In the Old Testament, God gave the children of Israel specific instructions on how, where, and when to offer a sacrifice. (Leviticus 1-7)This was how the Israelites repented, thanked, and worshiped God. The smell of the burning animal was a sweet smell to God. (Exodus 29:18) Within these instructions, it is not at all ironic the animal was killed, it’s blood sprinkled on the altar, and the flesh burned. Paul writes in the New Testament about being a living sacrifice by killing our fleshly desires. Romans 12:1 (NIV) says “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.”
One of the main differences between us and the animal that was sacrificed in the OT is that we are a living sacrifice. Had the animal been alive when as the fire began to burn its flesh, it would have gotten off of the altar. As with us, the burning and killing of our flesh is not a pleasant one. Oftentimes, it is painful, time-consuming, difficult, and humbling. The animal did not have a choice to be the sweet smell unto God, but we do. As a living sacrifice, we actively place and keep ourselves on the altar. By killing our fleshly desires and chosing to use our bodies as the sacrifice God desires, we are literally worshiping Him. As you know, anything that burns, smokes. So I encourage you as a believer to keep smoking.
Check back on the 1st and 15th of each month for more devotionals.