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Good Morning.

And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. (Leviticus 1:9)

I have often meditated upon the notion that a sacrifice burning upon the altar was considered, by God, to be a “sweet aroma.” I find it intriguing because God is Spirit and, therefore, the axiom most likely isn’t intended to mean He appreciates the smell of burning flesh. More likely, it has something to do with the thoughts and intentions behind the presentation of the sacrifice, that is, the expression of someone’s repentant, contrite and obedient heart.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul addressed the generosity demonstrated to him by those in Philippi stating that they had shared in his distress and were, at times, the only ones to give him aid. He connects their generosity and sacrifice to the offerings that were placed on the altar saying that he had received, “the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Messiah Yeshua” (Philippians 4:18-19). 

It seems reasonable to conclude that, it’s not the sacrifice itself that ascends to God as a “sweet smelling aroma” but the kindness, consideration and self-denial expressed by His people that is so pleasing to Him. The epitome of self-denial and obedience to the Father’s Will is the sacrifice made by Yeshua, and so then, it should not be surprising to find that Paul connects Messiah’s sacrifice to this same concept. In his epistle to the church is Ephesus, Paul encouraged them to follow the example of Yeshua saying that they were to be “imitators of God” and to “Walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

Therefore, let us commit ourselves to walk in love knowing that, as we do, we are imitators of God. Furthermore, our selflessness and willingness to sacrifice on behalf of others does not go unnoticed by the Most High; to the contrary, it rises as a sweet smelling aroma that greatly pleases Him.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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