Sacrifices are going to be used throughout the entire Bible. I am going to put a lot into this post today so that we ‘get it’ now and we will understand it going forward. I very rarely tell you to read these posts (often they can be skipped). This one I hope you read so that we have a better understanding of all 66 Books of the Bible. ✅. I also shy away from “application” of scriptures but I will sprinkle some in just to get us thinking.
Leviticus deals with the progressive sanctification of the Israelites, not their justification.
Each of these five offerings involved three objects:
1. The offerer (the person bringing the offering) YOU
2. The offering (the animal or other object being offered) YOUR SACRIFICE
3. The mediator (the priest) JESUS
We are going to talk about 5 different offerings in 5 chapters. Is this relevant: Yes. You are going to have to dig into your heart a little and think about how God wants you to apply this in your personal Worship. I usually do not talk about the application (I leave that for the Holy Spirit), but I may a little to help us chew on these.
The first 3 offerings are voluntary: Your choice.
Ch. 1 Burnt Offering: The Hebrew word for “burnt offering” actually means to “ascend,“ literally to “go up in smoke.” The smoke from the sacrifice ascended to God, “a soothing aroma to the LORD”. Technically, any offering burned over an altar was a burnt offering, but in more specific terms, a burnt offering was the complete destruction of the animal (except for the hide) in an effort to renew the relationship between Holy God and sinful man. With the development of the law, God gave the Israelites specific instructions as to the types of burnt offerings and what they symbolized.
Offering MUST not have a defect (foreshadow of Jesus). You brought according to what you could afford.
4 You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you. 5 You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord
This was a personal experience. It was a sacrifice of general atonement—an acknowledgment of our sinful nature and a request for a renewed relationship with God.
What are you going to give up and bring before the Lord? Put that stronghold on the Altar so you have a renewed relationship with the Lord. Do you have to? NO. This is a VOLUNTARY offering. It is up to you if you want to repent to have a closer relationship. Cain and Abel gave a burnt offering, Noah gave a burnt offering after the flood, and Abraham was willing to give Isaac as a Burnt offering. Since the beginning of time, humans knew that Sin must be covered at any cost!
The ultimate fulfillment of the burnt offering is in Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. His physical life was completely consumed, He ascended to God, and His death covers us. But most importantly, His sacrifice, once for all time, atoned for our sins and restored our relationship with God.
Ch 2 Grain Offering-The “grain offering” was also an offering of worship that brought God pleasure. This offering too is completely Voluntary. It symbolizes the sacrifice, commitment, and works, to God—as well as the worshiper’s willingness to keep the law. “Anyone” could present this offering, a man or a woman.
Ephesians: 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Very few instructions about what you bring freely (free-will offering) to the Lord is on purpose. What do you bring or offer freely? Time? Money? Service? Teaching? but whatever you do make sure it is without Yeast. What does that mean? Bring it with a pure heart, without a sinful intention. Here is what that means to me (I could be wrong). When you bring a free-will offering, let’s say an act of service: what is the real motive?? Is it to put a picture on social media “oh look at me”, is it for the praise or the pat on the back, is it so others can see what you bring to the table? A REAL Grain offering in your life, thanking God for His Provisions, is between You and the Lord.
I am going to be straight up…I have done a terrible job teaching my kids the Bible. My most ‘knowledgeable’ child (teenager) scored a 45 on the Exodus quiz 🤪 BUT the one scripture they do know is Matthew 6:1-4
6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Ch 3 The Fellowship Offering (Peace offering): The “fellowship or Peace offering” is the third voluntary sacrifice of worship.
- First, a peace offering could be given as a freewill offering, meaning that the worshiper was giving the peace offering as a way to say thank you to God. It was basically just a way to praise God for His goodness.
- The second way a peace offering could be given was alongside a fulfilled vow. “I have no resentment; I am holding nothing back in the payment of my vow.”
- The third purpose of a peace offering was to give thanksgiving for God’s deliverance in an hour of dire need.
None of these three reasons to sacrifice had anything to do with propitiation, with appeasing God, or with pacifying Him. Here is an example I may or may not have done in my college days “God if you make the room stop spinning I will never drink again 🤮”. (weird to think about since I was an atheist saying this….hey desperate times call for desperate measures). But we still do it…”If you help me with this then I will….”
It is purely a fellowship offering.❤️
The next 2 offerings were NOT Voluntary.
The Sin Offering: The Hebrew phrase for “sin offering” literally means “fault offering.” The sin offering was made for sins committed in ignorance, or unintentional sins. The importance of this offering can be seen in the amount of space in the text that is devoted to explaining it: 35 verses. Here is the deal, you can try as hard as you can, but you will sin! You do not lose your Salvation BUT it does impede your fellowship with God. The center of this book is the Day of Atonement. It is an annual Sin Offering. So we can talk more about this since it is already 7:00 and some of you are morning readers.
One thought on “Leviticus 1-4”
Is it weird that I enjoyed these chapters? I like details. I am appreciative of the fact that God was SO specific there was no questioning His requirements. I’m also a “1” on the Enneagram. 🤣
Seriously though, I read like a motion picture is being made and I’m on set.
Ch 3:17 — is this still observed by Jews? No fat or blood?