THE ACCEPTANCE OF GOD
Now we come to the fifth point of the burnt offering: when we present Christ as the burnt offering in the tent of meeting, we have the full acceptance of God. If we have been one with Christ during the day, when we come to the meeting we have something to present. When we present Christ as the burnt offering, we have the deep sensation that we are fully accepted by God. We have the full acceptance of God, and we have the full assurance that we are so pleasing to God. When we are identified with Christ in our daily walk and we come to the meeting to present Him as our burnt offering, we are fully assured that God is pleased with us. We have the acceptance of God.
ARRANGED IN ORDER UPON THE FIRE
The sixth point of the burnt offering is the order. In Leviticus 1:7-8, the words “in order” are used twice. “And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar.” The wood is laid in order, and the pieces of the burnt offering are also laid in order. Nothing is done in a sloppy way. One version says that the wood is arranged. The wood is not thrown upon the altar, but arranged in order, and the pieces of the burnt offering are also laid in an arrangement. What does this mean? God knows which piece of wood is needed for burning your offering. He arranges the wood in a good order. He uses the first piece of wood, the second piece, and then the third piece to burn your offering. God knows also which part of your offering to burn. He arranges the wood, and He arranges the pieces in order. In our experience and to our sensation, the burning might be a mess, but God is a good Arranger. He arranges the burning in a good order. The priest arranged all the pieces of wood in order, and he arranged all the pieces of the burnt offering. God does the same today. Under His arranging, the first piece of wood is really the first, and the second is really the second. And the first part of the offering that is burnt is really the first part. There is nothing amiss. God could never be mistaken in His burning. He burns our offering in a good order.
BURNED AS INCENSE
The seventh point we must see concerning the burnt offering is that the odor is a kind of incense to God. In Hebrew, the word “burnt” used in this chapter means to burn as incense. The burnt offering is an incense to God. It is not a judgment or a punishment, but a burning of incense. It is not under God’s punishment, but under God’s acceptance. It is not like the burning of the lake of fire, but the burning on the altar as the burning of the incense altar. It is so sweet and fragrant to God. This is why our meetings are so fragrant. Many of us sense that when we come to the meeting, there is the sweet odor of incense. This is because so many under the sweet burning have Christ as their burnt offerings. It is not a burning as a kind of sore punishment, but a burning as a sweet incense. Thus, there is a sweet fragrance.
If we would be willing to be identified with Christ in our daily walk, whenever we come together and present Christ as the burnt offering to God, there will be a sweet fragrance in our meetings. No words can explain it. It is not a good speaker attracting the people or a great movement stirring them up. It is just the little ones meeting together with something fragrant. When people come into their midst, they sense the sweetness and the fragrance. This is the burnt offering presented to God through so many dear ones who are one with Christ in their daily life.
THE ASHES ON THE EAST
Finally, the last point regarding the burnt offering is the ashes on the east (Lev. 1:16). The ashes mean the remainder of the dead and burnt body. It was a living body, but it was killed and burnt to ashes. Humanly speaking, when any living one becomes ashes, that is the end, the real termination. But with Christ as the burnt offering, the ashes are not the end, but just the beginning. The ashes were not put at the sunset on the west, but at the place of the sunrise on the east. Assuredly the sun will rise. The ashes mean that Christ has been put to death, but the east signifies resurrection. After the putting to death, resurrection will follow. Paul says that we bear the putting to death of Jesus that the life also of Jesus might be manifested in us. This is resurrection. The more we become ashes with Christ, the more we will be put to the east. And on the east we have assurance that the sun will rise. Hallelujah for the sunrise of resurrection!
(Christ as the Reality, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)