Grace For The Journey
In today’s blog I want to look at the Old Testament teaching of the burnt offering taught in Leviticus 1 and 2 and see how Romans 12:1-2 helps the Christian apply this biblical truth to their lives. I encourage you to read and become familiar with both passages.
The burnt offering is a picture of our offering ourselves totally to God. The burnt offering had to be first cut into pieces to ensure that there was no defect in any part of it and then it was offered. People could offer a bull, a sheep, a goat, or even a dove or a pigeon, according to their financial ability. But each offering had to be without any blemish or defect.
The burnt offering is a picture of the way Jesus presented
His body throughout His earthly life to His Father
And then finally on the cross as well.
All through His earthly life, He kept His body perfectly pure in every temptation before He presented Himself to His Father as a sacrifice on the cross.
God would not have accepted Jesus’
Offering up of Himself on the cross
If there was a single spot of sin in His earthly life
During the previous thirty-three years.
This was why when He was hungry; He did not turn the stones into bread. That would have been a sin, because the Father had not told Him to do it. His life was one of total dependence and total obedience. Jesus never did anything without the Father’s permission, even if it appeared to be a harmless thing like turning stones into bread to satisfy one’s hunger!
That is the standard of obedience to which God calls us.
And that is why Jesus’ life was so triumphant.
And why the Father was so delighted with Him.
Consider yet another example: In Luke 4:38-42, we read of a great revival in a town. The next morning the multitude pressed Him to stay. But Jesus said, “No.” Why? Because, before He met the people that morning, He had met with His Father in the wilderness and He had heard the voice of His Father telling Him to go elsewhere. So He would not yield to the pressure of the multitudes but went where the Father told Him to go. If He had yielded to the multitudes and conducted revival meetings, He would have sinned!
Have you got such an understanding of sin yet?
How many of us believe that conducting revival meetings could be sinful!! That was the level of sensitivity to sin at which Jesus lived. We normally think of sins as things like getting angry, having dirty thoughts, being jealous or bitter etc. These definitely are sins; but Jesus understood sin on a deeper level that we do. When we get to understanding of the Bible’s teaching of sin as laid out in Romans 7:7-13, we will discover that a lot of things we never considered as sin earlier, now become sin for us. When “sin becomes utterly sinful” (Romans 7:13), we can be certain that we are growing biblically and spiritually as we ought!
So when we look at Jesus’ life we shouldn’t think only of His death at Calvary, but also of His whole life where He presented Himself to the Father fully saying, “A body Thou hast prepared for Me…..and I have come to do Thy will O God.” (Hebrews 10:5,7).
Jesus never once did His own will in his body but only the Father’s.
This is what it means to offer oneself as a burnt offering to God.
This is what Paul exhorts us also to do in Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
This is the burnt offering. It was presented to God and burnt completely. The Bible says this was “a soothing aroma to the Lord” (Leviticus 1:17) – meaning something that God was very pleased with. Paul said that his life’s ambition too was to “be well-pleasing the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:9).
When we present our bodies to the Lord, it is very easy to say, “Lord, I give my body totally to You.” But we don’t know whether we have offered it all, until we “cut it up.” We could be deceiving ourselves.
What does it mean to cut it up
And offer it piece by piece
As was done with the burnt offering?
It means that we offer our bodily parts
Piece by piece to God.
We say . . .
- “Lord, here are my eyes. I have used them for the devil and for myself for the past many years, looking at and reading many things that offend You. But I am laying my eyes on the altar now. Never again do I want to use these eyes to look at or read anything that Jesus would not look at or read. They are Yours from this moment onward – totally and completely.”
- We go next to the tongue and say, “Lord, here is my tongue. I have used this tongue for the devil and for myself for so many years, speaking whatever I liked, telling lies for my own gain, getting angry at people and gossiping and backbiting against others and accusing them. But I never want to do all that any more. Here is my tongue Lord. It is Yours from this moment onwards – totally and completely.”
- We go next to our hands and our feet and our bodily passions, one by one, and say the same thing: “Lord, here are the members of my body and my natural desires, with which I have sinned and hurt You. Never again do I want to use these to please myself or to satisfy my lusts. They are all Yours, They are Yours from this moment onwards – totally and completely.”
It is only as we cut each piece and
Lay them on the altar one by one,
That we discover whether we really are
Offering our body totally to God or not.”
When the offering is cut into pieces and laid out on the altar fully, then you can say, “Now, Lord, let Your fire fall on the sacrifice and consume it.” The Bible tells us in Leviticus 9:24, “And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” That fire is a picture of the Holy Spirit and fire that comes to consume our sacrifice and to set our bodies on fire for God. But the fire never fell until every last piece of the burnt offering was placed on the altar.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”