Suhweeeeeeet! Smelling Savour

Over Thanksgiving, I cooked a turkey. Our home was filled with a great aroma that reminded us of more than just that we were hungry. The smell of turkey cooking always reminds me of thankfulness and gatherings. That is what Thanksgiving is all about!

As I have read through Leviticus, I have noticed a certain phrase popping up repeatedly. It is “sweet smelling savor unto the Lord” and refers to the burnt, meal and peace offerings made to God in the Old Testament. The same phrase also pops up frequently in Numbers .  It is not necessarily the sacrifice itself but the pious and attentive heart behind the sacrifice that pleased God.

In the New Testament, the connection of the sacrifice to Christ is made. In II Corinthians 2:14-16:

14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Another great smell is the smell of coffee brewing! It always reminds me of good conversation, slowing down time to get together, quiet joyful, mornings when the phone doesn’t ring and I don’t have to rush anywhere. I can write, read and have great conversation with my husband. The smell of coffee brewing may not have the same effect on others. It may bring up entirely different feelings like digging in at work. Some people may not like the smell of the coffee aroma.

The sacrifices of the Old Testament foreshadowed the ultimate sacrifice  and triumph of Jesus Christ. It was  a sacrifice of genuine love:

2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. Ephesians 5:2

In the Old Testament use of this phrase, it is not used in connection with the sin or trespass offerings (which were made outside the camp and not in the tabernacle) as sin is not sweet smelling to God. In the context of this Ephesians use, verses 3-16 contain some tough talk about sin (it is not a sin to mention sin).

Jesus Christ gave his life for us. In God’s eyes it is the giving that is emphasized. We please God in believing (Hebrews 11:6) and that involves believing in His son. Since believing is action-based, it involves giving on our part to others and that is causes us to abound in  productive, satisfying fruit.

17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. Philippians 4:18


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