Final thoughts on Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. NKJV
In the Old Testament, when a burnt offering was killed, its head is severed, the fat removed, and the entrails and legs washed. Then, everything was placed on the bronze altar and burnt, and the sacrifice was a sweet aroma to God (Lev. 1:12-13).
This sacrifice pictured the death of Jesus, who has “given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
The head of the sacrificed animal pictured the mind of Christ offered as a covering for our minds. Although our minds are often clouded with unbelief, worries, foolishness, filth, and human reasoning, God treats us as though we have the mind of Christ, without wrong or displeasing thoughts, bringing pleasure to Him like a sweet smell.
The fat of the animal pictured the riches of Christ, His best, for God equates the fat of something with the best of that entity (Genesis 45:18). The fat of the burnt offering pictures Jesus giving us His riches, His best, as our covering. So God does not see us in our lack, but in the riches and excellence of Jesus going up to Him as a sweet aroma.
The animal’s intestines pictured Jesus’ motivations, feelings, affections and desires. We often feel fearful, anxious, stressed out or angry (and it affects our stomach and intestines). But God sees only Jesus’ feelings and desires, which are always pure, beautiful and acceptable to Him — a sweet smell.
The legs of the animal pictured Jesus’ perfect walk — His power to serve and obey the Father — imputed to our weak and faltering walk. And the fact they are washed shows that even our crooked walk has been cleansed.
Believer, God does not see your foolish mind, weak nature, inadequate feelings or faulty walk. Instead, He sees you in the perfection of His Son, who gave Himself up for you as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God.
God does not see you in your imperfections, but in the perfections of His Son. Joseph Prince