2. Taking Christ as the Burnt Offering for God’s Satisfaction and Expression
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  • 01-27,
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Scripture Reading: Lev. 1:1-17; 6:8-13; Num. 28:2-3; John 4:23-24; 5:30; 6:38; 8:29; Rev. 21:18-21
I. The burnt offering (Lev. 1:1-17; 6:8-13), which was wholly for God’s satisfaction, as food for God, signifies Christ as God’s pleasure and satisfaction, as the One whose living on earth was absolutely for God (1:3; Num. 28:2-3; John 5:30; 6:38; 8:29; Heb. 10:5-10):
A. As the burnt offering, Christ was brought to the slaughter—Isa. 53:7; Matt. 27:31; Phil. 2:8.
B. As the burnt offering, Christ was slaughtered—Lev. 1:5a; Luke 23:21; Acts 2:23.
C. As the burnt offering, Christ was skinned, stripped of the outward appearance of His human virtues—Lev. 1:6a; Matt. 11:19; Mark 3:22; John 8:48; 10:20; Matt. 26:65; 27:28, 35; Psa. 22:18.
D. As the burnt offering, Christ was cut into pieces—Lev. 1:6b; Mark 15:29-32; Luke 23:35-39; Psa. 22:16-17.
E. Christ’s experience in being wisdom is signified by the head of the burnt offering—Lev. 1:8; Luke 2:40, 52; Mark 9:40; Matt. 12:30; 21:23-27; 22:15-22, 34-40.
F. Christ’s experience in being God’s delight is signified by the fat of the burnt offering—Lev. 1:8-9; Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Isa. 42:1; Matt. 12:18; John 6:38; 8:29; 7:16-18.
G. Christ’s experience in the inward parts of His being is signified by the inward parts of the burnt offering—Lev. 1:9; Luke 2:49; John 2:17; Matt. 26:39; Isa. 53:12; 42:4; Mark 2:8.
H. Christ’s experience in His walk is signified by the legs of the burnt offering—Lev. 1:9; Luke 24:19; John 8:46; 10:30; 8:29; 16:32; Luke 23:46; John 14:30b.
I. Christ’s experience of being kept by the Holy Spirit from defilement is signified by the legs and the inward parts of the burnt offering being washed—Lev. 1:9, 13a; Luke 4:1; Heb. 7:26.
II. The more we enjoy Christ as our burnt offering, the more we realize how sinful we are; then we can take Him as our sin offering more deeply than ever (Lev. 6:25), and this causes us to enjoy Him more as the burnt offering (16:3, 5).
III. By laying our hands on Christ as our burnt offering, we are joined to Him, and He and we become one—1:4:
A. In such a union, such an identification, all our weaknesses, defects, and faults are taken on by Him, and all His virtues become ours—2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:20.
B. By such a union, Christ becomes one with us and lives in us, repeating in us the life that He lived on earth, the life of the burnt offering—6:17.
IV. We need to take Christ as our burnt offering daily (Lev. 1:2-4; 6:12-13; Num. 28:3-4; cf. 2 Tim. 2:6) so that we may experience Christ in His experiences as the burnt offering, not imitating Christ outwardly but living Him in our daily life—2 Cor. 5:14-15; Phil. 1:19-21; Acts 27:22-25; 28:3-9; 1 Cor. 1:9:
A. We need to experience Christ in His being brought to the slaughter—Phil. 3:10; Gal. 6:17; 1 Cor. 11:1; Acts 21:30-36.
B. We need to experience Christ in His being slaughtered—2 Cor. 4:7-13, 16-18.
C. We need to experience Christ in His being skinned—Acts 24:5-6; 2 Cor. 6:8; 12:15-18; Matt. 5:11.
D. We need to experience Christ in His being cut to pieces—1 Cor. 4:12-13.
E. We need to experience Christ in His wisdom—1:24, 30; 2:7; Col. 1:28; 2 Chron. 1:10.
F. We need to experience Christ in His being a delight to God—Lev. 1:16b; Psa. 20:3; 2 Cor. 5:9; 1 Thes. 2:4-8; Gal. 1:10; Rom. 14:17-18.
G. We need to experience Christ in the inward parts of His being—Phil. 2:5; 1 Cor. 2:16b; Rom. 8:6; Phil. 1:8; 2 Cor. 11:10; 1 Cor. 16:24.
H. We need to experience Christ in His walk—Matt. 11:29; Eph. 4:20; 1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Pet. 2:21; Rom. 8:4.
I. We need to experience Christ in His being kept by the Holy Spirit from defilement—1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:5; John 7:38-39; cf. Dan. 1:8.
