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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

August 22, 2018

Leviticus  2:1-15 and 3:1-17

  1. We continue our study in the book of Leviticus today, by looking at the grain offering or sometimes called the meal offering. What we will see is that there were many types of sacrifices and offerings that God commanded. The grain offering was a free will offering unto the Lord. The grain offering is different from the burnt offerings in such that the burnt offering was totally consumed by fire whereas the grain offerings was only partially consumed by fire. There is also much more deviation in how the grain offerings can be offered. The chapter falls into four basic divisions. Verses l-3 introduce the grain offering and focus on the offering of the grain in an uncooked form. Verses 4-l0 provide the regulations pertaining to the grain offering in several cooked forms. Verses 11-13 deal with that which can and that which cannot be added to the offering. Verses l4-l6 prescribe the offering of the first fruits of the grain crop.

  2. Verses 1-3. One of the first things we see about the grain offering is that it must be of fine flour. This is flour that has been ground down into a powder. If we think of the sacrifices as “types or symbols” of Christ, we are reminded that Jesus refereed to his body as bread that had to be broken (see Isaiah 53:5). In the Isaiah passage, the prophecy is that Jesus would be crushed for our peace and our healing. The crushing allowed for us to be made whole. The grain offering was an offering not of atonement, but of worship now that atonement has been made. Once the burnt offering of the animals is made, the grain offerings is made which is a picture of us having Jesus as our daily bread. Notice that the oil and incense (frankincense) was added to the fine flour. This would allow it to cook well and have a pleasant aroma. The only difference between the daily meal and the offering was the addition of the incense, the grain offering was a constant reminder to the people of Israel that God gave them their food and they in tum owed Him their lives. The priest would take a handful of the offering and burn it on the altar. The rest of the offering belonged to the priest who could eat it. The variety in the offering made it possible for all worshipers, regardless of their social and economic means, to bring an offering of thanksgiving to God. This is the process if the grain was not cooked.

  3. Verses 4-10. An offeror could also bring the grain cooked. The cooked grain had to be cooked without yeast. Yeast adds no nutritional value; it only puffs up the bread. Yeast was always a picture of sin. So the cooked bread without yeast is a picture of a sinless Christ. The bread could be cooked in a pan, a griddle, or an oven. No matter how it was cooked, a portion was offered and the priest enjoyed the rest. In every case, the smell of the bread was a sweet aroma to God.

  4. Verses 11-13. God commands the people to make sure there is never any yeast or honey in the bread. Yeast is a picture of sin, and honey makes it sweet. The honey was excluded to show the bitterness of the sacrifices of Christ. The sacrifice of the true bread of life was not sweet, but bitter. Honey also changes when burned and burns like sugar which puts off a sour odor. God also commands the people to put salt on all the offerings. Salt is used to signify covenant, since it lasts and preserves things.

  5.  Verses 14-16. These were the instructions if the grain offerings were from the first fruits of the harvest. The grain heads “were to be crushed and oil and incense was to be added just like the others. The priest took a portion of it to burn and they kept the rest.

  6. Chapter 3. The Fellowship offering or the Peace offering. We have moved from the Burnt offering to the Grain Offering to the Peace/Fellowship offering. The Burnt offering was totally consumed by fire, the grain offerings was partially consumed by fire and eaten by the priests. The peace offering was partially consumed by fire, eaten by the priest, and eaten by the offeror. The primary significance of the Peace Offering of the Old Testament is to be found in its antitype, Jesus Christ. In the offering of the Peace Offering, the Israelite was benefited by the peace of knowing and experiencing God's forgiveness. In fact, it was more than this. God’s anger was not just appeased, God was no longer angry with the offeror. His favor was with him. There is the sense in which Christ’s death appeased (propitiated) God’s anger, but the “Peace Offering” aspect of Christ’s work went beyond this. Because of Christ, God is no longer angry with the one who has identified with Him by faith. He is favorably disposed to Him. And because this is true, we can experience the inner peace that comes from knowing God’s favor is directed toward us. Just as our love for God is reflected in a love for man, so our “peace with God” also manifests itself in a peace with men. This is the message which Paul proclaimed to the church in Ephesus (Eph. 2:11-22).

  7. The peace offering was a meat offering that could be from the herd (cows and bulls) or from the flock (sheep and goats). Birds could not be considered for this type of offering most likely since they were too small. You would begin by selecting an animal without any defect, either male or female, from the herd or from the flock (Lev. 3:1, 6). You would then bring this animal to the doorway of the tent of meeting, where you would lay your hand upon its head (3:2, 8, 13), thus identifying your sin with this animal, and yourself with its death. When you have slain the animal, the priests will collect the blood, which is shed and sprinkle it around the altar (3:2, 8, 13). The animal would then be skinned and cut into pieces. The priests would then take the fat of the animal, along with the kidneys and the lobe of the liver, and burn it on the altar of burnt offering (3:3-5; 9- 11; 14-16). God’s portion of the Peace Offering would be the blood and the fat (Lev. 3:16-17; see chap. 17:10-13). The priests would be given the breast and the right thigh of the animal (Exod. 29:26-28; Lev. 7:30-34; 10:14-15). Aaron and his sons receive the breast (7:31), while the thigh goes to that priest who offers up the Peace Offering (7:33). The rest of the animal would go to the offeror to be had as a meal with family and friends.

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