Leviticus 1, the burnt offering

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Helen, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    The majority of the book of Leviticus has to do with rules given to the Levites -- those men of the tribe of Levi who would serve at the Tabernacle on a hereditary basis. Many people just sort of skim over the last three books of the Torah -- the first five books of the Bible. After all, Genesis and Exodus were so action-packed, this can seem pretty boring by comparison.

    But let's slow down a bit. One of the major themes of the book of Leviticus is the holiness of God. This is important!

    The first chapters have to do with different types of offerings. An offering was just that -- something offered to the Lord, or brought to Him. Most often these would be offerings freely given and not demanded by some official function.

    Chapter 1 deals with burnt offerings. Immediately some things are apparent:

    1. The animal must be either from a herd (meaning cattle) or flock (meaning sheep or goats).

    2. The animal must be a male and must be without defect. This is a foreshadowing of Christ.

    3. The animal must be presented at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting -- the Tabernacle. No back-door stuff allowed!

    4. The man is to put his hand on the head of the animal to be sacrificed. This is a symbolic transferral of sin and guilt.

    The burnt offering was for the purpose of atonement for the man's sins. Therefore the blood of the animal was sprinkled on the altar itself. Again, a foreshadowing of Christ.

    The entire animal was to be burnt except for the hide. That would belong to the priest. The symbolism here is remarkable, for God made a covering of skin for Adam and Eve when they sinned. This skin was the hide of an animal that had been killed for that purpose.

    Please keep in mind, however, that the hides and meat and food of the offerings was the share granted by God to feed and sustain the Levites!

    This chapter closes with directions for the burnt offering if the offering is a bird. Birds were often brought when the family was too poor to sacrifice a sheep, goat, or a bull. The bird had to be a pigeon or a dove.

    In all cases, the animal to be sacrificed was to be killed by the priest.

    Jesus said that He had authority to lay down His own life and take it up again. This was only possible if He was God, and legal only if He was a priest.

    Some good links dealing with the burnt offering are as follows:

    http://4-11.org/books/leviticus/lev04.html

    http://www.domini.org/tabern/brntaltr.htm

    http://www.abideinchrist.com/messages/lev1v1.html
     
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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