When we arrived home, there was a horrible, distasteful smell somewhere in the kitchen–our district must have lost power for a bit while we were gone because all of our freezer meat and frozen veggies/fruit had spoiled. Ugh!
But after we cleaned out the freezer and fridge, the smell prevailed so I spent our first day just scrubbing the kitchen–under the sink, behind the fridge and stove, inside the stove, inside cupboards, and even poured vinegar and baking soda down the drain. The smell seems to fade every day, but we never did find the source. Maybe a mouse moved in and died behind the drywall… yuck!
We found it helpful to light some candles and have been able to enjoy the smell of pumpkin pie or cranberry instead. I love candles, so it was a great excuse to keep them burning.
That week I had also been reading Ephesians chapter five and it began with:
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
After reading this verse, I looked up the word “aroma” on Biblegateway.com and lists and lists of verses from the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy) appeared, describing the sacrificed burnt offerings that the priests offered as “a soothing aroma to the Lord.”
Before Christ, the priests were required to regularly offer various sacrifices to the Lord, and the people trusted God to acknowledge their sacrifices and forgive their sins. The burnt offerings were a temporary tradition, symbolic of God’s plan to reconcile mankind to himself through Jesus’ life on earth and sacrificial death on the cross.
What is interesting is this. The Jews (priests) offered up the sacrificial lambs, goats, cattle, or birds for thousands of years. When God sent Jesus Christ, there was no need to have any more sacrifices. Why? Shouldn’t the tradition continue, in acknowledgement of wrongdoing and trust that God will forgive the sins of the people?
The answer can be found in this– our God is an infinite God. Jesus came to earth as fully God and fully man and Jesus’ sacrfice was an infinite sacrifice. He came and atoned for the sins of those in the past, continues to atone for the sins of mankind in the present, and will atone for sins of men and women in the future. There is no limit to atonement because He, the sacrificial Lamb, is infinite.
The next offering does not need to be prepared because Jesus is the infinite atoning offering and those who seek forgiveness through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ are infinitely atoned. Jesus’ loving sacrifice of his life for us was and is a fragrant aroma to God… an infinite fragrant aroma. The key word is _____________.
Every time I smelled that awful smell in our kitchen, it was a small reminder to me of God’s own hate for sin and His love, grace and justice in making a way, making it possible for us to have a relationship with Him. I thank God for Jesus’s sacrifice–the fragrant aroma that God smells instead of my sin.
What a wonderful God–I want to be an imitator of Him!