The Suzuki Cattle Farm in our city sends forth a very pungent smell about 4:30 every afternoon. Even though we’re several kilometers away from the farm, the smell literally reeks (emits a strong offensive smell) in our neighborhood. The farm raises Black Angus cattle and sends them to the slaughterhouse when they mature. I can imagine what it’s like at the farm on these smelly afternoons. Imagine with me, okay?
Hundreds of these cattle are penned up in extremely confined quarters. Slobbering on one another, batting their tails to get rid of the flies that gather as the entire herd urinates and defecates (to excrete waste matter from the bowels), walking in the mud, pee and poop, sliding all around, and licking themselves as clean as they can before they lay down in it all to get some shuteye is their daily routine.
No wonder the smell travels all the way into our neighborhood. The ideal place to live? I don’t think so, but, it all changes when the cattle are sent to the slaughterhouse. The smell stops the moment that hunk of living flesh dies. Consider that WE, before we “die to the flesh” are just like these cattle, wallowing around in a bunch of muck!
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest (made known), which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.” I think each one of us can relate to this list. How many in the above list can we put a check to and say, “Yep, I’m guilty.”
In Exodus 29 God tells the priests how to offer a burnt offering! He says, “thou shalt slay (KILL, snuff out the life, do away with, take to the slaughterhouse) the animal (flesh) and sprinkle the blood (where the nature of these animals to wallow in filth is located) around the altar.” It’s in our sinful blood that our human nature abides. It wants to do the things in the “works of the flesh” listed above.
Then He says, “thou shalt burn the whole (all of it, 100 percent) upon the altar. It is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.” This is where the smelly, stinking, putrid (decomposed, rotten and foul-smellinig, morally corrupt, depraved) flesh turns into a smell that really smells good to God! Flesh that is still alive, if burned, gives off a horrifying smell. When it dies, has its blood drained and is burned, it smells delightful. In fact, the word “sweet savour”means a restful, pleasant, delightful odor. The next steak you eat could be one of those whose picture is above: smelly, stinky, dirty, literally yucky, but when it dies and is grilled properly, it sends forth a delightful odor.
Meet Seijun Sakuta who works in the Takeda Meat Market at Sun Live Shopping Center in Munakata City. The Japanese beef steak he is holding is Kumamoto Aka (red) Beef and costs ¥1,200 per 100 grams. Its total weight is 337 grams. Total cost is ¥4,044, or in USDollars $35.56! It’s marbled with fat through and through. This fat, when burned, barbecued or grilled sends forth a delightful smell that will make a person’s mouth water and create a craving that only eating will satisfy. Sakuta-san said he sells about four or five of these steaks a day. Needless to say, WE have never bought one though.
The Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians, “I die daily.” Then he said to the Galatians, “I am crucified (dead to the works of the flesh list above) with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ (that’s the Holy Ghost) liveth in me.”
This weekend, how about taking your old human nature to the slaughterhouse and killing it. Then you’ll be able to offer a sacrifice of a sweet savour to God! It’s the FIRE of the Holy Ghost that burns the old dead self and makes the sweet savour that God so loves!
My guess is that God’s favorite meal is “human steak,” probably well done!