“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2).
Few things can rival the fragrance of grilling meat. For many, it provides an aroma which fills one’s nose and olfactory receptors with immense pleasure.
To express God’s pleasure with the burnt offerings made by Noah after the flood, the Scriptures say, “The Lord smelled a soothing aroma” (Genesis 8:21).
When consecrating Aaron and his sons for their priestly service in the tabernacle, a whole ram was to be offered as a burnt offering to the Lord because “it is a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord (Exodus 29:18).
When an Israelite offered a grain offering to the Lord, his offering was to be of fine flour, oil, and frankincense, so that when the priest burned it as a memorial on the altar, a sweet aroma to the Lord would ascend (Leviticus 2:1-2).
When a peace offering was made in ancient Israel and it was according to God’s instructions, the pleasing scent would be a sweet aroma to the Lord (Leviticus 3:1-5).
When a sin offering was made so that atonement and forgiveness could result, its burning on the altar was a sweet aroma to the Lord (Leviticus 4:31).
On humanity’s Day of Atonement, the Lamb of God functioned as our scapegoat, sin offering, and Passover lamb. God’s hearty stamp of approval on His offering and sacrifice was indelibly carved into human history on the third day by His resurrection. Jesus’ baptism of suffering which atoned for our sins was a sweet-smelling aroma to God.
What a sacrifice!