IV. OFFERING CHRIST TO GOD AS OUR BURNT OFFERING ACCORDING TO OUR EXPERIENCES OF HIM
We need to offer Christ to God as our burnt offering according to our experiences of Him. Two verses which indicate this are 1 Peter 2:5 and Hebrews 13:15. First Peter 2:5 speaks of offering up “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” These spiritual sacrifices are Christ in all the varied aspects of His riches as the reality of all the sacrifices of the Old Testament types. In particular, the spiritual sacrifices include Christ as the reality of the burnt offering. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise continually to God.” Both of these verses indicate that we can offer Christ to God as our burnt offering only to the extent to which we have experienced Christ in His experiences.
If we experience Christ in His experiences, not only shall we have something of Christ to offer to God, but we shall also be able to offer Him with a procedure that is according to our experiences. Suppose you offer Christ as a bull. First, you will bring this offering to the altar, the place of slaughter. Then you will kill it, skin it, and wash its legs and inwards. This procedure will be a review of your experience of Christ in His experiences of being brought to the slaughter, of being slaughtered, and of being skinned and washed. In your daily life you have experienced Christ in this way, and now as you offer Christ to God as your burnt offering, you review your experiences. Your way of offering, therefore, is a demonstration of your experience of Christ.
Those who witness such a review and demonstration will surely be impressed by it. Of course, because we are short of experience, we do not often witness this. Nevertheless, sometimes in a meeting we hear a praise or a testimony which is a review and a demonstration of one’s experience of Christ, and we admire that praise or testimony.
For the most part, the burnt offering we offer to God in our meetings is an offering of two pigeons. Both the sacrifice itself and the way of offering it are poor. The reason for this is the lack of the experiences of Christ as the burnt offering. If we are short of the experiences of Christ, we shall not have anything to review or to demonstrate. But if we have the rich experience of Christ in His experiences, we shall be able to go through a procedure to review and demonstrate our experiences of Christ. Such a review and demonstration are a treasure in the eyes of God.
We need to experience Christ and then offer Him to God. To experience Christ in His experiences is to follow in His steps. It is to live Christ, repeating the life He lived on earth. If we live Christ, we shall certainly have many experiences of Christ. When we come to offer this experienced Christ to God, we shall offer Him according to a procedure of review and demonstration that is impressive not only to human beings but also to the demons and the angels and especially to God. God is happy to see His children offering His Son to Him by a procedure which reviews and demonstrates their experiences of Christ in their daily life. How wonderful the church meetings would be if they were full of this kind of offering!
Concerning worship, the New Testament gives us clear words and principles, but it does not provide the details that we see in the Old Testament types, especially the types in Leviticus. For example, in John 4:23 and 24 the Lord Jesus tells us that genuine worship is to worship God in spirit and in truth, and in 1 Corinthians 14 Paul gives us certain principles related to how we should meet. But neither in John 4 nor in 1 Corinthians 14 do we find the details about worship or about how to meet. For the details we need to consider the types in Leviticus.
The book of Leviticus has much to say about the worship of God. To offer the burnt offering and the other offerings is to worship God. God wants us to worship Him with Christ as the reality of the offerings. God does not want a people who worship Him by bowing down, kneeling, or even merely by singing and praising. Genuine worship, the worship which satisfies God’s heart, is a matter of our coming to worship God by offering to Him the Christ whom we have experienced and offering Him according to our experiences, reviewing the experiences we have had in our daily life. This is the worship the Father is seeking, the worship He desires.
The Father wants us to worship Him by offering His Son to Him according to a procedure in which we review our experiences. This requires much experience. We thank the Lord for showing us from Leviticus that we need to experience Christ in His experiences not only to have Him as the burnt offering but also to be able to go through a procedure in which we offer Christ to God by reviewing our experiences of Him.
You may feel that it is impossible for you to experience Christ in His experiences as the burnt offering. However, in Philippians 3:10 Paul tells us that we can be conformed to Christ’s death if we experience the sustaining and strengthening power of Christ’s resurrection. In one of his hymns, A. B. Simpson says, “ ‘Tis not hard to die with Christ when His risen life we know” (Hymns, #481). If we see the vision concerning the experience of Christ in His experiences and are attracted to live such a life, we must have the faith that the very Christ who presents His experiences as an example is now in us as our life supply. We have an all-sufficient supply within us, and this supply is the Spirit of Christ in His resurrection. This was the reason Paul could say, “I can do all things in Him who empowers me” (Phil. 4:13). Therefore, since Christ is in us and for us, we should not be disappointed.
Concerning the burnt offering, we need to experience Christ in His experiences. Then what we offer to God as a burnt offering will be accepted by Him. But how can we experience Christ in this way? We cannot do this in ourselves, but we can do it by the indwelling, resurrected Christ, who Himself is resurrection. In Him and by Him we can do all the things related to experiencing Christ as the burnt offering. In Him and by Him we can live an overcoming life in our married life and a victorious life in the church life, overcoming all difficulties in our family life and all problems in the church life. We can do all things in Him who strengthens us. Therefore, we can experience Christ in His experiences and have Him to offer to God as the burnt offering.
(Life-Study of Leviticus, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)