Christ A Sweet Savour To God For Us

Leviticus 1, 2

The first sacrifice offered was one of sweet savour. For this there had to be taken of the cattle, from the herds or the flocks, a male without blemish representing Christ without sin. On its head the offerer laid his hand when brought before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, that it might be favourably received for him before Jehovah: not taking from the offerer his iniquities but transferring to him its sweet savour when wholly burnt on the altar, yet making atonement for him. If of fowls, the offering was to be of turtle doves or of young pigeons.

In chapter 2 we have a meat or rather a cake-offering of fine flour with oil poured on it and frankincense, which like the burnt-sacrifice was consumed on the altar, though not wholly, for the priest took from it his handful of the flour and of the oil with all the frankincense. Christ alone is unleavened. He was conceived of the Holy Ghost as well as Son of Mary; Matt. 1; Luke 1.

God has accepted the offering that Christ presented to Him, not only the sacrifice for sin, which comes afterwards in chapter 4, etc., but also the sweet savour of His life which was perfect.

Christ accepted the will of His Father in all its extent, going down, so to speak, from humiliation to humiliation, going on from obedience to obedience, always perfect but perfect as He grew up a man. He advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men (Luke 2); not that His obedience was ever less than perfection, but that it became ever more painful and difficult, till it went even up to death— death of the cross. The world rejected Him always more and more. There was found in the world only a sepulchre for Him.

Christ perfectly glorified His Father. He rendered testimony to the holiness of His will by accepting it altogether. We on the contrary seek but too often to exalt ourselves even among our brethren; we want their esteem and their respect. Christ sought but “one thing,” the glory of His Father, and not His own. For it, and so for us, He always went lower and lower down in this world. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him. He is accepted fully and on high; and if God is satisfied with Christ, we also ought surely to be satisfied with Him. We can find all repose for our hearts in Christ. Are you tired of the world, weary of the desert of sin, of strife? Well then look to Christ, where only is rest, perfect rest for conscience and heart. He is the sacrifice and the offering of good savour.

Christ was perfectly holy, though He took part in blood and flesh, as the children had their common lot in the same, and was tempted in all things (sin excepted) in like manner with us. He fulfilled all righteousness; Matt. 3. He was Himself baptised, when the penitents flocked to John confessing their sins. If He thus put Himself on a level with the Baptist (“thus it becometh us,” etc.), He puts Himself also on a level with Peter (Matt. 17) when the temple tribute was demanded, whilst displaying His divine wisdom and power in making the most unruly and inaccessible of creatures serve His good pleasure.

But it was not allowed to burn cakes which contained leaven or honey; Lev. 2:11. Oil was there, the Spirit of God; and also the salt of His covenant; but leaven represented the sin we have in us which gives its character to our bodies as they are; and God could not accept it as being corrupt. Neither could honey any more be offered, representing the sweetness of nature which God gives to us by the way, in which our hearts can find some refreshment. So literally did it happen to Jonathan when faint; 1 Sam. 14. All that man has at his disposal is spoilt and cannot be offered to God; nothing can but the fife of Christ as the meat-offering, and His death as the burnt-sacrifice, to say nothing here of His suffering for our sins and trespasses. In His perfection throughout God the Father finds His pleasure. Christ is all and in all.

As a new creation in Christ we are called to manifest what God is, not in miraculous power, but in doing and suffering all the will of the Father, owning and proclaiming it as alone good in obedience. It is only Christ who has thus absolutely glorified the Father. Even when He poured forth His deepest expressions of grief such as He alone knew, not a murmur escaped Him. Yea, when forsaken of His God and acknowledging it, He adds, “But thou continuest holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel,” Psalm 22. Job on the other hand, though he had not his equal on the earth, could only say, “Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived… Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul, which long for death, and it cometh not,” etc. Such on the one hand was a perfect and an upright man; not such on the other was Christ. In all things He has the pre-eminence.