Leviticus 6:8-13 goes back to the topic of the burnt offering that we saw in Leviticus 1. The person that offered the sacrifice already would have gone back to his tent, but the priest’s work has not finished yet. In the long hours that follow, he keeps the fire burning until the whole sacrifice has been consumed, and then he carefully moves the ashes to a holy place outside the tabernacle. He’s also faithful to put wood on the fire each morning even though nobody sees it nor applauds him for doing it. He should be faithful in this holy work behind the scenes so that God’s forgiveness and a living relationship with Him is always accessible to His people.
Leviticus 6:14-18 goes back to the topic of the grain offering that we saw in Leviticus 2. In one verse it summarizes how the offering is presented (Leviticus 6:15), and now it adds the rules about the priests’ consumption of the remainder.
Notice that Leviticus 6:19-23 describes another kind of grain offering: the ordination offering or grain offering of the priest. From the day that they are consecrated, the priests themselves present a grain offering, half in the morning and half in the evening, every day. That is, the priests are going to guide the people through their own obedient example in giving offerings to Yahweh.
Leviticus 6:24-30 goes back to the topic of the sin offering in Leviticus 4. Here we find out that the priests eat a part of the sacrifice in the tabernacle courtyard; that is how they demonstrate that the sacrifice has been accepted by Yahweh (Leviticus 6:26, 29; notice that they do not share the meat with the person who presented the offering, one of the distinctive parts of the peace offering). But at the same time that there is an approach or familiarity with the sin offering in that a priest eats a part of it, there also are detailed instructions that underline the holiness of the blood from the offering (Leviticus 6:27-28). That is, Yahweh’s forgiveness of sin and its contamination is available and easily accessible, but may it never be considered routine or common. All atonement for sin and its contamination entails a holy substitution by blood, and this privilege should not be undervalued.
Leviticus 7:1-10 goes back to the topic of one kind of sin offering, the guilt offering or restitution offering that we read about in Leviticus 5:14 – 6:7. As in the sin offering, the priest will eat a part of the sacrifice, and the blood will be treated as something most holy.
Leviticus 7:11-36 goes back to the topic of the peace offering that we saw in Leviticus 3. It gives more detail about the part of the offering that will be for the priests’ consumption, and it emphasizes the holiness of the meal and everyone who participates in it.
Then Leviticus 7:37-38 lists them again as a closing summary. Do you remember some of the main characteristics of each one?
The burnt offering: the most basic sacrifice for the atonement of sin, burned completely, accessible to all – rich or poor.
The grain offering: an offering without blood, in thanksgiving for Yahweh’s provision; a handful of fine flour is burned (with incense in some cases) and the rest is given as a provision to the priests.
The sin offering: the sacrifice for certain types of unintentional sin; it is for forgiveness of sin and to purify the tabernacle from contamination. The blood is put on the horns of an altar according to the authority of the sinner, and the priest eats a part of the sacrifice (unless it is for his own sin). The holiness of the blood is emphasized.
The guilt offering: A category of the sin offering in which the sinner also gives compensation for his sin.
The ordination sacrifice: A category of the grain offering given daily only by consecrated priests, one half in the morning and the other half in the evening.
The peace offering: The sacrifice shared among Yahweh, the priests, the one presenting the offering, his family, and those he invites; it is a holy meal in fellowship with Yahweh.
If we have read and reflected on these sacrifices, we can do the following:
1. Identify the sacrifices that the Israelites practiced in the tabernacle, but even more so:
2. Realize the multifaceted relationship that a believer has with Yahweh. It includes forgiveness by the shed blood of a substitute, repentance from every kind of sin and voluntary or involuntary contamination, restitution given to those who have suffered damage from our sins, complete surrender of one’s life to Yahweh, thanksgiving for daily provision, consecration to serve God and celebration together with Him and His people.
In this way, I hope that our reading of Leviticus 1 – 7 has greatly enhanced our personal relationship with Yahweh through faith in Jesus Christ, the One who shed His blood on the cross as our Substitute for the forgiveness of our sins and for our birth to a living relationship with Him.