And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar on the burnt sacrifice, which is on the wood that is on the fire…
on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord." Notice the preparation thus made for the acceptance of man's offering. There is the altar, the fire, the wood, the burnt sacrifice, the offering of the consecrated fat. Thus Leviticus 6:12, it is said, "the priest shall burn wood every morning at the altar, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings." The abiding sacrifice, on the abiding altar, with the abiding fire, receives the occasional offering of the individual worshipper. Here is the great truth of an abiding merit, an ever-living intercession set forth.
I. God, by his grace, has provided for us THE TRUE METHOD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ACCEPTANCE.
1. The superiority of Christ's sacrifice to all other - because of his person, his active and passive obedience, his declared acceptance by his baptism, transfiguration, resurrection, ascension.
2. The simple work of faith, in laying the offering on the ashes of the burnt sacrifice, in attaching the imperfect obedience of man to the infinite merit of Christ. A peace offering in the highest sense when we thus lay all upon the altar of the true mediation. The fire consuming denoted acceptance. God, in Christ, declares himself not only well pleased in his beloved Son, but in all who spiritually are identified with him. The lesser burnt offering is absorbed into the greater and abiding burnt offering, our obedience in Christ's.
II. Thus is set forth THE TRUE ORDER OF THE ETHICAL LIFE. The lesser sacrifice upon the greater. The peace offering on the burnt offering.
1. Common mistake to attempt to reverse this order. Man supposes himself capable of building up merit by moral acts. God teaches him that all ethical worth must rest upon religious completeness. The relation between God and man must be true and perfect, otherwise morality is not real, but only disguised selfishness.
2. The offering up of human life in activity, in suffering, cannot be peace offering unless it be religious. We want the greatest motive to actuate and sustain. We seem to waste our offering unless we can see it in its relation with God's work, with a redeemed and renewed world.
3. The sweetness of life is a return into our own hearts of what the Lord hath found delightful. The "sweet savour" of a consecrated obedience pervades the whole existence, and makes it fragrant both to ourselves and others. Wonderful transmuting power of religion in giving value to the apparently worthless in human character, and beauty to the commonest, and nobleness to the humblest; the whole garment of sanctity covering the native imperfections. Yet no sweet savour without fire. There must be the reality of a spiritual life - the power of God, not the mere form and appearance of the offering. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.