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.
Christians are to love like Christ did when He gave His life for our sins.
and given Himself
The Greek for “given Himself for us” is He gave Himself up (to death). True love gives oneself for others. This is a love that gives rather than gets. Jesus said in effect, “Here I am, Father; let me die for the sins of the world.” Jesus loved us sacrificially (Jn 10:11, 15, 17-18; Ga 1:4, 2:20).
He 9:14, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Christ gave Himself on our behalf, in our stead. Christ was both the offerer and the offering. He is one and the same. He did what He did to extend His sacrifice to us. Jesus death is the substitute payment for our sin (Jn 15:13; Ro 5:8).
Jesus presented Himself as an offering to the Father as our Representative. He was our offering on the cross for sin. He was the victim for our sin. We should have been the victim.
and a sacrifice to God
“Sacrifice” refers to Christ’s death for our sins. He is the antitype of all sacrifices for sins. Like a lamb sacrificed on an altar in the Old Testament, Jesus is our sacrifice for sins.
for a sweet-smelling aroma.
The offering of Christ for our sins was a fragrant smell to God, indicating His acceptance of that sacrifice. The book of Leviticus sets forth various offerings such as the meal, and burnt and peace offerings for sin. Those offerings were “a pleasing aroma to the LORD” (Lev 1:9). God is pleased with the idea of sacrifice for sin. He died instead of us.
Sacrifices in the Old Testament were varied. The priest had to know what sacrifice was relevant to the sin of his parishioner. Each sin required a different sacrifice.
At the sacrifice sins of the individual was transferred to the object. The smoke of incense arose from the sacrifice to the nostrils of God. That was a sweet smell to God because He knew that sins were dealt with.
Christians can offer fragrance to God by sacrificially living for others.
Jesus’ life was not extracted from Him. He willingly gave Himself to die for our sins (Mr 10:45; Jn 10:11). He willing, gladly died for our sins. His life was not spilled accidently; He died for us on purpose (Ac 2:23; Re 13:8). He came with the purpose to die. He did not intend to live to a ripe old age. His death was no martyr’s death.
Christians, like Christ, can offer a fragrant aroma to God by sacrificing for other believers. We can offer our lives sacrificially for others.
Php 4:18, Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.