And the Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the Lord, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. ~ Leviticus 1:1-2
Is anyone out there reading the One Year Bible? If you are, you know that for the last few days we have been reading in Leviticus 1-5 about the 5 major Old Testament sacrifices/offerings. Hard reading to stay engaged in but I hope you didn’t skip what God laid out for us. I found it all absolutely fascinating.
I also think it is important to know about these offerings since they are mentioned throughout the Old Testament and provided a way for the Israelites to get into and keep a right relationship with God. These sacrifices provide us with a description of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us. They also show us a pattern for our own approach to God.
1. Burnt Offering – Leviticus 1 – Voluntary act of worship. Atonement for unintentional sin in general; expression of devotion, commitment and surrender to God. Bull, ram or male bird is offered – only offering to be totally consumed on the altar with nothing eaten by men. First offering mentioned by name in the Bible (Genesis 8:20) Most common offering mentioned in Bible. (197 times)
2. Meat Offering – Leviticus 2 – Voluntary act of worship; recognition of God’s goodness and provisions; devotion to God. It was a sweet savor to the Lord. Indicates a living sacrifice. Grain, fine flour, olive oil, incense, baked bread, salt offered – accompanied burnt and fellowship offering. Only offering made without the shedding of blood and without an animal sacrifice.
3. Peace Offering – Leviticus 3 – Voluntary act of worship; thanksgiving and fellowship as it included a communal meal. It was the only offering in which the offerer could eat of the meat of the sacrifice. Any animal without defect from herd or flock offered.
4. Sin Offering – Leviticus 4 – Mandatory atonement for specific unintentional sin; confession of sin; forgiveness of sin; cleansing from defilement. Dealt with the sinner and the problem of sin. Indicates payment for the sin nature. Required offering and not a sweet savor. Young bull for high priest & congregation offered. Male goat for leader. Female goat or lamb for common person. Dove or pigeon for the poor. Tenth of an ephah of fine flour for the very poor.
5. Trespass Offering – Leviticus 5 – Mandatory atonement for unintentional sin requiring restitution; cleansing from defilement; make restitution. Required offering; not a sweet savor. Dealt with particular sins. Indicates the forgiveness of committed sins. Pay 20% fine. Ram or lamb offered.
Other offerings are mentioned in the Mosaic Law. However, each of those offerings will come under one of the five major offerings.
How the offerings point to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for us:
Burnt Offering – Jesus Christ surrendered Himself entirely to God being fully consumed in His commitment (Philippians 2:6-8)
Meat Offering – Jesus gave Himself as a living sacrifice. He continually did the will of the Father (John 4:34)
Peace Offering – Christ made peace with God on the behalf of man (Ephesians 2:13-14)
Sin Offering – Jesus atoned for our fallen sin nature on the cross. He satisfied the wrath of God (Isaiah 53:10-11; Hebrews 9:26)
Trepass Offering – Jesus Christ paid for our individual sins by His death on the cross (Hebrews 10:12)
How the offerings point to the way we approach God:
Trepass Offering – We realize the guilt of our sins and our need for forgiveness of our sins in Jesus Christ (1 John 2:2)
Sin Offering – We need a power that can even conquer our sin nature or else we will lose our salvation as soon as we gain it (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Peace Offering – We find that through the cross of Jesus Christ, He opened the way for true fellowship with God (1 John 1:3)
Meat Offering – Through His obedient life, Christ shows us the way to be a living sacrifice for God (Romans 12:1)
Burnt Offering – We find the greatest blessing in being fully consumed in our commitment to God (Philippians 2:17)