V. The more we take Christ as our burnt offering, the more the outward expression of His beauty is ascribed to us for His magnification (Lev. 7:8; Psa. 90:17; Exo. 28:2; Phil. 1:20), and the more we enjoy Christ as our enveloping power to cover, protect, and preserve us (4:13; 2 Cor. 12:9).
VI. We need to worship the Father with Christ as the burnt offering for God’s satisfaction—Lev. 1:3, 9b; Num. 28:2-3; John 4:23-24:
A. God wants us to worship Him with Christ as the reality of the offerings; the offerings are for pleasing God and making Him happy—vv. 23-24; cf. Heb. 10:5-10.
B. God is hungry and needs food; the offerings are God’s food—Num. 28:2-3:
1. One of the main purposes of the offerings is that they are food for God.
2. The burnt offering is God’s food so that He may enjoy it and be satisfied, and only He is allowed to eat it—Lev. 1:9b.
C. The burnt offering is for God’s satisfaction to fulfill His desire—Num. 28:2:
1. The burnt offering denotes Christ’s being absolute for God’s satisfaction—John 6:38.
2. Proper worship is a matter of satisfying God with Christ as the burnt offering—1 Pet. 2:5; John 4:34; 5:30; 8:29.
3. The Hebrew word translated “burnt offering” denotes something that is ascending; this ascending refers to Christ—Lev. 1:3, 10, 14:
a. The only thing that can ascend to God from earth is the life lived by Christ, for He is the unique person to live a life that is absolutely for God—John 6:38.
b. As the burnt offering, Christ is absolutely for living a life that can satisfy God in full—8:29:
1) By laying our hands on Christ as our burnt offering, we are joined to Him—Lev. 1:4; 1 Cor. 6:17.
2) As Christ lives in us, He repeats in us the life He lived on earth, the life of the burnt offering—Gal. 2:20.
4. The Hebrew words translated “satisfying fragrance” literally mean “savor of rest or satisfaction,” that is, a savor giving satisfaction to God—Lev. 1:9:
a. A satisfying fragrance is a savor that brings satisfaction, peace, and rest; such a satisfying fragrance is an enjoyment to God.
b. When we worship the Father with Christ as the reality of the burnt offering, a fragrance well pleasing to God will ascend to Him for His satisfaction—John 4:23-24.
c. Since God is satisfied, He will render His sweet acceptance to us; this is the significance of the burnt offering.
VII. We are being reduced to ashes to become the New Jerusalem for God’s expression—Lev. 1:16; 6:10-11; Psa. 20:3; 1 Cor. 3:12a; Rev. 3:12; 21:2, 10-11, 18-21:
A. The burnt offering indicates that we have a heart that is absolute for God in this age—Rom. 12:1-2.
B. The ashes signify Christ reduced to nothing—Mark 9:12; Isa. 53:3:
1. The Lord’s desire is that all the believers in Christ be reduced to ashes.
2. Since we are one with the Christ who has been reduced to ashes, we also are reduced to ashes, that is, reduced to nothing, to zero—1 Cor. 1:28; 2 Cor. 12:11.
3. The more we are identified with Christ in His death, the more we will realize that we have become a heap of ashes.
4. When we become ashes, we are no longer a natural person; instead, we are a person who has been crucified, terminated, burned—Gal. 2:20a.
C. The ashes are a sign of God’s acceptance of the burnt offering—Psa. 20:3:
1. For God to accept the burnt offering is for Him to turn it to ashes.
2. For God to accept the burnt offering also means that He accepts it as fat, something that is sweet and pleasing to Him.
D. Putting the ashes at the east side of the altar, the side of the sunrise, is an allusion to resurrection—Lev. 1:16; John 11:25; Phil. 3:10-11; 2 Cor. 1:9:
1. With Christ as the burnt offering, the ashes are not the end—they are the beginning—Mark 9:31.
2. The ashes mean that Christ has been put to death, but the east signifies resurrection.
3. The more we are reduced to ashes in Christ, the more we will be put to the east, and on the east we will have the assurance that the sun will rise and that we will experience the sunrise of resurrection—Phil. 3:10-11.
E. Eventually, the ashes will become the New Jerusalem—Rev. 3:12; 21:2, 10:
1. Christ’s death brings us to an end; that is, it reduces us to ashes.
2. Christ’s death brings in resurrection, and in resurrection the ashes become precious materials for God’s building—1 Cor. 3:9b, 12a.
3. When we are reduced to ashes, we are brought into the transformation of the Triune God—Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 3:18.
4. The precious materials for the building of the New Jerusalem come from the transformation of the ashes—Rev. 21:18-21.
F. The result of our being a burnt offering will be something that carries out God’s economy—1 Tim. 1:4; Eph. 3:9; 1:10.
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