Before we even begin this book I want to talk about something VERY important. Many people, maybe you (and that is ok) believe that Salvation in the Old Testament is different in the New Testament. I have often thought “wow, I am so glad I am on this side of the Cross because I LOVE animals and I am not sure I would be saved if I had to look a sweet little lamb in the eye and slit its neck”. These sacrifices may have “atoned” their sins but that was to keep a fellowship, a relationship with the Lord…NOT SALVATION. When were Israelites at the Tabernacle redeemed?? Is it AT the Tabernacle making continual sacrifices…No. Stay with me here. It’s 3:45 a.m. and I am already unglued about this .😙 Jumping over to the Gospel…(I am a behavior teacher, and it is a snow day…I can be a little crazy today).
“I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”.
Believe and Eternal. The key words.
The Israelites’ Salvation was at the Passover a year before. They BELIEVED that through a sacrifice of an unblemished, perfect sacrifice death would pass over them! Just as they believed in the lifting of the snake in the wilderness would save them. (If you don’t know about the snake then that is your incentive to stay with the read through Numbers so that you will never look at an ambulance the same ).
Now…after the Red Sea were they sinless? HECK NO! The grumbled, they idolized a calf, they grumbled again…ungrateful right? After God saved them from slavery and death, this is the thanks He gets? Here is another BIG word I didn’t understand when I moved to the Bible Belt (people talk “Christianese” and I was lost like a ball in weeds when they talked). Sanctification.
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) The TRINITY.
This book has a nickname: The Levitical Graveyard. Why? Because most people stop their chronological read during this book. It is hard and boring (just keeping it real) BUT you will not be in this graveyard because you are going to push through this book because it is one week of reading and Jesus gave up a lot more for you. So repeat after me: “I will not be a gravedigger!” Instead dig into your Holy Spirit as He speaks to you about making sacrifices and offerings to build your relationship with the Lord continually and not just stopping at the Cross.
The first 3 offerings are voluntary: Your choice.
Burnt Offering: The “burnt offering” expressed the offerer’s complete consecration to God, as well as God’s complete acceptance of the worshiper. However, this offering also made atonement (covering of sin) for the offerer. The reason for listing this offering first is because it is the most important one. The burnt offering was an act of worship in which the Israelite offered to God a whole animal. The fire on the altar completely consumed it as a “substitute” for the offerer, and as a symbol of his total personal self-sacrifice to God. With this offering, the worshiper was seeking to please the Lord, and to find acceptance into His presence as a redeemed person. What is my offering daily that says I am “seeking” to please the Lord daily. How am I pursing “changing and repenting” daily to get closer to God not just by saying “Well, I am saved, He will forgive me”
The Grain Offering: The “grain offering” was also an offering of worship that brought God pleasure. 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.”
The Fellowship Offering: The “fellowship or offering” is the third voluntary sacrifice of worship. It represented the personal fellowship between God and the person, that resulted from the relationship that God had established with the
redeemed individual. Peace and fellowship resulted from redemption, and this act of worship highlighted and celebrated those blessings from God. It did not obtain them.
The next offerings was not Voluntary.
The Sin Offering:The importance of this offering can be seen in the amount of space in the text that is devoted to explaining it: 35 verses. The “sin offering” was a very important offering, since it was to be offered before any of the others. It also played a key role on the Day of Atonement. Ancient Near Easterners offered certain offerings before God incorporated these into the Law. Moses previously mentioned burnt offerings in Genesis (8 different chapters) . The sin offering only covered sins committed unintentionally. This category included sins done: by mistake, in error, through oversight or ignorance, lack of consideration, negligence, or by carelessness. 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. So do you just “shrug your shoulders” to unintentional sin like I do?