And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood…
Full, throughout, of the idea of atonement. The three main elements are -
I. The blood.
II. the fire.
III. The sweet savour unto the Lord.
I. THE SPRINKLED BLOOD. The offerer killed the victim. The priests received the blood and sprinkled it upon the altar. The two chief elements of atonement were thus trotted - the human and the Divine. Atonement is reconciliation on the ground of a restored covenant through sacrifice. The blood shed represented the fact of life for life offered by faith. The blood sprinkled by priests, represented the Divine offer of mercy through an appointed mediation, at the place and time prescribed by God's gracious will. His will is our sanctification. The sacrifice of Christ is an outcome of Divine love received on behalf of the sinner as being offered by him in believing surrender to God and renewal of the covenant.
II. THE FIRE. The offering flayed and cut in pieces. Fire and wood placed by the priests on the altar, etc. All these details belong to the one fact that the offering is not only presented, but consumed, and consumed in pieces. The idea is that of the mingling together of the will of Jehovah with the offered obedience of his creature. A representation of the promised sanctifying grace which renews the whole man, gradually, but with comprehensive application of the Spirit of God to every part of the being and character. The ablution would convey the idea of the washing of regeneration. All which is specially significant of life and activity, "the inwards and the legs," is washed in water before placed on the altar. The whole is then termed, "a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire." The fire represented at the same time purification and destruction. As applied in the name of God, it promised his bestowment of the supernatural power which should at once destroy the evil and renew the good. Hence the gift of the Holy Spirit was symbolized by fire. We must be wholly offered, we must be penetrated and pervaded by the Spirit. The application of the fire is not only in a first baptism of the Spirit, but in the sanctifying work of life, in which oftentimes consuming dispensations are required, which, while they burn up, do also renew and recreate. Are we yielding up all to this gracious process on God's altar?
III. THE SWEET SAVOUR UNTO THE LORD. Fragrant ascent of man's offering. Nothing is said of the addition of incense, therefore the mere smoke and steam of the offering itself is described as "sweet savour." The obedience of faith is acceptable to the Lord. Nothing can more decidedly set forth the freeness and fulness of pardon and reconciliation. The Divine will is entirely reunited with the human will. Thus every sacrifice pointed to the end of sacrifices. When it is offered, when the fire has done its work, there is peace with God. So the Lord Jesus, anticipating the conclusion of his sufferings and his return to heaven, exclaimed, "The hour is come, glorify thy Son." "I have glorified thee on the earth. I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." Resting on that finished sacrifice, we can rejoice in our obedience as a sweet savour to the Lord, notwithstanding that in itself it is necessarily consumed by the perfect righteousness of the Divine Law. The blood and fire of the cross of Calvary are already upon the altar. We are able in the resurrection and ascension to behold the manifest tokens of acceptance. The fragrance of the Saviour's risen glory and eternal righteousness are not only before God, well pleasing to him, but are also ours by faith, mingling with the imperfection of a fallen humanity, and lifting it up to angelic life and spotless purity and joy in the presence of God. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.