The purpose of Sacrifice
In the Old Testament period man could approach God only through sacrifices. Sacrifices brought about reconciliation between God and man.
The mind of sacrifice was first seen in God Himself. And for this reason, God revealed Himself as a Triune God. When we say that a sacrifice is offered:
1. A person who offers the sacrifice is required
2. An object of sacrifice is required and
3. A person who accepts the sacrifice is required.
Therefore God the Father, worked as the person who offers sacrifice, Jesus Christ worked as the object of sacrifice and the Eternal Spirit who is the Holy Spirit worked as the person who accepts the offering, thus revealing a triune God.
All the Old Testament sacrifices are first a shadow of Christ offering Himself as a sacrifice to reconcile man with God.
Secondly, they reveal the spiritual sacrifices to be made by the Church, the body of Christ, for her perfection.
There were 5 major sacrifices and 5 minor sacrifices in the Old Testament period. In our todays reading portion it is mentioned about the 5 major sacrifices, they are:
1. Burnt offering (Lev1:6) – Lord Jesus became a burnt offering for our sins. The burnt offering speaks of surrendering the members of our body as a living sacrifice (Rom12:1)
2. Meat offering (Lev2:3) – Jesus said that His meat was to do the will of His Father (Jn4:34) The children of God can become a meat offering by doing the will of God
3. Peace offering (Lev ch3) peace offering reveals what we should do to be found in perfect peace in the presence of the Lord at His secret coming
4. Sin offering (Lev ch4) Christ who knew no sin became a sin offering for us.
5. Trespass offering (Lev ch5) Trespass means going beyond the limit. The sin of Trespass occurs when the children of God trespass by going beyond the limit.
From these five offerings the first three are free will offerings and the last two are definite offerings
As Jesus surrendered His body to fulfill the will of His Father, we should also surrender the members of our body as a living sacrifice unto God
"Leviticus" means "Relating to the Levites". It contains mainly the service of worship at the Tabernacle which was conducted by the priests and assisted by the Levites.
Exodus gave the directions for building the Tabernacle, while Leviticus gives the laws and regulations for worship including instructions on ceremonial cleanliness, moral laws, holy days, the Sabbath year and the year of Jubilee. These laws were given when Israel camped at Sinai.
The Offerings mentioned in Leviticus are as follows:
1. The Burnt Offering
An offering is brought to God as a gift. A burnt offering was offered every morning for all Israel. A burnt offering had to be a male animal without defect doves or pigeons (for the poor).
It is a free will act of Worship an Expression of Devotion Commitment and Complete Surrender to God. It is also for atonement for unintentional sin.
2. Grain Offering
This is the only bloodless offering. It has to have no yeast or honey. It is fine flour with oil and incense on it. It is a voluntary act of Worship and Devotion to God recognizing His Goodness and Provisions.
3. Fellowship Offering
Any animal without defect from a herd or flock is offered. It is a voluntary act of Worship, Thanksgiving and Fellowship. Peace between God and man and inward peace. A lasting ordinance is that no one should eat the fat or blood.
4. The Sin Offering
When anyone sins unintentionally or does what is forbidden in the Lord's commands the Sin Offering is offered. It is atonement for a specific sin, confession of sin, forgiveness of sin, then they are cleansed from defilement.
Young bull was offered for a priest and congregation. Male goat for leader who sins, female goat or lamb for common person, pigeon or tenth of an ephah of fine flour for the poor.
5. Guilt Offering
A Guilt Offering is made when a person is Guilty of Wrong Doing against the Lord. It is made with a lamb or ram. It is an atonement sin requiring restitution and cleansing from defilement.
Expression of Gratitude
According to the Old Covenant the priest stood and offered the same sacrifice again and again which can never take away sins. The sins were only covered. (atonement )
We belonging to the New Covenant should be so very grateful to God because Jesus Christ, the Spotless Lamb of God without Blemish was Offered for ALL TIME as One Sacrifice for sins, and we believers are made holy through the Blood of Jesus shed for us on Calvary.