J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 1.)
Adam would have surely worshipped, praised, thanked and adored God, who we know could familiarly come to him in the cool of the day; but neither here nor in Angels was there any surrender of self - their part was to be and abide simply what they were. They were in their place with God, and God had His in their hearts, and could have no other; and there was no self to give up.
Christ could, being in the form of God, make Himself of no reputation, and come in voluntary self-abasement to do God s will, and give Himself up to glorify His Father; we who were aliens from God, being quickened by Him, and alive unto God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, can through grace yield ourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and our members instruments of righteousness to God. But thus is not worship, though in us a worshipping spirit may delight to do it. Further, all pretension to worship God now, unless through redemption, and the death of Christ, is sin - it is insensibility to our alienation from God, and in our state of sin, pretending we can come to God as if nothing had happened; Christ's offering of Himself, and being made sin, lays the sole ground of all worship. And in the converse order, when we come by it, in virtue of this we can offer ourselves, but that is not worship, though it may accompany it we yield ourselves to God, because we were strangers, but now can, and indeed are not our own, but bought with a price, as Adam and Angels were not - that sacrifice is not, properly speaking, worship.
Taking it in its first character, it is Christ giving Himself - through the eternal Spirit, offering Himself without spot to God, or then made sin for us, or a perfect spiritual life tested by the fire of God's judgment, and a sweet savour to God; an o-lah (burnt offering), a khat-tath (sin-offering), or a min'khah (meat offering). The zevakh sh'lamim (sacrifice of peace offering) was, as an offering, an o-lah, i.e., the fat, but the communion and feast of the worshipper
Then, in its application to us, the khat-tath, or sin-offering begins - this is not worship, it is clear; the o-lah is the perfect offering unto death, in the sweet savour of which we come when we worship; the min'khah we feed on as priests, i.e., Christ s living perfection even to death, but none of this is our worship, though we come by it when we worship - it is the central thing on which all our worship rests and is accepted. Only one aspect has to be enquired into, seen in Abel's sacrifice, coming with Christ, so to speak, in our hands as a gift to God; this is what is presented to us in Abel, but the reference to it in Hebrews does not treat it as worship, but he obtained testimony that he was righteous, God testifying of His gifts.
299 There is, in offering up gifts to God, homage rendered to Him, and, so far as a sacrifice, of self, but this is only when coming from a distance, and hence looks to acceptance, and this cannot be but first by a bloody sacrifice, i.e., by Christ. Hence, when He offered up Himself without spot to God, it was to death even as a holocaust, but when we go thus, we go from outside to be accepted - it may be not doubting it will be so, but to be accepted - thus, though it be the door to worship, and springs from the spirit that leads to it, i.e., a soul returning by Christ to God, yet the sacrifice is not in itself properly worship, nor even coming by or with it, though thus last is, in a measure, homage to God and so worship; but true worship is in a known relationship, praising, adoring, thanking, blessing God in the consciousness of His favour, in His presence as those brought in by the work of Christ, both cleansed and according to the value and savour of His sacrifice, but as in a known relationship of present favour and grace wherein we stand, so that we joy in God, and, I may add, are before the Father who Himself loves us.
It is the outgoing of heart in delighting in God, and adoring Him for all He has done when we think of that, but flowing from what He is to us; and we are actually in His presence, never forgetting surely how we got there, for He has been manifested in that we have learned love and righteousness and holiness there, but as within, praising Him whom we have found, in our present relationship to Him.
There is another thought connected with the Lord's supper, besides its being that symbolically, in virtue of which, and in the perfect savour of which we, risen and in God s presence, do worship; these are the sin-offering, which comes first for the returning sinner, and the burnt-offering. In the peace-offerings the fat was the bread of the offering of the Lord - Jehovah fed upon it, and the priest and the offerer and his friends fed upon the rest. Christ, who was God's delight, is our delight - He feeds upon the perfect offering of Himself, Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again" - we feed upon His broken body; we do feed, with delight, upon that which came down from heaven, but we cannot feed upon it, as such, without or separate from its being broken and its blood shed, and, even in dwelling on Christ, in His humbled life, it is always with the consciousness that the Cross completed it, and threw its character of perfectness over His whole path, besides the work that was wrought there. It is not a glorified Christ we feed on then, but on a sacrificed Christ, His broken body and shed blood, wherefore it is "in remembrance of me." There is no such Christ in existence now, and the blood must be drunk, a separate thing, out of the body - that is redemption - without there is none.