02-17-08

One of the themes you’ll see as you read through Leviticus is the theme of sacrifice.  Though there are different reasons for each type of sacrifice, here’s a couple of things they all have in common.

Substitution.  Laying hands on the animal (Lev. 1:4) meant that it was taking your place on the altar. When I watch that animal being consumed in the flame, I remember that I’m the one being totally given to God.  Substitution also reminds me of Jesus.  He was the one who didn’t know sin, but became sin for us as He died in our place.

Cost. Sacrifice wasn’t intended to be cheap.  It cost the worshipper something to bring an offering (Lev. 1:10).  I wonder in our world of WalMarts and Costcos if we don’t sometimes try and find the cheapest bargains when it comes to our relationship with God.  We don’t like it if that religious side of us starts to cost too much.  But Jesus said you could tell a lot about where my heart is at by where my treasure is (Mat. 6:21).  If I asked you to audit my life, would you find “God” at the top of my expense list?

Pleasing to God.  It is one of the consistent things I read over and over concerning sacrifice done properly.  Sacrifice is “a sweet aroma to the LORD” (Lev. 1:17).  It’s not that God loves the smell of barbeque.  It’s the aroma of true worship that God appreciates.  We know that the greatest commandment in the Bible (Mat. 22:37) is to love God.  God loves it when the sincerity of my verbal expression of love is matched by the type of offering I bring.  He is well pleased.