Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,6. The Laws of the Offerings
1. The law of the burnt offering (Leviticus 6:8-13)
2. The law of the meal offering (Leviticus 6:14-18)
3. The offering of the high priest (Leviticus 6:19-23)
4. The law of the sin offering (Leviticus 6:24-30)
5. The law of the trespass offering (Leviticus 7:1-10)
6. The law of the sacrifice of the peace offerings (Leviticus 7:11-38)
After Jehovah had given to Moses by direct communication the different offerings, in what they were to consist, and how they were to be brought, different laws concerning these offerings were added by Jehovah. They are mostly addressed to Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 6:8; Leviticus 6:14; Leviticus 6:19; Leviticus 6:24). They acquaint us therefore with the relation of the priest to the offerings. In the law of the trespass and peace offerings we do not find an address to Aaron and his sons. The proper way to study the offerings is to consider first what is said in the beginning of Leviticus and then to read the laws of the offerings in connection with each to learn their relation to the priest and the people.
The Law of Burnt Offering--It was the duty of the priest to keep the burnt offering upon the altar and the fire of the altar had to be kept burning in it. It is especially stated that the burnt offering shall be upon the hearth upon the altar all night unto the morning. This continual burnt offering with the fire, which never went out, is the type of Christ, who continually offers Himself to God and in whom all believers have the assurance of their full acceptance. It was different with the sin offering; there could not be a continuous sin offering, for Christ giving Himself as an expiatory sacrifice cannot be a continuous act. But it is different with the burnt offering. While on earth He ever presented Himself before God and the fire of His devotion never went out. And thus He continues in the heavenly sanctuary, appearing in the presence of God for us. This never ceases. It is morning by morning, evening by evening. And how blessed that the night is mentioned! The night is the present age; and it will be followed by the morning, when the day dawns. What comfort is here provided for us! While we are down here in the wilderness, tested, tried, failing and stumbling our perfect burnt offering is ever present with God and the sweet savour arises from it. By it we are kept, though we are a sinning people. It has also a blessed meaning for Israel. This is Israel’s night. By the burnt offering sacrifice even Israel is kept during the dark night of their unbelief for the blessing which shall surely come in the morning, when He is revealed again. Then they will behold Him as their burnt offering, whom they had despised and rejected during the night of wandering and tribulation; then they will confess their sin and acknowledge He was bruised on account of their iniquities.
But while this is the blessed meaning of the burnt offering for the believer and for repenting and believing Israel, for the unbeliever there is another fire which will never go out. And we must see the practical application as well. This blessed continual burnt offering must lead His believing people to give themselves continually and manifest their devotion in practical holiness. “God delights to have us remind Him (though He can never forget it) of the work of His dear Son, and that we have here our occupation and live in the fragrance of His acceptance. This is really the foundation of all practical holiness, as it is of rest and satisfaction to the soul. Christ is our righteousness before God; we are accepted in the Beloved; in Christ we are as Christ, even in this world. Here the perpetual sunshine settles down on us; it is the true Beulah land for the saint, where the birds sing ever and the heart goes forth in perpetual melody” (Numerical Bible). Our answer to the continuous burnt offering in our behalf must be a life of devotion to God. Space forbids to follow the equally precious application of the other priestly actions.
The Law of the Meal Offering--As we learned in connection with the second chapter, the meal offering foreshadows Christ on earth, that blessed and holy life which was lived here in entire devotion. The principal thing here is that Aaron and his sons, the priests, were to eat of it. God had His portion in it, but the priests were to share it. All believers are priests in Christ, and as such have this precious food to enjoy. That food is Christ, and that means communion with God. To enjoy Christ, feed on Him, the bread come down from heaven; to meditate upon all His loveliness and grace, is our blessed privilege, who are brought into His fellowship. Note that it says “it shall be eaten unleavened in a holy place.” This means that only in the place of separation, where grace has put us, can we enjoy this feast. The feeding on the meal offering will keep us in the sanctuary in His presence.
