If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish... The burnt offering...will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. Leviticus 1:3-4
The first offering described in Leviticus 1, is the burnt offering.
The instructions for this offering that set it apart from the others is from verse 1:9,
"The priest shall burn all on the altar."
Unlike other offerings, the burnt offering was to have none leftover and nothing of this offering was to be eaten as food.
This sacrifice represents Christ's complete and total offering of Himself, in our place, for our sins.
The last half of verse 3 says, "he shall offer it of his own voluntary will..."
Jesus laid all on the altar of the cross for you and for me. If the altar represents the cross and the fire beneath represents the wrath/judgment of God, then the Lord Jesus was a willing sacrifice who gave everything for us. He didn't go to the cross kicking and screaming.
Instead, He willing laid down His life for others. He laid it down for you and me.
Too often I forget that if God wanted to judge and condemn me, He could do so easily. Him and I both know better than anyone how far I fall short of perfection.
But I am reminded of His words in Luke 9:56,
For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.
I am awed and humbled yet again to remember just how much He loves me...and you. He loved us enough to give His life in exchange for ours so we could be reunited with the Father. The verse in Leviticus uses the word "atonement." The easiest way to remember that 'atonement' is being reunited to God is to break it up and read it as "at-one-ment."
But not only are we reunited with God, which is enough in itself, but what He did freed us from the slavery of our sinful, carnal nature.
Thank You Lord for being our burnt offering.
Thank You for willingly giving Yourself for us.