Leviticus

Leviticus – Old testament sacrifices

OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICES.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

So far –   last week – Tabernacle [or tent of meeting] was the place were the presence of God was shown to be. Not that God lived in a Tent – this was the focal point of worship for the Jewish nation.

 

Once the Tabernacle is built God introduces a system of sacrifices and offerings as part of the religious ritual for the Nation.

 

Sacrifices were not a new concept – we read about sacrifices and offerings from the time of Cain and Abel – Noah – Abraham – Isaac and Jacob ……

 

It was not only the Jews who sacrificed – it was part or pagan ritual as well – most of the sacrifices had an element of atoning for sin and appeasing the gods.

 

The idea of animals symbolically covering sin goes back to Genesis 3 were God gave Adam and Eve skins to cover themselves after their feeble attempt cover themselves with leaves. An animal had to die for those skin coverings to be given.

 

It is only when God has given Moses the law and the Tabernacle is complete that the sacrificial system is put into operation.

 

THE FIVE BASIC OFFERINGS.

 

1. The burnt offering.  Lev.1.

 

  • commonest — daily by priests, morning and evening. The whole animal burnt [except skin] in others parts were eaten by priests or worshippers or both.

 

  • It was to be male without defect – only best for God
  • Quality of animal important – not because God needed them BUT show attitude of worshipper.   [Malachi 1v6-14 God complains about attitude – rather no sacrifice than one with wrong attitude]
  • Could be bull – sheep/goat – bird –depended on wealth of person
  • worshipper lay handson animals head – identification [imagine noise and activity] AND substitution [this animal in my place]
  • the offerer had task of killing, skinning, chopping up and washing so priests were not defiled by any dirt or excrement —
  • The priest threw the blood against the sides of the altar – symbolic of offering the life to God — life is in the blood —

then pieces taken by priest and laid on altar where consumed.

 

As you read through Lev. the phrase  “ … an aroma pleasing to the lord….”

The idea of the smell going up to heaven – speaking of God in human terms – when it was offered with the right attitude to God it pleases him. And acheives its purpose — to make atonement.

 

Thisnburnt offering had special place on the Day of Atonement – [dealt with at another session]

 

2. The grain offering. Lev 2.

 

  • usually offered with other offerings
  • only as a first-fruits offering was it presented whole – otherwise it was worked in some way – as flour or even cooked.
  • the offering was acombination of what God had first given and what man had worked and offered back to God.
  • only a portion of the grain was actually buned on the altar – the remainder belonged to the priests – either as flour or cooked in some way – remember that the priests did not own land

this was avoluntary offering recognising God’s faithfulness to his creation.

 

3. The fellowship offering . Lev. 3

 

  • sometimes called the peace offering
  • any kind of animal from flock or herd
  • a freewill offering
  •  a variety of reason for bringing it — thanksgiving – fulfilment of a vow – the making or renewal of a covenant –  Later used at the appointment of a king and the dedication of the temple.
  • often a time of fellowship, celebration and joy
  • similair to burnt offering except -# male or female animal -# only the fatty parts to be burnt eg. fat, kidneys, fatty part around liver, fat on the sheeps tail ..
  • the priest got the breast and the right thigh – the worshipper got the rest for a shared meal
  • Dt. 12. implies that those to poor to bring such and offering should be invited to share these meals.

Prohibition of fat – usually rich man food and implication that the best should be for God  ——- some today might argued that there was ahealth risk in eating the fat !?!?

 

4. The sin offering. Lev.4.

 

the 3 sacrifices so far were voluntary  – these next two are compulsory.

  • the purpose of this offering was not so much to dealt with the sin itself BUT with the effects of the sin – the BURNT OFFERING was the affering for atonement and the averting of God’s anger —   This was primarily a purification offering so that God could continue to live amongst his people.
  • word for sin  – ‘missing the mark’  — unintentional sin – an acknowlerdgement that we do not live up to God’s standards.
  • slightly different rituals depending on whether it was the sin of the high priest or the nation as a whole or a leader or an ordinary person.
  • Even sins of neglect, carelessnes and ignorance needed to be confessed and sacrifice made   —**What a privlege we have this side of the cross – that we don’t have to go through an earthly priesthood.**

 

5. The guilt offering .  Lev.5.

 

  • all blood sacrifices were related to the removal of guilt
  • the difference with this one is that it has added restitution  — thus sometimes called the restitution offering
  • concerned not only with vertical relationship with God BUT also horizontal relationship with people
  • restitution was value of thing stolen or what ever PLUS 20%

 

 

Summary:

The 4 blood offering overlap – BUT there are distinctions

Burnt Offeing – sees sin as objective guilt before God – the major atoning sacrifice, providing the ransom by which God’s anger was soothed and kept back from venting it full force on the sinner.

