Today’s reading is drawn from Leviticus 1-5.
WHEN READING LEVITICUS, it’s easy to get lost in the study of tree trunks and miss the beauty of the whole forest. Many people have set aside this book, saying that it’s dull or doesn’t have much to offer. But nothing could be further from the truth! This book may appear to be irrelevant and out of touch, but it isn’t. When you see the book in light of God’s entire plan, it’s vital. For example, in the first five chapters, five offerings are described. Each one portrays Christ from a different perspective:
The burnt offering. The whole offering was consumed by fire. The offering had to be a certain kind of animal offered in a certain way at a certain place. Why? So the Lord might accept it. We don’t know the reason God wanted these offerings arranged in a certain way. But we can say that the burnt offering is a picture of the complete dedication of Jesus Christ in His life and death. He could come before the Father at the time of His death and say, “Nothing has been left undone. All that I have done has been for Your glory, and as a whole burnt offering I offer Myself.” Christ, our sacrifice, offered once for all, is our whole burnt offering.
The grain offering. The grain offering in particular speaks of the service of Christ’s life. The people grew this grain and ground it up with their own hands. It was an offering of the harvest to God. So it is with Christ. He performed all of His works for the Father’s glory, coming to the cross as our ultimate, final, eternal grain offering. He offered up His life as fine flour, which was perfectly accepted and never had to be offered up again.
The peace offering. This offering, always given after the burnt offering, speaks of the fact that Christ is our peace based on the sacrifice He made. Today, we do not have to offer a sacrifice in order to establish peace with God. Christ has already won our peace. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:14, “Christ himself has brought peace to us.”
The sin offering. Also called the “purification offering,” this sacrifice cleansed the Tabernacle from sin to allow continual fellowship between God and His people. Christ, in His perfect nature, came as the spotless Lamb who took away the sin of the world, restoring fellowship between God and humanity for all time. Once He came, He never had to come as an offering for sin again.
The guilt offering. This offering was to account for unintentional acts of sin and to make restitution. Therefore, it is sometimes called the “reparation offering.” Christ not only made the payment for our sin nature but also paid the price for our individual sins. He gave the ultimate guilt offering, which was honored by God and fully accepted. When Christ gave Himself at the cross, God said, in essence, “I am satisfied once for all.”
As I study these offerings, I come away with a very practical sense of gratitude. When Christ, our Passover Lamb, was offered for us once for all, all of the animal sacrifices and grain offerings were definitively set aside (Heb. 10:8-10). His body and blood were the one supreme sacrifice that would be honored throughout time. When we read Leviticus, it should stir up in us a great sense of gratitude. We have so much to be thankful for in the offering of Christ.
[call out text: When Christ gave Himself at the cross, God said, “I am satisfied once for all.”]