Ephesians 5:2 "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 sweet smelling savour."
These are the words of the apostle Paul by the will of God to the saints and the faithful in the Lord Jesus Christ at the church of Ephesus. Only the saints, by the discernment of the Holy Spirit, can enter into what Paul is here saying, and even then, they will be the first to admit that the enormity of this statement can be understood but in part.
It is a truth to encourage someone to walk in love. It is a truth to encourage someone to walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us. But unless God reveals to my heart the truth of that sweet smelling savour of His offering and sacrifice on my behalf then I will never, remotely understand the depths of Paul's words.
Christ hath loved us. This thought grows more and more amazing to me the more I realize the spiritual depravity from which I have been resurrected. My mouth stops in utter amazement to think that before God breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life, even before God ever created the first speck of dust from which He made man, He set His affection on me, a sinner. I wish that I could grasp the magnitude of the love that Christ had towards me when knowing what He would have to suffer still he entered into a covenant with a just God, promising to present me holy to the Father no matter what the cost. It did not matter that He knew I would spend years abusing His name, Christ still loved me. It did not matter that I would spend years abusing the creation He gave me, Christ still loved me. It did not matter that He saw no good thing in me, Christ still loved me. When reminded of this one, true, love, it is for the sake of my Redeemer that my sincerest desire is to walk in the same love as Christ has shown to me. How can we not forgive when so greatly we have been forgiven? How can we not be truthful when we have been made to know the truth? What dishonor have I shown my great Love when I speak to hearers' words that do not minister His grace?
Christ hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God. In giving Himself for us, He had to be like us. The infant born in Bethlehem was the God of glory. The Word, who was with God in the beginning, the Maker of all things, humbled Himself and became a man, can we fathom that love? In giving Himself for us He must be without spot or without blemish. We failed at sinless perfection before we were even born for we were conceived in sin. He was born of a virgin and knew no sin. We came forth from our mother's womb speaking lies. He was tempted in all points like we yet not one sin did He commit. Can we fathom that love? In giving Himself for us He provided the righteousness of God that we could never provide ourselves on our behalf. Unregenerate man desires his own self-glory so much that he prefers to cling to the putrid rags of his self-righteousness. And yet in giving Himself for those He eternally loved Christ traded the righteousness He earned as a man, for the very sin that His elect had no desire to relinquish. Can we fathom that love? In giving Himself for us He had to forgo His perfect obedience and bear the just judgment of God in place of every one He agreed to justify as though He Himself were the one who committed each and every sin. Christ, the only begotten Son of God with whom He had been since eternity was separated from the Father in judgment. Can we fathom that love? In giving Himself for us Christ Jesus was given the wages of sin and buried. The end that we deserve, Christ Jesus endured for three days. Can we fathom that love? In giving Himself for us He was raised from the dead, resurrected to sit at the right hand of the Almighty. Even now, we have an Advocate with the Father, a great High Priest who makes intercession for us, who shall lose none but shall gather all His purchased possession to Himself. Can we fathom that love?
The sacrifice of Christ Jesus is a sweet smelling savour to God. Christ Jesus, the only begotten of the Father, is the only offering and sacrifice ever made to God accepted by God AND God provided Himself as the sacrifice. All our works of righteousness stink in the nostrils of God. All our offerings and sacrifices are putrid to holy God. Yet the offering and sacrifice of Him with whom the Father is well pleased, the offering and sacrifice of Christ Jesus the Lord, is a sweet smelling savour.