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Today in Leviticus we read about the Sin Offering and the Guilt Offering. Combine this with our readings from yesterday and we've covered the 5 major Old Testament sacrifices - which I'll recap below from the NIV Study Bible. I'd recommend taking a good mental note of these 5 Sacrifices, as we'll keep reading about them this year in various capacities in the OT:
1. Burnt Offering - Voluntary act of worship; atonement for unintentional sin in general; expression of devotion, commitment and surrender to God. Bull, ram or male bird is offered - wholly consumed no defect.
2. Grain Offering - Voluntary act of worship; recognition of God's goodness and provisions; devotion to God. Grain, fine flower, olive oil, incense, baked bread, salt offered - accompanied burnt and fellowship offering.
3. Fellowship Offering - Voluntary act of worship; thanksgiving and fellowship as it included a communal meal. Any animal without defect from herd or flock offered.
4. Sin Offering - Mandatory atonement for specific unintentional sin; confession of sin; forgiveness of sin; cleansing from defilement. Young bull for high priest & congregation offered. Male goat for leader. Female goat or lamb for common person. Dove or pigeon for the poor. Tenth of an ephah of fine flower for the very poor.
5. Guilt Offering - Mandatory atonement for unintentional sin requiring restitution; cleansing from defilement; make restitution; pay 20% fine. Ram or lamb offered.
(above 5 points from the NIV Study Bible p. 151)
Chapter 4 verse 29 contains something new I learned recently, again from NIV Study Bible: "They are to lay a hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place where burnt offerings are slaughtered." The sin offering included confession (see chapter 5 verse 5) and the symbolic transfer of guilt by laying hands on the sacrifice, as we see here in verse 29. It's only recently that I've understood that the laying on of hands on the offering symbolically transferred guilt to the offering.
Chapter 4 verse 21 foreshadows Jesus' death on the cross outside the gates of Jersusalem at Golgotha: "The priest must then take what is left of the bull outside the camp and burn it there, just as is done with the sin offering for the high priest." Here's how Hebrews chapter 13 verses 11 through 14 looks back at this verse in Leviticus: "The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come."
Today in Leviticus we read about further instructions for offerings. Chapter 6 verse 13 I found interesting: "Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out." Commentaries state that the fire was never to go out because the fire was started by God. Humans were not to bring man-made fire to the altar, or they would die, as we will see Leviticus chapter 10 when we read about Nadab and Abihu. The only real "eternal flame" that I can think of in today, that was started by God, is the Holy Spirit. And this eternal flame of the Holy Spirit is made available to you and I through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Here's an image of the burnt offering altar from the time of Leviticus:
And - here's an image to make you think about the fire of the Holy Spirit available to you and I today through Jesus:
Can you relate to this image above? Can you imagine what this man in this image above is experiencing? Have you experienced this?
Worship Video: Today’s readings reminded me of "Your Love, Oh Lord" by Third Day:
Do you know the Love that reaches to the heavens? Click here and meet the One that created the skies!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible." Leviticus 5:1 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you do not sin by not speaking up for Truth.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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