In Leviticus chapter one, the Lord details how burnt offerings are to be prepared and offered. This was to be an offering, which means it was voluntary, something one would do out of a spirit of worship. The entire animal would be completely consumed by fire leaving nothing left. Most of the other sacrifices had portions to be set aside for the priests or even for feasts.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 12:1

As followers of Jesus, we’re instructed to offer our living bodies as sacrifices rather than some animal. Like Christ, we are called to live wholeheartedly for God and his purposes. Much like the burnt offering, we are to offer all of ourselves, knowing full well what it costs. There should be nothing left of us to give to the world, or anything else.

Our sinful nature predictably squawks at the whole premise, as it is the sinful nature that burns in the Lord’s presence. The harder we push, the harder it resists, which turns the act of being a living sacrifice into a lifelong civil war. Sadly, we will always be an imperfect burnt offering, never fully ridding ourselves of our lesser nature. Praise be eternally to Christ for his grace towards us! He completes our partial offering with his perfect sacrifice.

Jonathan Duncan

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