God's Order in the Offerings

John 13  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 10
I have often thought that John 13 is better understood practically by us if we take the scene at the close of the chapter as a kind of introduction to the former portion. Of course the order of the chapter as it stands is divine, but God often deals in His Word with a subject from His own standpoint, while we habitually apprehend things as they affect ourselves. In a certain way this is very natural and just. The thing that troubles us as sinners is not, How can God be "just, and the justifier," but, How can a man be just with God (Rom. 3:2626To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:26); Job 9:22I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? (Job 9:2))-not how is God's glory affected by my sins, but how can I get pardon for them.
The opening chapters of Leviticus set forth in type the different aspects of the work of Christ. God starts with what has (if we may so speak) the first place with Him, the "burnt offering," which expresses the devotedness of
Christ, the holy Victim, even unto death for God's glory. The following chapters give us the "meat offering," the "peace offering," and the sin and trespass offerings, which speak respectively of Christ's perfect life, tested to the uttermost, but ever rising in sweetest perfume to God; Christ's work as bringing believers into communion with God and with one another; and His work as sin-bearer. But you will notice that in 1 Cor. 15, when the Apostle states the gospel, he begins, as we should say, at the end. He says (v. 3), "I delivered unto you first of all... how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures," for this is what meets my need as a sinner. Elsewhere he touches on the other aspects: Christ "our peace" (Eph. 2:1414For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; (Ephesians 2:14)), and Christ "an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor" (Eph. 5:22And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor. (Ephesians 5:2)).