V. ALL THE FRANKINCENSE WITH PART OF THE FINE FLOUR AND PART OF THE OIL BURNED ON THE ALTAR
All the frankincense with part of the fine flour and part of the oil was burned on the altar (2:2). This signifies that a considerable portion of Christ’s excellent, perfect, Spirit-filled, and resurrection-saturated living is offered to God as food for His enjoyment.
Christ’s human living on earth was excellent, but it is difficult for us to say what this excellence refers to. We may say that it refers to the high standard of His attributes and virtues. How high is this standard? We cannot say. There has never before been such a standard among the human race.
Christ is both God and man. He is a God-man anointed, mingled, and filled with the Spirit of God. Moreover, even before He was crucified, He expressed resurrection. He expressed resurrection in everything, even in rebuking the Pharisees (Matt. 23:1-36) and in cleansing the temple (John 2:12-17). The excellency of Christ’s human living on earth was in His manhood and in His Godhood; it was in His humanity and divinity in the Spirit and with resurrection. This is how the four Gospels reveal Him in His excellence.
Christ’s humanity is perfect. He is fine, even, and fully balanced, lacking nothing and not having anything in excess. Furthermore, He is filled with the Spirit and saturated with resurrection. When He walked on earth, He was always filled with the Spirit and saturated with resurrection.
A. As a Memorial
The frankincense with part of the fine flour and the oil was burned as a memorial because of its satisfying effect. A memorial is greater than satisfaction. We may be satisfied with many things but not make those things a memorial. But when we have the highest satisfaction, we will make that satisfaction a memorial. God enjoys Christ to such an extent that this enjoyment becomes a memorial.
B. As a Satisfying Fragrance
A satisfying fragrance is a sweet savor; it is a fragrance that gives rest, peace, joy, enjoyment, and full satisfaction. The rich elements of the meal offering—Christ’s humanity, divinity, and His excellent, perfect, Spirit-filled, and resurrection-saturated living—are a fragrance that gives God rest, peace, joy, enjoyment, and full satisfaction.
VI. THE REMAINDER OF THE MEAL OFFERING BEING FOR AARON AND HIS SONS
“The remainder of the meal offering is for Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy portion of the offerings of Jehovah by fire” (Lev. 2:3). This signifies that we also can enjoy Christ’s human living as our food after God’s enjoyment. First, God must be given His portion that He may be satisfied. The remainder is our portion for our satisfaction.
It is easy to say that we can enjoy Christ’s human living as our food, but how can we actually do this? Considering the type in Leviticus 2 will help in answering this question. The type here is a picture signifying Christ’s human living. The fine flour signifies Christ’s humanity, and the oil signifies the Spirit of God. The oil and the flour are mingled to produce an oiled fine flour, a fine flour mingled with oil. Therefore, to eat the fine flour is to eat the oil; it is also to eat the mingling, for the oil and the flour cannot be separated.
The picture in Leviticus 2 indicates strongly that the way for us to enjoy Christ’s human living is by the Spirit. John 6 proves this. In this chapter the Lord Jesus reveals that He is edible. “I am the living bread which came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread which I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (v. 51). Unable to understand this, the Jews “contended with one another, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (v. 52). In verse 63 the Lord Jesus says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life.” This indicates that the way to eat Jesus is by the Spirit.
If we would eat Jesus by the Spirit, we need to realize that the Spirit today is consolidated in the word. When we touch the word, we touch what is consolidated, or embodied, in the word. To eat Jesus, to take Jesus, to enjoy Jesus, we must touch His word, and when we touch His word, the Spirit is there.
According to the New Testament, the divine Spirit is related to our human spirit. We need to touch the word of the Lord by our spirit. The way to touch the Lord’s word by our spirit is to pray-read the word. When we come to the word, we should not merely exercise our eyes and our mind, reading the word as if it were a newspaper. We need to pray and exercise our spirit as well as our eyes and our mind. If we do this, we are apparently touching the word; actually we are touching the Spirit. The Spirit is mingled with the humanity of Christ. Hence, by exercising our spirit to touch the Spirit consolidated in the word, we eat the human life and living of Christ.
How can we enjoy Christ? We can enjoy Christ by exercising our spirit to pray-read the word. When we pray-read the Lord’s word, we touch His Spirit, and this Spirit is mingled with His humanity. Then we are nourished with the highest humanity—the humanity of Christ.
In ourselves we cannot live a human life like that of the Lord Jesus. Only He can live such a life. But we can take Jesus at any time by coming to His word and exercising our spirit to pray-read the word. When we do this, we touch the Spirit, and the Spirit supplies us with Jesus as our nourishment. Since we are what we eat, the more we eat Jesus, the more we are constituted with Jesus. By our eating of Jesus’ human living, His living becomes ours. Spontaneously, without any self-effort, we will be as humble and holy as Jesus is. This is to enjoy Jesus as our food for us to live a life which is qualified to serve God.
Over a period of fifteen hundred years, God has prepared a book for us, the Bible, and has put it in our hands. He has also given His Spirit to us. The Spirit is within and the book is without. These two things added together are just Christ in His human life. When we exercise our spirit and pray-read the word, we touch the Spirit and enjoy Christ’s human living. This is the meal offering.
(Life-Study of Leviticus, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)