SUMMER CONNECTIONS: Sweet-Smelling Sacrifices

Noah built an altar to the Lord and,

taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds,

he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.

The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma.

Genesis 8:20-21

“Wow, does that ever smell great!” Stopping for a moment from my dinner preparations, I draw in a deep breath and catch a whiff of the mouth-watering aroma drifting through the kitchen window. The scent of the sizzling steaks on our barbeque was making my stomach rumble. Potato salad and corn on the cob, together with grilled meat has always been one of my favourite summer meals.

It struck me that this scent was exactly what Old Testament sacrifices must have smelled like. The temple in Jerusalem on the Day of Atonement was filled with the aroma of meat cooked on an open fire, what with so many lambs being sacrificed. In fact, considering that thousands of animals were sacrificed on that one day, the entire city must have smelled fragrant. The sacrifices were pleasing to God – not so much for the smell, as for the sins confessed.

Inhaling the aroma of my own cooking meat gives me a tiny insight into the enormous pleasure God must experience when His people confess their sins. Therefore, I urge you, 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. Romans 12:1

I head outside to sauce the steaks during the last few moments of cooking. My neighbour waves at me as she waters the shrubs just over the fence. “Smells great!” she smiles. I realize that we are to God the aroma of Christ and everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation – an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. II Corinthians 2:15-16

Prayer: Lord, I want to confess my sins to you; inhale my obedience today and be pleased. Lord, I want the aroma of Christ to be working through me; let my fragrance be an influence of life to my neighbours around me.

Contributed by Alice Monson