The Book of Leviticus opens by describing several types of recurring offerings the people could offer at the tabernacle. Each of these sacrifices was to be offered in a certain way and had a specific purpose.
The first offering is the burnt offering, a voluntary sacrifice where the entire animal was burned and the fire and smoke were a pleasing aroma to God. While the burnt offering involved atonement for sin (v. 4), it also signified a person’s full dedication to God, pictured by the sacrifice being completely burned.
For believers today, in this offering we see images of Christ’s full dedication to the Father expressed through His life of obedience and His willing sacrifice on the cross. Christ gave Himself fully for us to make atonement for our sin (Heb. 9:12). Our only reasonable response, then, is total surrender to Him. The voluntary nature of this offering captures both Christ’s willingness to endure shame on our behalf and also our proper motivation in living for Him. Our obedience is not to be offered by compulsion but motivated by love and gratitude.
In what areas of your life are you holding back from surrender to God? What is preventing you from giving these to God joyfully?