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Text: Leviticus 5, 7

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

Introduction:  Over the last couple of weeks we have gained an appreciation of what the various offerings and sacrifices were meant to picture. If we were to think of them as an outline of what steps of redemption needed to be we’d see this pattern:  Sin is evident in all and needs sacrifice of life ; Peace is attainable with God;  Grain pictures the perfection demanded and met in Christ; Burnt offering pictures the pleasure of the Father in the Son’s obedience in accomplishing this. The last two Offerings that round out this picture of redemption are the Trespass offering and the Drink Offering. Though an oversimplification,  both of these Offerings point to the right response of a believer in Christ who knows and trusts in the saving grace of God. Again with deep appreciation to R.K. Campbell and George Davison at www.biblecentre.org site and to A. Langham of the same site, let’s take a look at the first of these…

I. The Trespass Offering

The references to this are found first in Leviticus 5 and then in 7:1-7. I suppose the best way for us to relate to this is to recognize that the essence of a trespass is to violate the boundary of another, whether that boundary is a law, a conduct, a relationship or a possession. Perhaps we have become most familiar with this term in the Lord’s Prayer where we say, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us…”. The clear implication here is that we can trespass against God and against man and that there is a means of forgiveness in both cases. This is what the Trespass Offering sets out to do, it seeks to instruct the people of Israel what they should do when they knowingly sin against God or each other. The difference between the Sin Offering discussed last week and the Trespass Offering is that the Sin Offering pictures the sin nature of man as that which needs sacrifice for forgiveness and the Trespass Offering pictures the sinful actions of man as that which need to be dealt with. In the brief details of Leviticus 5 we see three general areas of trespass:

1.The trespass of being knowledgeable about a sin and hiding it or what amounts to being an accessory to sin (vs5: 1) .

2. The trespass of associating with or touching something that is unclean or evil is seen as a sin of compromising yourself to evil (vs 5:2, 3)

3. The trespass of broken oath or promise, to swear a promise either for good or bad, but doing so without carrying through is sin (vs 5:4)

In all of these cases it is considered a trespass against God, they have willingly gone past a boundary that God set before them and they have stepped upon that which belongs in some sense to God alone. They have trespassed on justice, they have trespassed on holiness, they have trespassed on truth. The prescription for doing so was the life blood and the very best parts of that life, the fat, the kidneys being offered up to God.The Sin and Trespass Offerings are echoed in John 6:51-53,

“ …and the bread that I shall give is My flesh which I shall give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” An amazing statement to be sure, but it originated out of that which they already knew in the Trespass Offering and the Sin Offering and Grain Offering. There is another aspect to the Trespass Offering that is different from all others… it called not only for confession of sin and the imputing of sin to the sacrifice for forgiveness, it also called for restitution. In 5:16 it says that they must bring one fifth or twenty percent more as that which now brings new and restored relationship. If I had stolen from you $100 and now I want to confess that, I bring back the $100 and add to it $20. This was to be the case whether it was a trespass against God or against man. You could say in a rather backhanded way that because of sin and the trespass offering that God actually got 20% more than He would normally have. The same of course is also true for the man who was trespassed against, he came out with 20% more than he had originally. Restitution is taught as being an important part of forgiveness, especially in the case of man against man. It displays true contrition and demonstrates the very real cost of sin to us. But perhaps it also demonstrates something at a much higher level. Harry Ironside once wrote,Thus where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. And if we may so say, God actually received more because of the man’s blunder than He would have received apart from it. How clearly this comes out in the work of the Cross! ... Man’s relationship to God as a redeemed sinner is far greater and more blessed than the mere relationship of creature to Creator.” The trespass offering reminds the believer of the importance daily reviewing our need for forgiveness and at the same time points to the much greater relationship we have with the Father because of Jesus Christ, the Trespass Sacrifice Who brings gain to both God and man.

II. The Drink Offering 

The most prolific mention of the drink offering is in Numbers 28,29. The drink offering is always a strong wine, it was never to be anything else and it was not to be watered down. Like the pure grain offering, the strong wine speaks of the perfection of the sacrifice and being wine it is a symbol of joy, especially God’s joy. Perhaps the best way to think of the drink offering is to see it as that which celebrates what has been accomplished rather than the actual work that was done. In a metaphorical sense this would be more like celebrating what a father or mothers pay check accomplishes rather than the actual work that they did that day. It would celebrate the house being paid for, the food on the table the clothes in closet rather than the boxes that were lifted or the boards that were nailed. Holding onto that metaphor, now keep the focus of joy as being that of God for the accomplishments of His Son on the cross. Accomplishments such as the elevation of man to being co-heirs in Christ, to having the Spirit of God indwell them, to being a kingdom of priests where there is no distinction between male or female, slave or free, Jew or Gentile. The cross revealed more of the grace of God than any other event, including creation and demonstrated the depths of God’s love as nothing ever before or since.

The Drink Offering spoke of the joy of the Father in these accomplishments of the sacrifice of Christ. Every time they used a drink offering it spoke about the joy of the Father in what would ultimately be accomplished. In Scripture the drink offering was also a picture or sign of a completed work. We see it first in Jacob whose life of deception and trickery eventually leads him to reconcile with Essau. It is after he repents and God changes his name to Israel that Jacob offers a drink offering. Long before the days of Moses and the Law the drink offering pictured the joy of God in a completed work, in this case the repentance of Jacob (Gen. 35:14) a picture of the repentance in the day all Israel will turn to God. But the drink offering was also used as part of the cleansing ritual for a woman after her menstrual cycle, it was used for the cleansing ritual of a healed leper. In each case it pictured the ultimate completion of something which brought great joy to the Father, perhaps the end of sin and crippling effects of sin in these cases. In Numbers 6 when a man or woman had completed a vow of consecration to God called the Nazirite Vow, their hair would be shaved, they would offer sacrifice and then they would offer a Drink Offering. Perhaps this pictured the perfect consecration of Jesus the Nazarene, as He completed the work of the cross. In the Feasts of Israel the Drink Offering is used extensively, especially in the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of tabernacles or Booths originally pictured the time when the people of Israel lived in tents during the 40 years of the wilderness. Ultimately it pictures the time when the Messiah will dwell with them, when God will Tabernacle with man forever. The Millennial rule of Christ is the time when this occurs and Zechariah 14:16 refers to the Feast of Tabernacles being held during that Millennial rule and the Drink Offering is part of that Feast. The joy of the Lord in the accomplishment of the cross also infers the joy of the Lord in each of us as we move in obedience and faith.  “The Lord, thy God, in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing” (Zeph.3:17). Finally consider the words of Paul  in Phil. 2: 17, “ Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” May our lives be poured out like drink offerings because of faith, love and hope in Jesus.

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