The Offerings: An Introduction
The Lord Jesus, in Luke 24, spoke to two despondent disciples who thought that after the crucifixion all their hopes in Christ were gone. Before He revealed Himself to them He expounded to them the scriptures (i.e. the Old Testament) showing them all the things that concerned Himself. It says that He began from Moses. We might ask how Moses spoke about the Lord Jesus. This series appeared in the Bible Handbook by Walter Scott and seeks to show how every offering and sacrifice God gave to Moses speaks about the Lord Jesus in some way. My own notes are given in purple.
Introducing the Offerings
The Offerings all speak of Christ in some way. They are to be found mainly in the book of Leviticus which was written by Moses under guidance from God. God spoke the whole book from the mercy-seat of the ark of the covenant within the tabernacle that the Israelites had just built.
There are five offerings given. These are:
- The Burnt Offering
- The Meat Offering (also called the ‘Oblation’)
- The Peace Offering
- The Sin Offering
- The Trespass Offering
There is one more, found in Numbers 19, that deals with defilement in the wilderness, known as the offering of the Red Heifer.
The order in which God gives the offerings is interesting. He doesn’t begin with the Sin Offering which we might think would be the most important for us but with the Burnt Offering. For us, we need to begin with the sin offering, so that our sins are removed and forgiven. Then we know the Lord Jesus as the one who has made peace for us (the Peace Offering), then we know the perfection of the Lord’s life and how pleasing it was to God (The Meat Offering/Oblation) and then we understand the perfection of the Lord’s Person along with the delight that God had in His only Son because of who He was and not just of what He did (the Burnt Offering).
To God, the Burnt Offering had the greatest value for it represents the complete and utter sacrifice of one who was blameless and perfect; it was roasted with fire—a picture of the intense suffering the Lord passed through. The Meat Offering contained fine flour mixed with oil this represented the perfection of the Lord’s life in every minute detail. The oil in scripture is often a picture of the Holy Spirit who filled the Lord while He was here.
The Peace offering then indicates the peace we enjoy in the presence of God as a result of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.
The Sin Offering is the only one that is not called “a most holy offering”. This is because the it was a necessary sacrifice to redeem sinful mankind before we could enter in to the blessings He had for us. God takes no pleasure in sin and that offering is slain because sin must be punished in God’s presence.
The introduction to the Offerings from ‘The Bible Handbook’ by Walter Scott is given below:
The Offerings: Introduction from the ‘Bible Handbook’
“The sacrifices, as a whole, pointed to the person, life, and work of the Lord Jesus; but when examined in detail, they will be found to yield precious instruction and abundant material for the meditation and worship of the believer.
The burnt offering is the first in Divine order and the highest in character of all the sacrifices. But our apprehension of these sacrifices and their adaptation to our need is uniformly opposite to the order of their institution (2 Chronicles 29, etc.). As sinners, we first know Christ as the trespass offering "delivered for our offenses;" and as led on by the Spirit in the fuller revelation of Christ and His precious work and person, we travel upward till we stand as worshippers around the altar of burnt offering, and wonder and adore as the ascending flame laden with the divinely-prepared perfume goes up to Jehovah for the satisfaction and rest of His heart. Most blessed it is, however, that God in the order in which these offerings are presented would teach our souls that the self-same sacrifice in which He finds present and eternal delight, is the answer to our need as sinners and our communion as saints. Atonement could be effected by the burnt offering and the various classes of sin offerings, but not by either meat or peace offerings.
One final point to note is the distinction between the offerings described as being “a sweet savour” and those that are not. The ‘sweet savour’ offerings all speak of the fact that Christ has been accepted by and is abundantly acceptable to God. This is why no defect was to be in the offerings because there was no defect in Christ and God reproved Israel on many occasions for not bringing the best of their flocks and herds to offer but they rather were bringing lame, blind, etc. They portray to us that the offerer (and ourselves) are now acceptable to God through His acceptance of Christ.
The other offerings are where the offerer is identified with the victim in judgement and focused on the fact that we in our sinful state needed to be judged the Lord was the one who bore that judgement on our behalf.