And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us…
I. In the first place, let us consider, THAT AS THE OFFERING AND SACRIFICE, THE BURNT OFFERING AND BURNT SACRIFICE, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS ESPECIALLY "A SWEET-SMELLING SAVOUR" TO GOD.
1. Consider the dignity of His Person.
2. Look at the purity of His sacrifice. Look at the faith that never gave way; look at the patience that never was exhausted; look at the courage that never flinched; look at the love that never wasted; look at the zeal for God that was always on fire; look at the tenderness for poor, perishing, lost and ruined sinners.
3. Look we at the work itself — look we at those for whom He was all this.
II. But observe THE MANY PROOFS THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN AND ARE STILL GIVEN, THAT THIS SACRIFICE IS "A SWEET-SMELLING SAVOUR " BEFORE GOD. Four thousand years before that sacrifice was offered, there came forth the first promise in all its fragrancy. Whence that cry of victory — "It is finished"? Why was it the stone was rolled away? why did the body ascend? why did the Conqueror go up? why did the Spirit descend? why was it, on the Day of Pentecost, that the timid became brave, that blasphemers stood forth as real penitents before God? Why was all this? Because the sacrifice went up as a "sweet-smelling savour," and a descending Spirit was the mark of God's infinite and eternal approval of it. But, beloved, perhaps now the savour of it has passed away. More than 1,800 years have passed away since it was offered. Kingdoms have risen and fallen since then. But the fragrancy of that offering has in no sense passed away. It has not lost one iota of its acceptance before a holy God. But, beloved, there is one point more in reference to this sweet savour — it will cast its fragrancy throughout eternity. It fills heaven with its odour.
III. And now let us consider A FEW PRACTICAL BEARINGS OF OUR SUBJECT.
1. In the first place, if all this be true, then how awful is that man's state, that can hear of this atonement and find fragrancy in everything else except that one thing that is fragrant before God! The things that God hates he can delight in.
2. Let me give one word of tender caution to those whose conscience has been awakened by the blessed Spirit to feel a real concern for salvation. If they go to other sacrifices, they have still to seek sweetness elsewhere.
(J. H. Evans, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.