If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish…
I. THE BURNT-OFFERING is placed first in order, when the Lord spake unto Moses "out of the Tabernacle," teaching that the primary and grand object of Christ's death was "the glory of God." The burnt-offering may be said to answer to St. John's Gospel, where this object is very prominent (see John 12:27-33; John 17:1-4).
1. Atonement, as expiation of guilt, is not the prominent thought in burnt-offering, yet it is seen there, verifying Hebrews 9:22; and the sprinkling of the blood testifies to the righteousness of God in accepting the worshipper whose worship — like all else — needs the atoning blood, being in itself not only worthless, but tainted with sin; and worship is one prominent feature of burnt-offering as regards man. Now look at details.
2. Male without blemish. That is, highest order of offering, whether of herd or flock (Leviticus 1:3, 10). Nothing with slightest taint or blemish must be used to represent Christ.
II. ACCEPTANCE was another prominent characteristic of burnt-offering. It was presented that the offerer might be "accepted" (Leviticus 1:3). "Lo! I come... to do Thy will, O God" (Hebrews 10:7; Psalm 40:7), were the words of Jesus. He presented Himself for acceptance; He was "obedient unto death" (Philippians 2:8). His sacrifice was that of devotion and service, as typified in this offering. Thus was the Father glorified in the death of His beloved Son I See, too, how Father's love drawn forth because He laid down His life for sheep (John 10:11, 17), in obedience to Father's will (John 6:38-40). Thus the Father's glory seen to be bound up in the salvation of "sheep"; and His acceptance of Jesus ensures theirs (Leviticus 1:4; Ephesians 1:6).
III. HAND UPON HEAD OF BURNT-OFFERING further shows identification of offerer and offering. The word rendered "put" (ver, 4) signifies to lean with whole weight, which implies full reliance, trust, and transfer, so to speak, of whole being to Him, who both amply met God's claim to entire devotedness to Him and made atonement for His people, that is, "covered" their failures with His atoning merits and sacrifice. Believers are "in Him" (1 John 5:20), and thus God sees and accepts them.
IV. KILL, FLAY CUT INTO HIS PIECES (vers. 5, 6). Significant actions. Not only death, but all laid bare to be exposed to searching fire of God's holiness, and testify to the perfections of His Christ, whether in part or whole. Believers should look into Christ, and study His perfections in every detail. There is also a "rightly dividing the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15), which testifies of Jesus the living Word. Again, His pieces, typifying members of His body, are laid bare before God; all within revealed, i.e., "naked and opened..." (Hebrews 4:13), to the Searcher ex hearts (Psalm 7:9; Luke 16:15); and He requires holiness within (1 Peter 1:15, 16).
V. "THE PRIESTS, AARON'S SONS" (vers. 5-8) represent "the Church of God," "the children" (Hebrews 2:13), an holy priesthood" (1 Peter 2:5): here seen as worshipping saints, offering to God what most "acceptable" to Him.
1. They "sprinkle the blood," showing ground of acceptable worship (1 Peter 1:2).
2. They "put fire," and lay all "in order upon the altar." Christ, the Head, in His entirety, with His rich excellency (fat), offering Him self (voluntary act), through the eternal Spirit (fire), without spot to God (Hebrews 9:14). "Many waters cannot quench love" (Song of Solomon 8:7), such as His, glowing With the fire of the Spirit, shown in zeal and devotion to the Father s will. And no work for God, no offering acceptable, except through the fire of the Spirit (Romans 8:4, 8-10, 14), sent from above to dwell in believers, and kindle in them flame of love and zeal, which again ascends to heaven.
VI. THE WASHING OF INWARDS AND LEGS (ver. 9) rendered the offering typically what Christ is inherently and intrinsically. Perfectly clean and pure, not only in outward walk, but inwardly also; in exact accordance with the requirements of a holy God. Truth, wisdom found in Him who was both (Psalm 51:6; Psalm 15:2; John 14:6; Proverbs 8:11, 30; 1 Corinthians 1:24).
VII. THE PRIEST SHALL BURN ALL (ver. 13). The whole of the burnt-offering was to be consumed upon the altar, because exclusively for God. God requires whole-heartedness in His service; want of devotedness to God is sin; we offend if we keep back part for ourselves, or for the world, instead of presenting all to Him; and these failures, sins, shortcomings, are all met by the precious One in the burnt-offering.
VIII. THE ASHES CARRIED FORTH from beside the altar testify to the completeness of the work "finished" on Calvary, and to God's complete acceptance of the perfect Sacrifice, His own "unspeakable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15) to man. The "clean place" "without the camp" (chaps. 1:16, 6:10, 11) points to the "new tomb" (Matthew 27:58-66), where the body of Jesus was laid; and He — the risen One — then entered" into heaven itself, now to appear..." (Hebrews 9:24).
IX. "A SWEET SAVOUR UNTO THE LORD" (vers. 9, 13, 17). As such the "continual" burnt-offering ascended (Numbers 28:3-8); and so the fragrant merits of Christ's one all-sufficient sacrifice. For "Christ also hath... given Himself for.., a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour" (Ephesians 5:2). Yes, Jesus, who is feasting the Father's eyes and heart, is the one in whom He smells "a sweet savour" or "savour of rest" (Genesis 8:21).
(Lady Beau-jolois Dent.)
Parallel VersesKJV: If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.