Now we’re in Leviticus! I’m thankful for my Study Bible because 1. I don’t like blood – even reading about it makes me squeamish 2. my eyes started glazing over as I read the different offerings.
According to my ESV Study Bible, the key themes of this book are:
2. In order to approach God, worshipers must be wholehearted in their devotion (1:1–6:7; 22:17–30).
3. Those who are called to be spiritual leaders, such as priests, bear a heavier responsibility than do the laypeople (chs. 4; 21). In addition to the outward holiness that the priests are granted when ordained, they are constantly commanded to maintain inner holiness (chs. 8; 9; 10; 21).
4. As seen in the Day of Atonement ritual (ch. 16), the total cleansing of sins and uncleanness is done when the innermost part of the tent of meeting is purified. Ultimate purification of uncleanness is impossible from the human side.
5. Atonement is a gracious act of the Lord by which sins and impurities can be dealt with (17:11).
The phrase “without blemish” caught my attention because it was repeated over and over again (Lev 1:3, 1:10, 3:1, 3:6, 4:3, 4:23, 4:28, 4:32). In some instances it specifically states “a male without blemish.” What I like about reading the bible this time around is I’m finding out more and more the correlation between the Old and the New Testaments. The repeated phrase of “a male without blemish” as a requirement for a sacrifice in the Old Testament has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. So thankful that I do not have to be perfect to approach a holy God. Jesus did that for me.
There are five major offerings detailed in the book (see below for a summary). The burnt offering is the most costly offering there is, since it is completely burned up with nothing left (except for the skin, which the priest kept).
|Emphasis||Focus is on the general procedure or reasons for the offerings||Focus is on the proper handling, eating, or disposal of the offerings|
|Burnt Offering||underscores prayers of petition or praise||ch. 1||6:8–13|
|Grain Offering||pleasing aroma; often mirrors emphasis of the offering it accompanies||ch. 2||6:14–23|
|Peace Offering||fellowship with the Lord by having a communion meal||ch. 3||7:11–36|
|Sin Offering||atonement of a committed sin; metaphor of purification||4:1–5:13||6:24–30|
|Guilt Offering||atonement of a committed sin; metaphor of compensation for wrongdoing||5:14–6:7||7:1–10|
A priest sacrificing a burnt offering might look something like this:
“When you get to heaven and for the first time you see Jesus face to face don’t you think you would want something to give Him for all that He has given you? On that day will you have the ashes of a wasted life to press into his nail scarred palm? Or will you have a crown to lay at His nail scarred feet? Nothing I can give Him will be adequate for everything He has done for me. But a crown will be something to give.”
What are you offering God today?