At Ascent, we are currently in a series on the book of Leviticus. Why? Because, all the church growth experts said it would be a great idea. No, that's actually not true at all. We are in Leviticus because everyone hates Leviticus. It is seriously the punching bag of the Bible. There are endless jokes about how bad and boring Leviticus is to read. However, as I study the book of Leviticus I don’t see a book that is boring at all, rather I see a complex book full of relevant wisdom for our world today.
With that said, I’ll be honest and tell you that I didn’t have a favorite verse from the book. Let’s be real; there aren’t exactly a plethora of coffee mug worthy verses in Leviticus. However, that all changed for me this week as I prepared to preach on Leviticus 8.
I know you are about to fall out of your seat with anticipation. What is my favorite verse in Leviticus? It is… cue the drumroll….
27 He put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons and presented them before the Lord as a presentation offering. 28 Then Moses took them from their hands and burned them on the altar with the burnt offering. This was an ordination offering for a pleasing aroma, a fire offering to the Lord. - Leviticus 8:27-28 (CSB)
The presentation offering - or as it is sometimes called the wave offering - was for the Lord. In 1 Peter, written after the resurrection of Jesus, Peter says that all believers are priests in Christ (which as a side note should be mind-blowing) and as priests we are to make offerings just as the priests in the old testament did. The only difference is our sacrifices/offerings are spiritual not physical. To which all the goats and bulls say, thank you. Look below at Peter’s own words.
5 you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. - 1 Peter 2:5 (CSB)
We know from the apostle Paul in Romans 12:1 that our true and right offering is our entire life. Our presentation offering - if you will - is a life of godliness. In light of the good news of Jesus our natural response is to say, “Jesus, you take everything. All that I am and all that I do is for you alone.”
This offering, a life lived for the glory of Christ is an acceptable and pleasing offering to the Lord.
Okay, so why does this matter and what does it have to do with Leviticus 8:27-28? Well, I am glad you asked. Because, what if your life isn’t a pleasing offering to the Lord? What if you have fallen short of a perfect life? What if you have made mistakes and repeated sins that hurt you and others? What if, despite wanting to give everything to God, you realize that you often live for yourself?
The truth is none of us except for Jesus have lived a life pleasing to God. We all fall miserably short of the standard He has set for us. So, are we doomed and unable to present an offering pleasing to the Lord?
Not at all! This is why I love Leviticus 8:27-28. You see Moses gave the offering to Aaron and his sons, they held it momentarily and then handed it back to Moses, it was Moses who actually made the pleasing offering to the Lord. This is exactly how it works for you and I. Only we trust in the greater Moses, Jesus Christ, to perfect our offering.
Look again at the verse in 1 Peter above. Peter says that we are to present spiritual offerings that are pleasing to God, but then he ends by saying this, “acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Do you see how wonderful this is? My life is made pleasing through Jesus!
Jesus saves me and as a logical result I use all that I have (all that has been placed in my hands by Jesus) for His glory. However, I fall short. I am weak and I sin. I am sometimes selfish and often blind to my shortcomings. My life isn’t pleasing to the Lord. But Jesus, takes my offering back out of my hands and perfects it through His own perfect life, death and resurrection. Making my life a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
God is so good to us through Jesus. He has loved us greatly! Even in our offering to Him he provides a way through grace for our gift to be perfected through the gospel of Jesus. That is why Leviticus 8:27-28 is now one of my favorite verses and I now hope that it becomes special to you as well. And please, quit beating up on Leviticus. (: