And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar, as a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. (Leviticus 1:9)
At the beginning of the book of Leviticus, the Lord speaks to Moses out of the tabernacle and tells him how the people of Israel are to offer sacrifices (1:1-2).
When we think of the sacrificial system in Leviticus, we typically think of it as God’s way of atoning for the sins of His people prior to the coming of Christ—the Lamb He would offer (Jn. 1:29). In this way, Old Testament sacrifices are most commonly seen as something reparative, restoring the breach that sin has caused between God and His people.
However, this is not what is being conveyed at the beginning of Leviticus. The first set of sacrifices God brings up (ch. 1) are not reparative; instead they are to be understood as “a spontaneous act of worship offered to God in praise and thanksgiving,” as one scholar notes. Exodus 35:29 captures the essence of this type of sacrifice when it says that each person brought an offering to the Lord as their “heart moved them.” According to Leviticus, this kind offering is a pleasing aroma to God because of what it reveals about the heart of the giver.
Might it be that how God reveals the sacrificial system communicates something about His intentions for our worship?
Worship is not meant to be an action we undertake in order to get something from God. Instead, it is intended to be a posture we assume in order to love Him. Reparations were necessary in the sacrificial system, but one thing in the Christian life is ultimate: sincere love for God overflowing from a heart that is wholly devoted to Him—to knowing Him, loving Him, and being in His presence.
The most devoted worshipers don’t want anything from God but God Himself.
So let us see to it that the sacrifice we offer to God this Sunday is a pleasing aroma to Him.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Rom. 12:1)
PRAYER AND REFLECTION:
- Have you thought about why it is you’re coming to church this Sunday? Will you come for More Jesus? Will you come to present yourself to Him as a living sacrifice?
- Pray about Sunday morning and ask the Lord to speak to you and meet you in a powerful way. See to it that church will be nothing less than a way for you to love and worship the God who has redeemed you.
Set List for Sunday, September 08, 2019:
- Welcome the Healer (B. Brown, S. Curran, J. Johnson, B. Younker)
- Worthy Of Your Name (B. Brown, S. Curran, B. Younker)
- What A Beautiful Name (B. Fielding, B. Ligertwood)
- Great Are You Lord (J. Ingram, L. Jordan, D. Leonard)
- Doxology (T. Ken)