The Offering of the High Priest--Distinct from the general meal offering is that meal offering which the high priest had to bring on the day of his anointing. This had to be wholly burned unto Jehovah. No priest was permitted to taste this and partake of it. It had to be offered half of it in the morning and half of it at night. There is another distinction. Oil was mixed with it, but oil was not poured upon it. We saw what the oil mixed with the fine flour meant, and that the pouring of the oil upon the fine flour typified the Holy Spirit as He came upon Christ at His baptism. Now inasmuch as this pouring of the oil is omitted here, this meal offering seems to typify the blessed life of our Lord before His public ministry began. The hidden years, as we term them, were yielded completely to God, and as the Holy Spirit has not given us a record of those years we cannot feed on them. This, no doubt, is the typical meaning of this special meal offering of the high priest “on the day of his anointing.”
The Law of the Sin Offering
The Law of the Sin Offering--This law contains interesting details concerning the sin offering. It had to be killed in the place where the burnt offering was killed. The priest that offered it for sin had to eat it, and he typifies Christ. This means His identification with sinners, when in our stead He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. But the priests also could eat of it. The work of atonement, the sin-bearing, no fellow priest could share with Him. He alone could do this great work. Nevertheless we eat of the sin offering if we identify ourselves in humiliation and confession with the sins and failures of the saints of God. The holiness of the sin offering is especially emphasized. It is called “most holy.” The earthen vessel in which it was boiled had to be broken and the brazen pot had to be scoured and rinsed. This typifies the unique and most precious, as well as holy character, of the great work accomplished by the sin bearer on the cross.
The Law of the Trespass Offering--This also is called “most holy.” Here the killing of the sacrifice, the sprinkling of the blood, the presentation of the fat, etc., and the burning upon the altar, omitted in chapters 5:14-6:7, are now commanded. Restitution is the prominent thing at the first mention of the trespass offering. It reveals the joy of God in what has been accomplished by Christ in His redemption work. But restitution must rest for a foundation upon atonement. This is now therefore brought out in the law of the trespass offering.
The Law of the Peace Offering--But one more remains. We discover that the peace offering is removed out of its connection. The order in the beginning of Leviticus is: burnt offering, meal offering, peace offering, sin offering, and trespass offering. The first three were the “sweet savour offerings.” The third sweet savour offering, the peace offering, is put last in the laws of the offering. The peace offering represents the blessed results of the work of Him, who has made peace in the blood of His cross, in whom all who believe are justified and have peace with God. And the first thing mentioned is most blessed and intimate communion and enjoyment with thanksgiving. The pierced cakes, unleavened mingled with oil, etc., typify Christ. In this blessed feast Christ, as everywhere, has the preeminent place. The enjoyment of peace and its resulting communion is impossible apart from Christ. We must ever let the Holy Spirit remind us of what He is and what He has done for us. But what does it mean that the Israelite had to bring an offering of leavened bread with the sacrifice of his peace offerings for “thanksgiving”? Leaven was forbidden at Passover, in the meal offering, because it is the type of evil. Here and in the two loaves of the Feast of Weeks it was not only permitted, but commanded. In Christ there was no leaven; but in His saints, though made nigh by blood, there is still leaven, the corruption of the old nature. How harmonious with the teaching of the New Testament! We leave this to our readers to follow with prayer, searching, and, we trust, exercise of soul.
Rich and full is indeed this portion, the concluding section; one feels like touching upon every detail and meditate on these precious pictures, foreshadowing our blessings and privileges in Christ.
We must pass all these riches by, but pray that His Spirit may open up the mines of divine wisdom and comfort to every child of God. But one more phrase we mention. The priests had their portion in the peace offering. The priest, who burns the fat upon the altar represents Christ. Aaron and his sons received the breast of the sacrifice. The shoulder of the peace offering belonged to the priest for an heave offering. Like Aaron and his sons, priests of God, we can feast upon the breast, the type of His love, and thus enjoy His affections. The shoulder is the seat of power. And power belongs to Him alone, who loveth us and hath washed us from our sins in His own blood and hath made us priests and kings. May this first part of Leviticus (so often ignored) become a source of much joy and blessing to His people. The few hints we could give will, under God, show the way how these types should be studied.