March 2


"Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:2, NIV).

The imagery of a fragrant offering is drawn from the Jewish sanctuary system. In this system, fragrant offerings occupied an important part of the ceremonies in the Holy Place (see Exodus 30:1-9). On the Day of Atonement, the priest entered the most Holy Place and burned sweet smelling incense that engulfed the ark of the covenant (see Leviticus 16:12, 13). The aroma of the incense offering symbolized the supreme offering of Christ's life on the cross for the salvation of all who believe. It represented the merits and intercession of Christ our righteousness.

Christ is the fragrant offering because He is an offering of love, voluntarily given for the redemption of the human race. It is fragrant to God because in love He gave, and in love Jesus came (see John 3:16). Love is always fragrant, precious, and priceless. In God's redemption plan, He gave the choicest, purest, and most fragrant gift in the universe to save a prodigal world.

Heaven's supreme gift to humanity was the fragrant love offering of Christ, our Redeemer. Only through this priceless gift can we have eternal life. As Ellen G. White so beautifully states it: "The merit of the righteousness of Christ is the only ground upon which the sinner may hope for a title to eternal life; for Christ hath given himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God, as a sweet-smelling savor. An infinite price was paid for man's redemption."--Signs of the Times, June 18, 1894.

My Prayer Today: Lord, the fragrant love offering of Your beloved Son has captured me. May I in turn learn to love as He loves me. Amen.