The Five Offerings Of Leviticus 1-7
Chart And Brief Outline
In these five offerings we have a most wonderful presentation in typical language of types and shadows of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the true "Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). All these offerings taken together give us a full view of Christ and His great sacrificial work on the cross of Calvary. They are like so many mirrors arranged around the Lord and the cross so that each one reflects a special view of His Person and work.
1. The Burnt Offering
Here we have the highest aspect of the work of Christ where He is seen offering Himself up entirely to God to do His will even unto death. The whole offering, except the skin of the animal, was burnt upon the altar and all went up to God as a sweet savour. It pictures Christ who gave Himself as "a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour" (Eph. 5:2). Christ is not seen here as bearing our sins, but as accomplishing the Father's will, glorifying Him and vindicating the holiness and majesty of His throne. This theme is especially prominent in John's Gospel and in Psalm 40.
2. The Meal Offering
This offering typifies Christ as the perfect and sinless Man and presents to us His wonderful Person and His spotless life which was ever an offering of a sweet savour unto God. There was no shedding of blood in this offering so it speaks of the perfections of Christ's Person and life rather than of His death. The fine flour pictures His sinless humanity with its evenness of moral qualities, the oil pictures the grace and power of the Holy Spirit which characterized His life, while the frankincense is emblematic of the sweetness and fragrance of His Person and life.
3. The Peace Offering
This was also an offering of a sweet savour to God. The blood, the fat and the kidneys of the offering were put upon the altar as "the food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord" (Lev. 3:11). This was God's part. Then the breast was given to Aaron and his sons and the right shoulder to the offering priest. This was man's part. Thus God and man both fed on the same offering which speaks of communion and fellowship and typifies the communion which the believer in Christ enjoys with God on the ground of the work of Christ at the cross and His blood shed there for our sins. We are at peace with God through the work of the cross and can feed upon Christ in fellowship with the Father. Luke's Gospel and Psalm 85 especially present this theme.
4. The Sin Offering
We come now to the non-sweet savour offerings. The special feature of this offering is in the whole bullock being burnt upon the ground outside the camp of Israel after the blood and fat were put upon the altar for God. This offering was for sin and pictures to us Christ who was made sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21) and endured the judgment and wrath of God against sin in our stead as our substitute. The holiness of God and the awfulness of sin are brought out in the bullock being entirely burnt up outside the camp. It pictures Christ, forsaken of God, as our Sin-bearer as given in Psalm 22 and Mark's Gospel.
5. The Trespass Offering
Here sin is looked at as a trespass against the government of God. Amends had to be made for the wrong done and the fifth part added to it. Atonement was made by the blood of the offering, and the trespasser was forgiven. This offering presents Christ who died for our sins and trespasses on the cross restoring that which He took not away (Ps. 69:4). He has not only answered to God for our sins and paid our debt by His shed blood, but has added the fifth part, as it were, bringing more glory to God and more blessings to man than were had before sin was committed. This is the first view the sinner gets of the Cross of Christ. Psalm 69 and Matthew's Gospel present this aspect of the offering of Christ.