When a Beis Yaakov hosts a convention for other Beis Yaakov students from across North America, the students all take responsibility for different parts of the convention. When my wife was in High School, and the Convention came to her city, she was responsible for Food Prep. They were catering a Shabbos for hundreds of girls, so it was an important job. The ovens had to be empty and clean before being turned on. The food had to be ordered, delivered and heated.
I bring this up because as I think of the Beis Hamikdash, it’s hard to avoid the impression that it was one giant kitchen and dining hall. Understanding this detail is a key to understanding the entire nature of Avodah, Service.
The Principle that God is not physical and has no physical needs does not affect the reality that the main task of the Cohanim was to serve in God’s house, and the Mizbeiach was the equivalent of the Dining Room Table.
Why serve God food if he doesn’t need food? Because when one does something for someone else, it has an effect on the giver more than it does on the recipient. When a child gets his mother a glass of water, it strengthens his bond to his mother even if the mother isn’t thirsty.
The principle of the Beis Hamikdash was the sense that preparing food and serving food to someone we respect are acts of love and respect. We extended that principle to God, even though the metaphor fails when applied literally.
This the ROOT idea of Korbanos, food offerings on the altar. If you understand how taking someone to a restaurant is romantic, then you understand korbanos.
It’s the affection of food prep.