The Offerings: The Burnt Offering
This continues a series on the Offerings and what they tell us of the Lord Jesus Christ as the supreme sacrifice. The Burnt Offering is found in Leviticus 1 and is the highest of the sacrifices as it speaks of the greatness of the Person of Christ and the intensity of the sufferings He passed through. This appeared in ‘The Bible Handbook’ by Walter Scott. My own notes are given in purple.
The Burnt Offering (Leviticus 1)
This sacrifice points to the voluntary surrender, to the freewill offering of Jesus to accomplish in death the Divine will, as written of Him in the volume of God's eternal counsels: "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God" (Hebrews. 10:7). It is that aspect of the sacrifice of Jesus which directly and exclusively regards God "who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God." In the sin offering there was atonement (Hebrews. 4; 5) as in the burnt offering; but with this profound difference, that in the sin offering it was to secure forgiveness — hence the frequent recurrence of the phrase, "it shall be forgiven him" — while in the burnt offering it was atonement for the acceptance of the person.
The sin offering is to gain forgiveness for our sins. The Lord was the Sin Offering for us. However, the Burnt Offering speaks of the fact that we have been made acceptable in Christ for the presence of God.
Is it not therefore of priceless value to us that Christ, in the absolute devotedness of a will wholly set upon His Father's glory, gave Himself up to God on the altar, and there in the scene where man had so terribly dishonoured God and trailed His glory in the dust — yea, in the place of sin-bearing itself, the fire of Divine judgment was kindled and all went up to God as a sweet savour, and in that we are accepted.
The Burnt Offering was to be roast by fire and all of it was to put on the altar. It was only God who would fully enjoy and appreciate the Person of Christ and it is a sweet savour to Him. Yet standing around the offering were the priests who would have enjoyed something of the sweet savour as the fire burned. The Lord passed through tremendous suffering to live out the will of God, even to death on the cross but never has there been a sweeter savour to God than to have one so ready to sacrifice Himself for others in devotion to the Father as did the Lord Jesus.
The unblemished animal was killed, flayed, and cut in pieces. The parts enumerated are the "head," the "fat," the "inwards," and the "legs"— denoting the intelligence, will, motives, and walk of the blessed One in thus offering Himself—a WHOLE Christ and an intelligent surrender to the glory of God. All were laid upon the altar and subjected to the fire—the searching judgment of God. "The priest shall burn all upon the altar to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire of a sweet savour unto the LORD." What the offering was ceremonially, being washed in water, that Jesus was intrinsically. The fire of Divine judgment searched Him inwardly and outwardly; the motives and springs, as well as the walk and ways—and in result all went up to God as a sweet savour.
The whole of the Lord Jesus in His life, His person, his thought, etc was pleasing to God’s all searching and all-knowing judgement. The Lord was the only acceptable sacrifice.
We, through Divine grace and in the power of the Holy Ghost, identify ourselves with Jesus thus so thoroughly glorifying God—entering into its blessedness, knowing our acceptance in His most precious acceptance, and as thus set down in the holiest of all, in all the value of Christ's person and work. All this is significantly expressed in the identification of the offerer and the victim: "And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering (this significant act only stated in the case of the 'herd’). God's eternal delight in Jesus as the burnt offering is beautifully told out in the words: "The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out" (Leviticus 6:13).
The reader's careful attention is called to the distinction between the sweet savour offerings in which the saint is identified in all the Divine acceptance of the sacrifice, and the sin offerings in which the sinner is identified in the judgment of the victim.