend across ancient civilizations to make sacrifices to appease the Gods. Today I saw the conclusion, and he said we look back on ancient civilizations as barbaric, but he asks is it still true today... People sacrifice large pieces of their lives for success, and acceptance... some people still even cut and mutilate themselves. Today we would say those people have disorders, but it's not significantly different from the psychology of ancient civilizations. Today there is a sense of coming to God to avoid going to hell... or God will help you prosper, but that's the same mentality of ancient religions.
The message of the first Christians that you can let go of the guilt, shame, anxiety, and reasons you make pointless sacrifices. That the Gods aren't angry... and to those who sacrifice their lives... "You don't have to live like this."
The idea has a twist, and that is that you even though Christ has sacrificed himself for you, you should sacrifice yourself for others, that you should be a living sacrifice, that you should do stuff to help others out.