 

Fellowship offering – sees sin that produces brokenness and bearrier between people – while still atoning toward God – emphasises need and blessing of restored relationships.

 

Sin offering — sin as dirt and pollution — that offends the presence of a Holy God — offers the means of cleansing and purification so that God can continue to dwell among his people.

 

Guilt offering — sees sin as wrong or debt that must be repaid — thus demands full restitution as well as sacrifice.

 

NT SIGNIFICANCE.

 

BURNT OFFERING – atonement sacrifice   Mark 10:45 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (NIV)

 

Romans 3:25 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished (NIV)

 

Ephesians 5:2 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (NIV)

 

1 John 2:1-2

1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (NIV)

 

Believers in Christ have no need to bring sacrifices related to atonement for Christ has offered the final sacrifice of himself on the cross.

 

SIN OFFERING – cleansing of dirt and pollution for Go’ds dwelling place.

NT stresses tha cleansing power of Christ’s blood

Hebrews 10:19-23

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (NIV)

 

1 John 1:6-2:2 …… if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

…… If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

the blood of Christ is applied regularly to our lives through confession.

 

GUILT OFFERING – wrongs done to others must be put right by apprpropriate restitution as part of the process of being put right with God.

“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”

There is an accountable linked to wrong doing – there must be payment and restitution.

The idea of payment and ransom is very much linked to the death of Christ –

The idea of suffering and dying in the place of others is clearly protrayed in Isa.53 – the suffering servant is apying for otyhers is in their place..

Isaiah 53:5-7 5  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7  He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (NIV)

 

Pick up in the NT

 

Matthew 8:17 17 This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” (NIV)

 

1 Peter 2:24-25 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (NIV)

 

FELLOWSHIP OFFERING – offering that lead to a shared meal – embodies vertical and horizontal relationship

similar to the cntral meal of the new covenant – the Lord’s supper.

The elements of joy and social caring – [inviting poor in OT] – should these not be part of our worship.

 

GRAIN OFFEING – represented the consecration of God’s gifts and human work – in the NT while the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is final and sufficient. There is the element of our sacrifice of ourselves to God in Worship — our bodies – our minds – our praises – our material goods are all appropriate sacrifices to offer to him.

Romans 12:1-2

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)

 

Philippians 4:18 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. (NIV)

 

Hebrews 13:15-16

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us c

OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICES.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

So far –   last week – Tabernacle [or tent of meeting] was the place were the presence of God was shown to be. Not that God lived in a Tent – this was the focal point of worship for the Jewish nation.

 

Once the Tabernacle is built God introduces a system of sacrifices and offerings as part of the religious ritual for the Nation.

 

Sacrifices were not a new concept – we read about sacrifices and offerings from the time of Cain and Abel – Noah – Abraham – Isaac and Jacob ……

 

It was not only the Jews who sacrificed – it was part or pagan ritual as well – most of the sacrifices had an element of atoning for sin and appeasing the gods.

 

The idea of animals symbolically covering sin goes back to Genesis 3 were God gave Adam and Eve skins to cover themselves after their feeble attempt cover themselves with leaves. An animal had to die for those skin coverings to be given.

 

It is only when God has given Moses the law and the Tabernacle is complete that the sacrificial system is put into operation.

 

THE FIVE BASIC OFFERINGS.

 

1. The burnt offering.  Lev.1.

 

  • commonest — daily by priests, morning and evening. The whole animal burnt [except skin] in others parts were eaten by priests or worshippers or both.

 

  • It was to be male without defect – only best for God
  • Quality of animal important – not because God needed them BUT show attitude of worshipper.   [Malachi 1v6-14 God complains about attitude – rather no sacrifice than one with wrong attitude]
  • Could be bull – sheep/goat – bird –depended on wealth of person
  • worshipper lay handson animals head – identification [imagine noise and activity] AND substitution [this animal in my place]
  • the offerer had task of killing, skinning, chopping up and washing so priests were not defiled by any dirt or excrement —
  • The priest threw the blood against the sides of the altar – symbolic of offering the life to God — life is in the blood —

then pieces taken by priest and laid on altar where consumed.

 

As you read through Lev. the phrase  “ … an aroma pleasing to the lord….”

The idea of the smell going up to heaven – speaking of God in human terms – when it was offered with the right attitude to God it pleases him. And acheives its purpose — to make atonement.

 

Thisnburnt offering had special place on the Day of Atonement – [dealt with at another session]

 

2. The grain offering. Lev 2.

 

  • usually offered with other offerings
  • only as a first-fruits offering was it presented whole – otherwise it was worked in some way – as flour or even cooked.
  • the offering was acombination of what God had first given and what man had worked and offered back to God.
  • only a portion of the grain was actually buned on the altar – the remainder belonged to the priests – either as flour or cooked in some way – remember that the priests did not own land

this was avoluntary offering recognising God’s faithfulness to his creation.

