Leviticus Chapter 1 Second Continued
In the first of this lesson, I would like to go over again a few of the highlights we have already learned. We need to get all of this down deep into our understanding, that we might better appreciate what Jesus did for us when He was crucified on the cross.
We know that the burnt offering was to be made just inside the tabernacle of the congregation. We could view it as the entrance of the church. We know that the animal had to be perfect with no blemishes. The animal must be brought by the person seeking God.
We saw in a previous lesson how the person bringing the animal had to place his hand upon the animal’s head, symbolically placing his own sins on the animal. We also learned, that blood must be shed for the remission of sin.
Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
These 2 Scriptures show us the seriousness of sin. Sin must be paid for by death through the shedding of blood. This animal was the substitute for this sinner as Jesus Christ was our substitute. In the case of Jesus this debt was paid for all mankind who will accept it for all time.
The blood of an animal cannot do away with sin, only cover the sin. The blood of Jesus Christ destroyed sin for those who follow Jesus. Jesus took our sin upon His body, and we took on His righteousness, when we wash in His blood.
In the burnt offering, the only thing that was not completely burned up was the hide of the animal, which was given to the priest. Isn’t it interesting that God sacrificed an animal in the garden of Eden and made garments to cover Adam and Eve out of the hide? Praise God! Our garment of white is washed in the blood of the Lamb.
Our covering (righteousness of Christ), was provided for us by our Savior Jesus Christ and will never wear out. Just as this burnt offering opened the way for these people to worship God, Jesus opened the way for the Christian to be in fellowship with God.
Leviticus 1:12 “And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that [is] on the fire which [is] upon the altar:”
The perfection of these Old Testament sacrifices prefigured the sinlessness of Christ, who was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners” (Heb. 7:26; compare 9:24).
The first thing that jumps out at me in this is the fact that the person bringing the offering is helped by the priest. The priest sets everything in order. Remember, this animal being offered symbolizes this person’s life of sin. This old life must be destroyed. The wood symbolizes worldliness, and it too, will be totally burned up. When a person first seeks God, they usually need help and direction to keep them in the path. The priest here, is like Christian leaders and friends who help us sort out things when we first come to the Lord. We need their guidance to get us started.
Leviticus 1:13 “But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring [it] all, and burn [it] upon the altar: it [is] a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD.”
As he did the bullock (Lev. 1:9).
“And the priest shall bring it all”: All the parts to the ascent of the altar, as the Jews interpret it. All the parts and pieces of it, even the very wool on the sheep’s head. And the hair on the goat’s beard, their bones, sinews, and horns, and hoofs, all were burnt, as it follows.
“And burn it on the altar, it is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord” (see notes on Lev. 1:9).
LORD in the verse above is JEHOVAH, The Eternal One, or The One Who Exists. This was a very strong name the Hebrews used for God. This offering pleases God (sweet savor). This brings to mind the rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who comes home. These next 2 Scriptures let us know how much it pleases God for someone to be saved.
Luke 15:7 “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”
Luke 15:10 “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
We must, also, look at the washing of the unclean parts of this animal. This says to me that unclean gifts are not acceptable unto God. Ministers should not take unclean gifts from donors, if they know they are unclean. We can also see in this offering in the other elements, water, blood and Spirit. We know that this offering shows us a shadow of Jesus. The fire symbolizes God or the Spirit. The water is represented by the water in the washing and the blood is present in the animal. Let us look at two more Scriptures that show us the importance of all three.
1 John 5:6 “This is he that came by water and blood, [even] Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.”
1 John 5:8 “And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”
This burnt offering then, is not only an acceptable offering to God, but opens the way to fellowship with God.
Leviticus 1:14 “And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD [be] of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons.”
As it might be for the poorer sort, who could not offer a bullock, nor a sheep, or a lamb (Lev. 5:7).
“Then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons”: The Jewish writers all agree, that the turtles should be old, and not young, as the pigeons young, and not old. So the Targum of Jonathan, Jarchi, Aben Ezra and Gersom. The latter gives two reasons for it, because then they are the choicest and easiest to be found and taken. No mention is made of their being male or female, as either would do. Or of their being perfect and unblemished, as in the other burnt offerings. But if any part was wanting, it was not fit for sacrifice, as Maimonides observes. These creatures were proper emblems of Christ, and therefore used in sacrifice. Whose voice is compared to the turtle’s, and his eyes to the eyes of doves (SOS 2:12). And who is fitly represented by them for his meekness and humility. And for his chaste and strong affection to his church, as the turtledove to its mate, and for those dove like graces of the Spirit which are in him.
