13… the priest shall bring it all and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.
The Old Testament has many references to burnt offerings being made. When the offered animals are killed, their heads were cut off, fat removed, and the entrails and legs were washed. All these may seem gross to us now, but back then, this kind of burnt offerings were described as a sweet smelling aroma to God.
Why is this so?
Well, the burnt offerings of the past is actually a picture that speaks of the perfect offering of Jesus which is to come. The killing of the animals was a symbol of the sweet sacrifice and the death of Jesus, who has “given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma”(Ephesians 5:2).
The head of the sacrificed animal represents Christ’s Mind, which was offered as a covering for our own. Therefore, even though our minds are often cluttered with worries, unbelief, foolish thoughts, and earthly distractions, God sees us as if we have the Mind of Christ, perfect and without a single displeasing thought, a true sweet aroma to Him.
The fat of the animals, on the other hand, represents the Riches of Jesus, His very Best, as God often spoke of the fat of something as the best of that object (Genesis 45:18). Therefore, the fat of the burnt offerings depicted the act of Jesus giving us His Riches, and His very Best through the sweet sacrifice of love. So God now sees us not in our poverty and lack (both spiritually and physically), but in all the Excellence and Riches of Christ our Lord.
The entrails or intestines of the animals then represent the emotions of Christ, His feelings and motivations, His affections and desires. Therefore, although we are often faced with negative emotions, like those of anger, hate, confusion, anxiety, and worry, God no longer sees them. Instead, all He sees are the perfect desires of Jesus, the desires to please God in everything He does, all pure, all perfect, all pleasing to our Lord.
Lastly, the legs of the animals refer to the perfect walk of Jesus, in which He completely and perfectly served and obeyed the Lord. It is used as a covering for our own walk with God, making our imperfections perfect, and our crooked ways straight in the eyes of the Lord.
The Sweet Sacrifice - A Pefect Offering
Now do you see how the perfect offering of Jesus is a sweet sacrifice to God? Not only did His finished work cover our sins once and for all, it also covered our minds, our thoughts, our poverty, our lack, our negative emotions, our imperfect walk, and everything that falls short of the perfection that God desires of us. In return, He gave us all of His very Best, perfect righteousness, wholeness of mind and spirit, all glory and riches, and most importantly, a completely perfect walk with God.
Jesus truly is a Sweet Sacrifice to God!
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