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“The Lord Will Fight For You”

“A Pleasing Aroma”

     In Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, as God gave instructions for the offerings, He described the smoke rising from the fire of the sacrifices as a pleasing aroma: “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).
     The ancient Israelites did not understand what God was doing and why He was pleased with their sacrifices. The Israelites offered their burnt offerings in faith so that God’s wrath could be avoided and His blessings received, waiting for this mystery to be made known.
     The psalmist seemed to see beyond the shadow of the sacrifices into the substance of Christ when he wrote, seemingly speaking for the Messiah: “In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me” (Psalm 40:6-7).
     In themselves, there was nothing pleasing or satisfactory in the various offerings prescribed in the ceremonial law. Neither the victim pouring forth its blood nor the fine flour rising in the smoke from the altar could bring pleasure to God. They were pleasing to God because the offerings were made in faith and had the scent of the One who would come, the
One who would eventually make them obsolete. In the shadow itself no genuine atonement was made. It was whom they pointed to—Christ alone—who made full atonement. Paul wrote that “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2). On Golgotha, a transaction was made between God the Father and God the Son. And the single determinant of a sinner’s relationship with God is that the sacrifice offered there was pleasing to Him.
     Christ’s sacrifice was pleasing to the Lord because it demonstrated God’s love in the most complete and perfect way possible. It was a tangible, unmistakable, worldwide demonstration of the way God loves sinners.

By Pastor Edwards         

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