The only reason this offering would be of a fowl, would be because the offeror was poor and could not offer more. God does not excuse the poor from making offerings, but does allow them to give less according to their ability to pay. This is such a beautiful symbolic meaning here. This type of fowl is a messenger. The dove also, symbolizes the Holy Spirit. This implies that the thoughts of man should soar above the earthly and be stayed upon the heavenly. Each person dedicating their life to God should be His messenger.
Leviticus 1:15 “And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn [it] on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar:”
“The priest … wring off”: Unlike the livestock being killed by the one offering the sacrifice, the bird was killed by the priest.
All of the burnt offerings show a shadow of Christ. I would say this would be the sorrowful Christ. This blood being wrung out shows the violent manner that Jesus shed His blood. It is wrong to believe that Jesus’ blood was spilled. It was no accident that He shed His blood for us.
Leviticus 1:16 “And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, by the place of the ashes:”
“Crop … feathers”: This refers to the neck or gullet of a bird where food was stored.
“East part … place of the ashes”: This was the closest side to the entrance of the tabernacle compound and provided for the easiest removal of the ashes outside (compare 6:10-11).
This casting away of the feathers, shows me the fact that Jesus’ robe was cast off before His crucifixion. To perfectly humiliate Him, they took His robe off. In this we see the humiliation of Jesus on the cross.
Leviticus 1:17 “And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, [but] shall not divide [it] asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that [is] upon the fire: it [is] a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD.”
One wing being on one side, and the other on the other side.
“But shall not divide it asunder”: The body of the bird, though it was cleaved down in the middle, yet not parted asunder, nor any of its wings separated from it. The Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it, “but shall not separate its wings from it”. This denoted, that though, by the death of Christ, his soul and body were separated from each other, yet the human nature was not separated from his divine Person. The personal union between the two natures still continuing. Nor was he divided from his divine Father, though he was forsaken by him, yet still in union with him as the Son of God. Nor from the divine Spirit, by which he offered up himself to God, and by which he was quickened. Nor from his church and people, for whom he suffered, they being united to him as members to their head.
“And the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire”: In like manner as the ox, sheep, or goat were burnt. According to the Misnah, the priest went up the ascent (of the altar), and turned round about the circuit. When he came to the southeast horn, he cut its head (or nipped it) with his nail, over against its neck, and divided it, and squeezed out its blood by the wall of the altar, and turned the part nipped to the altar, and struck it at it, and rubbed it with salt, and cast it upon the fires. Then he went to the body and removed the crop and its feathers (or dung), and the entrails that came out along with it, and threw them into the place of ashes. He cleaved but did not divide asunder, but if he divided it was right, then he rubbed it with salt, and cast it upon the fires.
“It is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord” (see notes on Lev. 1:9).
We can see in this spreading wide the wings and placing it upon the wood in one piece; the body of Jesus on the cross. Jesus’ arms were spread out as the wings of this dove were and placed upon a wooden cross. Jesus made the statement, that in this He glorified the Father. I would like to quote 3 Scriptures that show that in this God the Father was pleased and glorified.
John 12:28 “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, [saying], I have both glorified [it], and will glorify [it] again.”
John 17:1 “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:”
John 17:5 “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”
There is no need to add to this, it says it all.
Leviticus Chapter 1 Second Continued Questions
1. Where was this burnt offering to be made?
2. What could this be viewed as, that pertains to us?
3. Who brought the animal to be sacrificed?
4. What was the symbolic meaning of the person making the offering placing his hand upon the head of the animal to be sacrificed?
5. What is the only permissible thing, that can take sin away?
6. The wages of sin is ________.
7. What one word describes what this animal was, for the person bringing it?
8. What happened to the hide of the animal?
9. When God killed an animal in the garden of Eden, what did He do with the hide?
10. What is the Christian’s covering?
11. Where did the priest lay the offering after he had cut it up?
12. What does the wood of the altar symbolize?
13. The priest in verse 12, reminds us of whom?
14. What parts of the animal must be washed before burning?
15. LORD, in verse 13, is whom?
16. What does this offering being a sweet savor, let us know about the offering?
17. Where do we find the Scripture that says there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth?
18. What message should we receive about unclean gifts here?
19. In 1 John 5:8, what 3 things bear witness in earth?
20. When is the only time acceptable to bring a fowl for a burnt offering?
21. What is this fowl mentioned here symbolic of?
22. The Dove specifically symbolizes Whom?
23. Where should the thoughts of man be?
24. What does the blood being wrung out of the fowl show us about the crucifixion of Jesus?
25. What shadow of Jesus’ crucifixion does the plucking of the feathers and throwing them at the foot of the altar show?
26. Why were the wings of the fowl spread open and placed on the wood?
27. Where are the Scriptures found that say this glorifies the Father and Jesus?