The Offerings: The Peace Offering
This continues a series on the Offerings and what they tell us of the Lord Jesus Christ as the supreme sacrifice. The Peace Offering is found in Leviticus 3 and speaks of the peace and enjoyment that God and the Christian can enjoy together in communion as a result of the perfection of the Lord’s life. This appeared in ‘The Bible Handbook’ by Walter Scott. My own notes are given in purple.
The Peace Offering (Leviticus 3)
The essential character of the peace offering being communion, a female animal could be offered. In the Church's communion there is necessarily a measure of imperfection and weakness. This seems to be set forth in the "female." But "without blemish" is an indispensable requisite here as in all the sacrifices. God cannot deny Himself. Holiness is an absolute necessity of His nature.
We are told in 1 Peter that the female is a weaker vessel that is to be honoured, cared for and loved: “Ye husbands likewise, dwell with them according to knowledge, as with a weaker, even the female, vessel, giving them honour, as also fellow-heirs of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). The Church/Assembly is always described as feminine as the bride of Christ and this reminds us of the fact that the Church, while perfected in Christ and enjoying the love of the Father, is weaker than Christ and depends on Him for all of its power.
We can readily understand and appreciate surely, in our measure, the appropriate place of this sacrifice as coming after the two already named, the burnt and meat offerings. Our communion in the person and work of Jesus is not only based upon His sacrifice, but partakes of the character of what has already been presented to God, and what He has accepted. Jehovah has already fed upon that which represented Christ in death and life, and according to His delight therein our souls are maintained in communion. We are thus privileged to feast and joy in common with God, with Christ, and with each other. What an exalted privilege! The portions which Jehovah claimed, here called "food of the offering," were all the "fat" and the "inward parts," that is, the excellency and energy of will, and the feelings, motives, and affections of the Blessed One, which none but God could fully appreciate. All was proved by fire; everything in Jesus was divinely tested, and the trial only brought out His deep perfections. Hence all went up to Jehovah as a sweet savour; yea, more, God fed upon it, found delight and rest in every movement of the heart and will of His Beloved One. In connection with this sacrifice God claimed as a perpetual statute, the "fat" and the "blood," the will and life.
As nothing, in all connected with the Jewish sacrificial ritual, was left to the imagination of man, but all carefully, minutely, and divinely prescribed, so they, as we, have only to obey, hence the importance of attending to the law regulating the observance of these sacrifices (see Leviticus 6, 7). In this latter chapter we are told what was done with the rest of the animal. The "breast," the devoted love of Jesus, was fed upon by Aaron and his sons, that is, Christ and His people. The "right shoulder," the mighty strength of Jesus, was the special portion of the priest who offered the blood and burnt the fat. Who could be thus typified save Jesus? He is both sacrifice and priest, offerer and victim. The rest of the sacrifice was eaten on the day or day after it was offered by the offerer and his friends. On the third day whatever remained must be burnt on the altar, setting forth the weighty truth that communion cannot be prolonged beyond the measure of one's spiritual power and capacity. Working oneself into fellowship with God, or the fleshly effort to maintain communion, is most certainly an abomination to the Lord (“And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity” (Leviticus 7:18)). The peace offering presents a truly wonderful sight; God, Christ, the Christian, and the Church together feeding-together delighting in Jesus, and in His love, person, and work.
Precious Saviour, Thou joy of our hearts, Thou infinitely Blessed One, maintain our communion uninterrupted until we see Thee face to face.