 

3. The fellowship offering . Lev. 3

 

  • sometimes called the peace offering
  • any kind of animal from flock or herd
  • a freewill offering
  •  a variety of reason for bringing it — thanksgiving – fulfilment of a vow – the making or renewal of a covenant –  Later used at the appointment of a king and the dedication of the temple.
  • often a time of fellowship, celebration and joy
  • similair to burnt offering except -# male or female animal -# only the fatty parts to be burnt eg. fat, kidneys, fatty part around liver, fat on the sheeps tail ..
  • the priest got the breast and the right thigh – the worshipper got the rest for a shared meal
  • Dt. 12. implies that those to poor to bring such and offering should be invited to share these meals.

Prohibition of fat – usually rich man food and implication that the best should be for God  ——- some today might argued that there was ahealth risk in eating the fat !?!?

 

4. The sin offering. Lev.4.

 

the 3 sacrifices so far were voluntary  – these next two are compulsory.

  • the purpose of this offering was not so much to dealt with the sin itself BUT with the effects of the sin – the BURNT OFFERING was the affering for atonement and the averting of God’s anger —   This was primarily a purification offering so that God could continue to live amongst his people.
  • word for sin  – ‘missing the mark’  — unintentional sin – an acknowlerdgement that we do not live up to God’s standards.
  • slightly different rituals depending on whether it was the sin of the high priest or the nation as a whole or a leader or an ordinary person.
  • Even sins of neglect, carelessnes and ignorance needed to be confessed and sacrifice made   —**What a privlege we have this side of the cross – that we don’t have to go through an earthly priesthood.**

 

5. The guilt offering .  Lev.5.

 

  • all blood sacrifices were related to the removal of guilt
  • the difference with this one is that it has added restitution  — thus sometimes called the restitution offering
  • concerned not only with vertical relationship with God BUT also horizontal relationship with people
  • restitution was value of thing stolen or what ever PLUS 20%

 

 

Summary:

The 4 blood offering overlap – BUT there are distinctions

Burnt Offeing – sees sin as objective guilt before God – the major atoning sacrifice, providing the ransom by which God’s anger was soothed and kept back from venting it full force on the sinner.

 

Fellowship offering – sees sin that produces brokenness and bearrier between people – while still atoning toward God – emphasises need and blessing of restored relationships.

 

Sin offering — sin as dirt and pollution — that offends the presence of a Holy God — offers the means of cleansing and purification so that God can continue to dwell among his people.

 

Guilt offering — sees sin as wrong or debt that must be repaid — thus demands full restitution as well as sacrifice.

 

NT SIGNIFICANCE.

 

BURNT OFFERING – atonement sacrifice   Mark 10:45 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (NIV)

 

Romans 3:25 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished (NIV)

 

Ephesians 5:2 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (NIV)

 

1 John 2:1-2

1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (NIV)

 

Believers in Christ have no need to bring sacrifices related to atonement for Christ has offered the final sacrifice of himself on the cross.

 

SIN OFFERING – cleansing of dirt and pollution for Go’ds dwelling place.

NT stresses tha cleansing power of Christ’s blood

Hebrews 10:19-23

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (NIV)

 

1 John 1:6-2:2 …… if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

…… If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

the blood of Christ is applied regularly to our lives through confession.

 

GUILT OFFERING – wrongs done to others must be put right by apprpropriate restitution as part of the process of being put right with God.

“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”

There is an accountable linked to wrong doing – there must be payment and restitution.

The idea of payment and ransom is very much linked to the death of Christ –

The idea of suffering and dying in the place of others is clearly protrayed in Isa.53 – the suffering servant is apying for otyhers is in their place..

Isaiah 53:5-7 5  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7  He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (NIV)

 

Pick up in the NT

 

Matthew 8:17 17 This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” (NIV)

 

1 Peter 2:24-25 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (NIV)

 

FELLOWSHIP OFFERING – offering that lead to a shared meal – embodies vertical and horizontal relationship

similar to the cntral meal of the new covenant – the Lord’s supper.

The elements of joy and social caring – [inviting poor in OT] – should these not be part of our worship.

 

GRAIN OFFEING – represented the consecration of God’s gifts and human work – in the NT while the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is final and sufficient. There is the element of our sacrifice of ourselves to God in Worship — our bodies – our minds – our praises – our material goods are all appropriate sacrifices to offer to him.

Romans 12:1-2

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)

 

Philippians 4:18 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. (NIV)

 

Hebrews 13:15-16

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (NIV)

 

 

 

ontinually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (NIV)

 

 

 

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