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Text: Leviticus 3,4

Proposition: From God’s very first commands to Israel to sacrifice, He was whispering the wonders of Jesus Christ in every offering.

Introduction: Last week we referred to the six offerings that the Israelites were commanded by the Lord to perform: the Burnt Offering; The Grain Offering; The Sin Offering; The Peace Offering, The Trespass Offering and the Drink Offering.  We saw how the Burnt offering was that which was intended to bring pleasure to God and pictures the way that Jesus Christ has perfectly done that as His chief purpose in Redemption. It also pictured the way that we are in Christ also having as our chief purpose the same as Christ’s, to bring pleasure and joy to the Father. The Grain or Meal offering was always to accompany the Burnt offering and it pictured the perfection of Christ as the perfect sacrifice for our sin. Every one of the six types of sacrifice pictures in some aspect the Person and work of Jesus Christ. As we study them we gain not only a more in depth picture of Christ but we also begin to see what our worship today also needs to embrace as we too consider the wonders of Christ on the cross for our sin. The text that we have been using is from Leviticus 1-7, and we also want to give appreciation and credit to R.K. Campbell and George Davison at the Biblecentre.org . Today let’s look at the Sin Offering and the Peace Offering, turn with me to Leviticus 4.

I. The Sin Offering  

I’d like you to think for a moment about all the other world religions, think for a moment about their leaders or spiritual head. You may think of Buddhists and the Buddha, you might think of Muslims and Mohamed or Bahai’s and Bahaulah and on and on. In all cases these spiritual leaders did not come because of sin, they came, it is claimed, to direct people into some lasting state of existence be that nirvana, or paradise or heightened states of reincarnation. The signature of man as being the author in all of these is that it all seeks to promote man by the efforts of man. The one and only reason why Jesus Christ came to earth, why He came into humanity, was because of sin. If there had been no entrance of sin into the world then neither would Christ have come into the world. The great distinctive of Christianity from all other world religions is that it begins with the inability of man to do anything at all to promote himself to eternity, much less to being in right standing with God. It was because of sin that Christ for all eternity entered into the state of becoming a man Himself. The Sin Offering in Leviticus 4 is a picture of how Jesus would be used of God to perfectly meet the costs of sin. The method of the sin offering begins with describing different levels of responsibility as relates to sin. If you were to read through the whole chapter you’d see separate sin offerings for an entire congregation; for the anointed priest of the congregation; for the leadership of the congregation and for the individual person in the congregation. It is possible that each can sin and bear the guilt of that sin in a unique way, even today. Whether it be corporate forgiveness or personal forgiveness the sin offering of Jesus Christ is there for each. Depending on the case, a certain type of animal was brought to the door of the Tabernacle. The hands of the hopeful were placed upon its head conferring their guilt to the animal. It was killed and some of its blood was taken into the inner court and with his finger the priest dipped blood out and sprinkled it seven times before the veil. He then dipped his finger again into the blood and wiped some onto the horns of the altar of incense. The remaining blood was poured out onto the ground at the base of the burnt altar, picturing that the work on our side of the altar is complete. The finger of God had cut out and set the Law  before man on Mount Sinani. Sin is a direct offense against the Law of God. The finger of the priest puts blood as the essence of life to remove the offense against the Law and thus against God. The sprinkling seven times in front of the veil that separates the Holy place from the Holy of Holies points to forgiveness in the blood. The separation of God from man, represented by the veil , is being addressed and the perfect blood of Jesus is what is in view. The wiping of blood on the horns of the altar of incense speaks to the power of God’s claim to righteousness being perfectly respected and it exalts those claims as being just and holy. The priest would then take the body of the animal outside the camp and burn it. The picture of Jesus as the One who suffered and died outside the walls of Jerusalem fulfills this and proclaims to us how Christ was forsaken for our sin. It pictures how His body was used completely, how His blood respected the claims of the Law against our sin. The last part of  Leviticus 4 details what a person could bring for a sin offering, from a bull right down to a handful of fine flour if that was all they had. It is a reminder that each of us ought to come before the Lord with something, to come in some way prepared to meet with God in confession, consecration and worship as we consider the sin offering of Christ.  

II. The Peace Offering

A peace offering was made by one whose sin was already atoned for, its purpose was primarily as an act of communion, a sharing of God and man in the sacrifice. The peace offering had three expressions: 1. An expression of Thanksgiving with blood sacrifice and grain offering.  Lev3,7The sinless nature of Christ is again pictured in the pure cakes of the grain sacrifice but this time another kind of flour is allowed (see 7:12,13) , cakes made of blended flour are used, picturing for us the humanity and deity of Christ. All was saturated with oil as a symbol of the Spirit upon Christ. It was to be a heave offering to the Lord, we’ll get to that in a minute. Besides this they could also offer leavened bread with the thanksgiving sacrifice (vs 13). This was not heaved up but rather was the priests to eat later, symbolizing the communion of God with man who is yet sinful. The expression of all this was a thankful heart to God for the grace that had been given in the atonement. It pictures the way that thanksgiving is to be a prominent part of all our worship as we commune with God.2. A Vow Offering is briefly referred to in verse 16, this expression of the Peace Offering would be as an act of consecration or rededication. The details would be the same but the focus was one of coming before God in response to the call or drawing of the Lord and presenting oneself as ready to commit to God in this new way. 3. A Freewill or Voluntary Offering was a spontaneous expression that offered freely to God a sacrifice of worship. It was not for atonement but for worship and it utilized two expressions. The person would come and take the breast of the sacrifice with the fat attached, this being considered the best portion, and the person themselves would wave it before the altar(vs7: 30). The wave offering was waved in front of the altar, back and forth symbolizing the joy and love contained in the sacrifice. To us the wave offering is a picture of the love of Christ for the Father and for us, He is our communion place with the Father. The right thigh was then taken by the priest and used as a heave offering. The term ‘heave’ literally means that which is a portion or tithe of the whole. The thigh was lifted upwards repeatedly, a lifting up to God as that which is our peace offering. The two motions of the wave offering and the heave offering have been considered by some to picture the cross, the lateral motion of love suspended on the vertical motion of strength that together are our peace. The sacrifice was given firstly to God and then to Aaron and his sons to have and eat in a clean and sanctified manner. Aaron and his sons, picture Christ and the church and collectively we share together this meal. The communion of the church is the culmination of all the pictures of Israel’s sacrifices, especially the Peace Offering. The Burnt Offering proclaimed the joy and pleasure of the Father in the Son, the Grain Offering proclaims the perfection of the Son to be the perfect sacrifice, the Sin Offering proclaims the satisfaction of the claims of Law against sin met in Christ, the Peace Offering is the expression of thanksgiving, commitment and our tithe in worship as we have communion with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Let me close with this quote from Davison, This peace offering would raise the question with every one of us, 'What are we adding to the little company where we belong, that spiritually enriches them?' It is not a question of giving lectures or standing up and preaching the gospel, but it is the bringing of anything that bears the character of Christ Himself. It is of the Lord, and brought to that divine circle that all might get the gain in the enjoyment of the peace offerings "of the Lord".”Next week, the last two Offerings, The Trespass Offering and the Drink Offering.


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