Today we have another two offerings mentioned, the Trespass offering and the Peace offering. The Trespass offering is likened to the Guilt offering that we considered yesterday, a mandatory practice, whereas the Peace offering was a voluntary act of thanksgiving to God.
I thought it would be helpful to summarise the sacrifices brought by individuals to God. Burnt offering (6:8-13) was voluntary and symbolises complete surrender to God; Grain / meal offering (6:14-23) was voluntary and accompanied most burnt offerings and symbolises devotion to God;
Fellowship / Peace offering (7:11-36). The meal that followed this voluntary offering symbolises fellowship with God, and thanksgiving for blessing;
Sin Offering (4:1-5:13; 6:24-30; 12:6-8; 14:12-14). Mandatory offering for sin or ritual uncleanliness. The hands on the head of the sacrifice signify identification of the offerer with the sacrifice that made atonement for him / her;
Guilt offering (5:14-6:7; 7:1-6; 14:12-18). Mandatory offering when a person violated the rights of another, as by theft. It was also required when healed from leprosy, as God had been deprived a worshiper while the person was diseased.
Two things strike me from today’s passage.
Firstly, as the Levitical priesthood devoted their lives to serving God in carrying out their priestly duties on behalf of the people, they did not go in want, especially concerning food, which God provided from the sacrifices made. When we serve God, He always provides!
Secondly, it is verses 22 – 28 which talk about the blood of the sacrifice. The Hebrew word ‘dam’ is found 360 times in the O.T. mostly referring to the shedding of blood during war or crime, or to animal blood that is shed in making a sacrifice. Lev 17:11 and Deut 12:23 make it clear that blood is sacred. It represents life itself. The blood shed on the altar is a picture of substitution that makes the offerer right with God.
The N.T. focuses our attention on the ‘blood of Christ’, and does so in the context of Calvary. We have the hind sight of seeing that the sacrifices of ancient times foreshadowed Christ’s self-sacrifice. The blood spilled on the altar defined for Israel and for us the meaning of the death of Jesus. He gave up His life as a substitute for us, that our sins might be atoned for. What an amazing God we have. Here are some passages that teach this wonderful truth:
Rom 3:23-26; 5:9; Eph 1:7-12; Col 1:19-20; Heb 9:11-15; 1 Jn 1:7; and Rev 1:5-6.
Heavenly Father, I thank you that you sent your son to die for me, so that by the shedding of His blood, my sins were atoned for, once and for all, and that I can now enjoy an intimate relationship with you. To your Glory. Amen.