We can be extremely thankful that Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of man. The burnt offerings instituted by God in the Old Testament were quite a to-do.
Each animal offered, had to meet the Lord’s expectations. They needed to choose specific animals, properly kill them, then place and burn them correctly on the altar.
If the animal you present as a burnt offering is from the herd, it must be a male with no defects. . . Then the priest will burn the entire sacrifice on the altar as a burnt offering. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. Leviticus 1:3, 9
The Definition of “Ultimate”
The word ultimate means, “being or happening at the end of a process; final.” The sacrifice of an animal in the Old Testament was anything but ultimate. Yet God required them.
Lay your hand on the animal’s head, and the Lord will accept its death in your place to purify you, making you right with him. Leviticus 1:4
After the Lord accepted the animal, whether it was a cow, ox, sheep, or goat, the priest killed it. God considered the blood shed by each of those animals very important.
Why was God so interested in the blood? He made this liquid that runs through the veins of all air-breathing creatures uniquely different than any other.
The life-giving qualities of blood transports oxygen throughout each of these living beings. It’s a substance that scientists have tried to duplicate but without success.
Then slaughter the young bull in the Lord’s presence, and Aaron’s sons, the priests, will present the animal’s blood by splattering it against all sides of the altar that stands at the entrance to the Tabernacle. Leviticus 1:5
The priests first fulfilled the requirements of the blood. Then they proceeded with God’s instructions with the rest of the animal’s body. The next few verses explain this process to us.
Preparing the Sacrifice on the Altar
- Then skin the animal and cut it into pieces.
- The sons of Aaron the priest will build a wood fire on the altar.
- They will arrange the pieces of the offering, including the head and fat, on the wood burning on the altar.
- But the internal organs and the legs must first be washed with water. Leviticus 1:6-9
The priests burned it before the Lord. It wasn’t the ultimate sacrifice, but He accepted it. Throughout the Old Testament, they presented thousands of these offerings before the Lord.
They needed to offer so many of these sacrifices because their sinful ways continued. And God hates sin. These sacrifices though could only remind them of how sinful they were.
One February I took advantage of an unusually warm evening we experienced in the northeast by grilling some hamburgers. Those burgers smelled delicious as they sizzled on that grill.
Also on occasion, we will put a roast in the crockpot to let it slow cook all day. Then upon our arrival in the evening, that mouth-watering aroma would meet us as we walked through the door.
So . . . What is My Point?
When the priests would sacrifice an animal, they cut it up and laid the pieces on the fire. While on the coals the meat began to cook. Can you imagine how good that beef would have smelled?
It probably gave off such an aroma that one might be tempted to slice off a piece. But as the sacrifice continued, it moved past the cooking stage to eventually burn to a black crisp.
Every cow or ox, lamb or goat, they laid on the altar served as a valuable object lesson. While each offering burned before the Lord, the stench continually got worse.
It served as a reminder of how wretched the Lord views sin. In fact, the aroma was a sweet smell to God compared to the stench of the sin of His people.
Jesus is the Ultimate Sacrifice
Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for us as described by the writer of Hebrews. His blood was poured out for our sins when He was lifted up from the earth on a cross.
How much more will the sacred blood of the Messiah thoroughly cleanse our consciences! For by the power of the eternal Spirit he has offered himself to God as the perfect Sacrifice that now frees us from our dead works to worship and serve the living God. Hebrews 9:14
The writer of Hebrews continued by telling us the benefit of Christ being our ultimate sacrifice. All because Jesus, our Savior, conquered death and the grave.
Just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. Hebrews 9:27-28
When we accept this ultimate sacrifice of Jesus for ourselves, our lives then become a sweet aroma to the Lord. And He uses us like a sweet fragrance.
Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15
Because Jesus became our ultimate sacrifice we now can offer a continual sacrifice of praise to God.
Lord, thank you that we don’t have to offer a sacrifice that would just remind us of our sins. But because of Jesus our ultimate and final sacrifice, we can bow before you and receive total forgiveness for all our sins
Check out these other posts written on verses in Leviticus
- Unintentional Sin, What Happens When I Commit One?
- Focus Your Life On The Requirements Of God
- May The Blessings Of The Lord Be Upon You
- The Feast Of Unleavened Bread
- Confess Your Sins To God
- Is The Grain Offering Relevant for Us Today?
- Year Of Jubilee, An Act Of Faith
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