We've just started a new Sunday morning bible study which will go through the entire book of Leviticus. I just ran across this quote on the purpose of the burnt offering in Leviticus 1:
Using a little imagination every reader of the OT soon realizes that these ancient sacrifices were very moving occasions. They make modern church services seem tame and dull by comparison. The ancient worshipper did not just listen to the minister and sing a few hymns. He was actively involved in the worship. He had to choose an unblemished animal from his own flock, bring it to the sanctuary, kill it and dismember it with his own hands, then watch it go up in smoke before his very eyes. He was convinced that something very significant was achieved through these acts and knew that his relationship with God was profoundly affected by this sacrifice.-- From Gordon J. Wenham's commentary The Book of Leviticus, page 55.