WASHING THE BURNT OFFERING
The burnt offering was to be washed with water by the offerer. “Its inwards and its legs shall be washed with water” (v. 9; cf. 13a). This surely does not mean that Christ, our burnt offering, was dirty. When the Lord Jesus was living and walking on earth, the Spirit within Him continually kept Him, preserved Him, protected Him, from becoming dirty. In our daily walk we need to have the same kind of experience. We need to experience Christ’s being cleansed, His being washed by the Holy Spirit. We are able to experience this because His cleansing Spirit is within us to cleanse us day by day, to keep us from being touched by the earthly dirt.
A SATISFYING FRAGRANCE TO JEHOVAH
After the burnt offering was slaughtered, skinned, cut into pieces, and washed, it was burned on the altar. “The priest shall offer up in smoke all of it on the altar as a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a satisfying fragrance to Jehovah” (v. 9). The Hebrew words translated “satisfying fragrance” literally mean savor of rest or satisfaction, that is, a savor giving satisfaction to the Deity, to whom it is offered, and, therefore, received with favor by Him. The phrase is a technical term for the fragrant steam arising from a burning sacrifice (S. R. Driver). The word “smoke” in this verse indicates that the offering was not burned quickly but slowly. As a result of this slow burning there was a satisfying fragrance, a savor that brought satisfaction, peace, and rest. Such a satisfying fragrance is an enjoyment to God.
When we offer a burnt offering in smoke to God, a fragrance well-pleasing to God will ascend to Him for His satisfaction and rest. Since God is satisfied, He will render His sweet acceptance to us. This is the significance of the burnt offering.
The burnt offering denotes Christ’s being absolute for God’s satisfaction. The way to satisfy God with sweetness, peace, and rest is to live a life that is absolutely for God. Since we cannot live such a life, we must take Christ as our burnt offering. We need to lay our hands on Him to indicate that we desire to be identified with Him, one with Him, and to live the kind of life He lived on earth. Such a life includes being slaughtered, skinned, cut into pieces, and washed. By passing through all these processes, we shall have something to offer to God as our burnt offering—the very Christ whom we have experienced.
(Life-Study of Leviticus, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)