07-13-08 Fragrance of Christ in Leviticus--2 Grain
Leviticus 2:1-3; 11-13.
OT vs. NT animal sacrifices; why?
Points to observe:
1. No blood was shed in the “meat” or grain offering described in this chapter. In this offering we see a depiction of Jesus’ perfect life, not a depiction of His death and atonement for our sins.
2. Only a portion of the grain was offered to God; the residue was eaten by the priests. Interestingly the offerer did not eat it. Jesus states that He came not to be ministered unto but to minister. (Matthew 20:28) As we follow His example in our own lives, we seek not our own interests and desires but we seek to minister to others, not to be done for personal gain, but as an act of service to God and for the benefit of others. “Others; Lord, yes, others….”
3. The content of the offering involved grain, created by God and cultivated and grown by the worshipper. We fulfill this blend of sacrificial elements when we use what God has given us to His glory and for His purpose, purpose always set forth in Scripture. Distinguish new birth/eternal salvation from discipleship.
The purpose of our own godly conduct must find its anchor in the life-example of our Lord, a primary truth of this offering. Why did He do similar good things? What was His motive? We should follow not only His action, but do good from similar motives.
4. Basic symbolism. Fine flour, “the staff of life,” likely depicts Jesus’ perfect life; oil, a common Biblical symbol of the Holy Spirit, particularly in His anointing for holy work (John 3:34); frankincense, a common Biblical symbol for prayer, a strong and attractive odor, but only released to go up by fire; salt, always with salt, a vivid reminder of God’s covenant with His people; no leaven here, no sin in Jesus’ life; no honey here, a symbol of natural appeal or sweetness.
C. H. Mackintosh, “There are few things in which we exhibit more failure than in maintaining vigorous communion with the perfect manhood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence it is that we suffer so much from vacancy, barrenness, restlessness, and wandering. Did we but enter, with a more artless faith, into the truth that there is a real Man, at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens — One whose sympathy is perfect, whose love is fathomless, whose power is omnipotent, whose wisdom is infinite, whose resources are exhaustless, whose riches are unsearchable, whose ear is open to our every breathing, whose hand is open to our every need, whose heart is full of unspeakable love and tenderness towards us — how much more happy and elevated we should be, and how much more independent of creature streams, through what channel soever they may flow! There is nothing the heart can crave which we have not in Jesus. Does it long for genuine sympathy? Where can we find it, save in Him who could mingle His tears with those of the bereaved sisters of Bethany? Does it desire the enjoyment of sincere affection? It can only find it in that heart which told forth its love in drops of blood. Does it seek the protection of real power? It has but to look to Him who made the world. Does it feel the need of unerring wisdom to guide? Let it betake itself to Him who is wisdom personified, and who of God is made unto us wisdom." In one word, we have all in Christ. The divine mind and the divine affections have found a perfect object in the man Christ Jesus;" and, surely, if there is that in the Person of Christ which can perfectly satisfy God, there is that which ought to satisfy us, and which will satisfy us, in proportion as, by the grace of the Holy Ghost, we walk in communion with God.
…In those who bear the name of Jesus, we know, too well, alas! how leaven shows itself in all its properties and effects. There has been but one untainted sheaf of human fruit — but one perfectly unleavened meat offering; and, blessed be God, that one is ours — ours to feed upon in the sanctuary of the divine presence, in fellowship with God. No exercise can be more truly edifying and refreshing for the renewed mind than to dwell upon the unleavened perfectness of Christ's humanity — to contemplate the life and ministry of One who was, absolutely and essentially, unleavened. In all His springs of thought, affection, desire, and imagination, there was not so much as a particle of leaven. He was the sinless, spotless, perfect Man. And the more we are enabled, by the power of the Spirit, to enter into all this, the deeper will be our experience of the grace which led this perfect One to place Himself under the full consequences of His people's sins, as He did when He hung upon the cross.
…There are few things which the servant of Christ finds more difficult than to adjust, with spiritual accuracy, the claims of natural relationship, so as not to suffer them to interfere with the claims of the Master. How we struggle with balance in our lives! Consider Jesus as the perfectly balanced man. Example: Mary; “…about my Father’s business?” “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” “Behold thy mother.” The model of discipleship, “Seek ye first….” A wheel with God and His righteousness at the hub, not a vertical list of do and don’t.
…The plain fact is this, there was nothing either in Christ's humanity, or in the nature of His associations, which could possibly connect Him with sin, or wrath, or death. He was made sin" on the cross; and there He endured the wrath of God, and there He gave up His life, as an all-sufficient atonement for sin; but nothing of this finds a place in the meat offering. True, we have the process of baking — the action of fire; but this is not the wrath of God. The meat offering was not a sin offering, but a sweet savour" offering.
…If only we are self-emptied, our every act may emit a sweet odour to God. The smallest as well as the greatest services may, by the power of the Holy Ghost, present the fragrance of Christ.
"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;" (Philippians 1:29, KJV)
"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." (Colossians 4:6, KJV)
"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." (Hebrews 13:15, KJV)