Daily Devotional for February 9
Cut up the ram and wash off the internal organs and the legs. Set them alongside the head and the other pieces of the body, and burn them all on the altar. This is a burnt offering to the Lord, which is very pleasing to him. —Exodus 29:17-18
There is something about a sacrifice of love that God calls a “pleasing aroma” (Exodus 29:18 NIV). The pure and spotless ram that burned in its entirety on the altar was an acceptable sacrifice that brought God pleasure. In the same way, the world was filled with the stench of sin until the sweet smell of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice was offered to God. In Gethsemane, Jesus totally submitted His will to the Father (Matthew 26:39) out of devotion to God and love for the world. Christ, the perfect Lamb, climbed onto the altar of God to be sacrificed of His own free will. This perfect offering pleased God eternally. Now we can please Him by walking in love and serving the needs of others instead of thinking only of ourselves (Ephesians 5:2). Paul called the Philippians’ financial missionary offerings “a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable to God and pleases him” (Philippians 4:18). Each financial gift given out of personal sacrifice pleases Him immensely. Furthermore, when we sacrifice our right to be bitter and unforgiving in order to choose love, our action permeates God’s throne room as a sweet aroma. Let’s fill heaven with that aroma . . . and the world with the knowledge of Jesus!