Leviticus 1-4

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 ).

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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.

Please stop and watch this quick video if you need clarification on Justification and Sanctification.  Click here.

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.

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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?

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10 thoughts on “Leviticus 1-4

  1. Trish enjoy your snow days you so deserve them! Thank you for digging so deep and pouring into us! Leviticus is a tough chapter for me but I will as you said not be a grave digger and receive all I can in this book!


  2. I tried to study Leviticus through a podcast Torah class with Tom Bradford. He is a preacher at a Messianic church. It was very interesting but I still got lost with all of the offerings haha. Patrisha, you wrote that these offerings weren’t the Israelites salvation. I have never heard this before but I guess I always thought the offerings were their salvation with God. Thank you for your insight in this.


  3. If their faith was Passover thus salvation…what about those born after but before Jesus? Am I getting ahead of myself?

    I’m also glad it’s only a week! Surely if we got through Job we can get through Leviticus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question. Atoning or covering our sin requires a substitute. The promise becomes an unbreakable covenant from God by sealing the promise with the blood. We saw the first sacrifice in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve tried to cover their own sin with leaves but instead, out of Love, God sacrificed an an innocent animal and covered their nakedness (sin) for them. Always pointing to the Cross, the perfect lamb that is sacrificed. However, it is faith in that sacrifice that is our Salvation even at the Tabernacle and Temple. When sacrifices were offered, it was their Faith that the animal would be their substitute all throughout the Old Testament. So someone texted me a great question and it killed me she didn’t ask it on the blog. Her question was “When did people stop making animal sacrifices? If Jewish people do not believe Jesus was the Messiah how come they do not still make sacrifices”. Well, after Christ died, they actually did still make sacrifices, The temple was still standing. Was Faith in the Cross enough for salvation? Many people had faith but still sacrificed relying on the “works” too. Jewish people that converted (proselytes) just did not grasp that Jesus fulfilled the law (I don’t blame them, their whole ancestor foundation was raised on this). Sacrifice and Faith are both required, however, Jesus fulfilled the sacrifice once and for all…that leaves Faith. (To answer the question about when and why not today, the answer is 70 A.D., when the temple collapsed). Was that confusing? Tell me if it was.


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