The Holy Spirit is amazing, God is amazing, Jesus is amazing. How can we wrap our heads around the amazement? We can’t, because we are not around “it”, instead “it” surrounds us, we are surrounded by “it”, ACTUALLY we are all a part of “it”…
In old testament times, they sacrificed animals and plants to the Lord. Fragrant and smoky, these sacrifices carried through the air. Then it was time for God to reveal the New Convent, one that the Lord had always intended to make with His people, FOR we ARE His people. The Lord sacrificed a phase of earthly life, took Himself into a transition that did not change His God-ness but did change Him into Human-ness, for He came to earth to burn off the sins that were hindering all of us from reaching Heaven. Jesus became a Fragrant Sacrifice of our sins. Jesus was “ONCE FOR ALL” offered by Our Father, which Jesus offered of Himself. Once and done. That’s “it”. Love for all, in all, from giving all. In one act, Jesus made a huge sacrifice of LOVE, in LOVE, because LOVE is so integral to the Lord. A sacrifice made because of the sin of one man, Adam, which cascaded sin to the world, broke a system that the Lord KNEW would need fixing. We are whom God wants in His Kingdom before we are born.
Paul writes to the Hebrews about Christ being the sacrifice above all sacrifices… In their history back thru old testament 1000’s of years, year after year, the priests made sacrifices. Paul said the sacrifices will never “make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.“
Paul continues speaking of Jesus as the blessing we partake in: “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, my God.’”
I love how Paul doubled back to repeat and explain Jesus’s sacrifice and that we are the ones made holy from His offering: “First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then He said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL.”
“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest [JESUS] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” THAT’S US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.”
THAT’S FORGIVENESS: sins sacrificed and burnt to a crisp. That’s why Paul, writing Ephesians separately, said: “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
FOLLOW HIS FUMES USING HIS HOLY SPIRITED-FUEL.
Paul writes Corinthians that IF WE DON’T FORGIVE, SATAN WILL USE THAT TO EAT AWAY AT OUR PEACE: “Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.”
FORGIVENESS IS WHAT SETS US APART FROM THE WORLD.
Paul continues: “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.”
See Paul, in his letters to Hebrews, Ephesians, Corinthians, writes about the love we ALL experience. The fragrance of faith is just that: Jesus burning up sin ONE FOR ALL. Not needing us to annually remember our sins but forever remember His Love. Then walk freed, walking on sunshine maybe, walking on air not exactly, walking still – walking IN faith IN the newness of “IT” – in the fragrance of His sacrifice.
“A SACRIFICE OF PRAISE” – I never fully understood this lyric to a favorite praise band song, are we praising that we can sacrifice for the Lord and for His mission? We sacrifice our time and serve? Only partially, as HIS SACRED SACRIFICE is PRAISE that we need to share with others. And His sacrifice is fully worthy of praise and we ARE to continue to be that sacrifice, that aroma of Christ, the giving up of ourselves to carry on His Work, to serve ‘YOU LORD” – “A Sacrifice of Praise to You, to You Lord”
Paul closes this letter to the Hebrews section with a call for us all to Persevere in Faith: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the HOPE we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”