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The Law for the Guilt Offering
Here we find the actual description of the guilt offering. We would expect this in Leviticus 6. But there is the aspect of compensation in the foreground, while here it is about the priestly contribution.
The guilt offering, like the sin offering, is “most holy”. The guilt offering meets all the holy demands of God with regard to the guilt in which a man stands before Him. Like the sin offering, the guilt offering is closely connected to the burnt offering (Lev 6:25). The guilt offering and the sin offering are brought to the place of the burnt offering. It suggests that whoever has to bring a guilt offering may also see that the Lord Jesus is also the burnt offering. We have loaded guilt upon ourselves, but the Lord Jesus has taken that guilt upon Himself. He has received the punishment we deserved. That is a wonderful grace.
But grace goes much further. Not only has something been taken away from us – our guilt and the punishment for it – but we have also gotten something infinitely great through His work. Because of the work of the Lord Jesus we are now holy and blameless before God as His sons. God now sees us in Him (Eph 1:4-6).
A believer who, as a priest, brings the guilt offering, gets a special appreciation for the Lord Jesus and His work. He is occupied with Him and His work. Although the reason for this is the need for atonement because guilt has arisen, its effect is an increasing admiration for Christ and His work. The special part of the priest (Lev 7:7) is specified in the following verse (Lev 7:8).
The guilt offering has aspects that we did not come across in the sin offering. Thus the blood of the guilt offering is sprinkled all around on the altar. This will clear the way for worship. The fat, the entrails and the fat that covers them are also offered to the LORD as an offering by fire. It points to the idea that the Lord Jesus, with all His strength, has accomplished the work by which the guilty one has been freed from guilt and above that God has been glorified.
Thinking about this is food for the priest. This food can only be eaten in a holy place. Being busy in this way with the Lord Jesus as the guilt offering requires that we separate ourselves: the “most holy” must be eaten in “a holy place”.
In these verses we have some additions to the law on the guilt offering. Being busy with another person’s guilt is not easy. Whoever, as a priest – that is someone who is accustomed to God’s presence and knows His thoughts – is called upon to occupy himself with the guilt of someone, gets here, in the picture, a great encouragement. He is reminded of the burnt offering and what his part in it is: the skin of the burnt offering. With this he may, as it were, clothe himself. This gives the picture that he may be aware that he stands before God in the value of the Son’s sacrifice: he is “pleasant in the Beloved” (Eph 1:6). Knowing who you are in Christ is something else than experiencing that you are in Christ. The latter will manifest itself in worship of the Father and the Son.
For the priest who brings the guilt offering, there is also a part of the grain offering. He may feed himself with the Lord Jesus, Whom He was for God. A believer who has to deal with the guilt of someone else will receive a special appreciation for the perfect devotion that the life of the Lord Jesus shows. This is in contrast to the life of the guilty person, but also to his own life, which is no better than that of the guilty person. In all things only the life of the Lord Jesus shines. That is food for the heart of imperfect people who have surrendered themselves to Him for precisely that reason.
A believer who, from that consciousness, helps a failing believer to clear up his guilt, gains insight into the different aspects of the life of the Lord Jesus, as it is presented in the different forms of the grain offering. These forms and the parts of that offering were discussed in Leviticus 2.
The Law of the Peace Offering
The description of the peace offering in Leviticus 3 is mainly about the connection with the altar. Its application to us is found par excellence in the Lord’s Supper at the Lord’s Table. The peace offering is a fellowship offering, which is represented for us in the Table of the Lord (1Cor 10:15-21). However, there are also other occasions where believers have fellowship with each other. Every time they come together, for whatever reason, they have fellowship with each other. God wants to be there. Fellowship as believers among each other is only possible and good if God can and may be present.
The peace offering is a festival sacrifice (Psa 118:27). Someone who is happy can spontaneously bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving. He can slay an animal and celebrate. The eldest son in Lukas 15 wants the same. But he only wants to celebrate with his friends, without his father (Lk 15:29). That cannot be a feast. Our joy and happiness are always based on the work of the Lord Jesus, and that is also what God rejoices in.
This sacrifice of thanksgiving must be accompanied by a grain offering. If we thank God for the work of the Lord Jesus on the cross, it is impossible to ignore His perfect life up to the cross. We would also like to tell God about this, to offer it to Him.
Also cakes of leavened bread are brought (Lev 7:13). This cannot speak of the Lord Jesus. Leaven speaks of sin and in Him is no sin. But there is leaven in us. Sin is still in us. These cakes tell in picture that we come in the awareness that sin is still in us (1Jn 1:8), although sin no longer is allowed to rule us neither is that necessary. We have to consider ourselves dead to sin. This we do when we realize that He has deprived sin of its power (Rom 6:6-11).
Lev 7:14 shows that God must first receive His part before we share with others. It is a part that is offered to Him as a heave offering (so footnote NASB). A heave offering means that it is lifted above everything else, while at the same time everything else gets the value of this heave offering. We can apply this to the Lord Jesus Who offered Himself to God above all else. We offer Him to God. Because of this, everything else we enjoy about Him and His offering together also receives the value He has for God.
The priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offering represents the believer who is aware that fellowship is based on nothing but the blood poured out by Christ. The blood makes him think of the price paid for him and through which he is now entirely of Christ (1Pet 1:1-2). This brings great gratitude and joy. The believer who knows this presupposes that gratitude and joy also in other believers and desires to share it with such believers, to have fellowship therein.
The feast, the eating, must take place on the same day that the sacrifice is offered (Lev 7:15). This prescription shows that the connection to the altar is of great importance. When the flesh is eaten the next day, the thought of the offering being brought on the altar is blurred. God does not want that. With every sacrifice of thanksgiving He expects the thought of the cross of Christ. There is no thanksgiving possible without the cross.
We can’t live on yesterday’s experience. God expects us to come to the altar with a new offering of praise every day. We may examine the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11), for these testify about the Lord Jesus (Jn 5:39). We notice new compassions of the Lord every morning (Lam 3:22-23). Then we have an abundance of reasons for a new sacrifice of praise every day, don't we?
A votive or freewill offering may be eaten the next day (Lev 7:16). This is an offering that has a more sustainable character than the offering of thanksgiving. An offering of thanksgiving is brought more spontaneously. A votive or freewill offering has been considered. When we meet, it may be that we start sacrificing more spontaneously as the service progresses. It is also possible that during the week we have already been busy with the meeting and the offering of the Lord Jesus. The gratitude in connection with the cross also has a longer effect.
But even then it is not so that we can move forward for a long time with what we have seen of the Lord Jesus. That is what Lev 7:17-18 have to say to us. There will be a growing desire to see more of Him. Thoughts that linger and that we only cherish because we don’t want to discover new things from the Lord Jesus are counterproductive. They become an obstacle in our spiritual life. Growth stops. Then we must judge ourselves and our thinking, to become free from iniquity. This creates space for the preparation of a new votive or freewill offering that is pleasant to God and in which fellowship with others can be experienced. When fellowship manifests itself in fixed forms and along well-trodden paths, it degenerates into dead orthodoxy.
Practicing fellowship as suggested in participating in this sacrificial meal is subject to conditions (Lev 7:19-21). The table, the expression of fellowship, is the Table of the Lord and therefore holy. The offerings belong to God (Lev 7:20-21). Worship belongs to God. What goes on in our hearts during the service does not belong to us. God has put it in our hearts, to our joy, that we may participate in what Christ’s offering means to Him and in His own joy about it.
No uncleanness may be associated with this. This uncleanness can be caused in different ways. In the first place it can happen that the flesh has come into contact with something unclean (Lev 7:19). An application of this is that if anyone has wrong thoughts about the Person or the work of the Lord Jesus, he is unclean and cannot participate in the Lord’s Supper, the fellowship meal at the Lord’s Table. He can only participate when he has corrected his wrong thinking about the Person or the work of the Lord Jesus.
A second case is that the person who wants to eat the flesh is unclean himself (Lev 7:20). An application is that one does not judge sin in his life. From such a person it must be concluded that he has not only fallen into sin, but that he lives in sin. If anyone does not judge sin in his life and after several attempts by others is not willing to judge that sin (Mt 18:15-20), he cannot take part in the Lord’s Supper, the fellowship meal held at the Lord’s Table. Such a person is called “the wicked man” and, if he already participates in the Lord’s Supper, must be removed from among the believers (1Cor 5:13b). He can only (again) take part when he judges and confesses his sin for God and people.
A third case is that someone, although clean himself, is unclean by consciously staying in contact with uncleanness (Lev 7:21). An application is if someone wants to participate in the Lord’s Supper, while he is part of a church where no discipline is exercised over public evil. For example, that group allows unmarried cohabitation or living in a homosexual relation and allows people who live this way to take part in their supper. Anyone who stays in touch with it remains in touch with the wickedness that is present in that church and is therefore defiled. Such a person cannot participate in the Lord’s Supper, the fellowship meal held at the Lord’s Table. He can only participate if he withdraws from this wickedness, which in practice means that he withdraws from that church (2Tim 2:19-22).
Prohibition to Eat Fat or Blood
God watches over His people to appropriate too much of the offering. The provision that it is forbidden to eat fat and blood comes after the peace offering. Peace offerings are offerings of which a great part can be eaten. Yet there remains something that is only for God, to which He asserts His exclusive right: the life (blood) and the inner strength (fat) belong entirely to Him.
There are parts in the work of the Lord Jesus for which God has not given us the ability to penetrate. From no animal its fat may be eaten. The fat speaks of the energy of the animal. The fat of the sacrificial animal speaks of the energy with which the Lord Jesus completed the work. Only God can measure and appreciate this energy perfectly.
Also the blood should never be eaten. Blood is the life of the creature. Life belongs to God. When life is taken, it must be done in the knowledge that it belongs to God (Lev 17:10-14; Gen 9:6). That is why the blood must be poured out.
God has determined: “Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb 9:22). We may believe that the blood cleanses us from all our sins (1Jn 1:7b). But what the deep meaning of the blood of Christ is to God cannot be fathomed by a man’s understanding. Anyone who does try to do so will fall into error.
The Part of the Priest
The blood and fat of the peace offering are brought to the altar and thus offered to God. The breast and the right thigh of this offering are for the priest. The rest of the offering is for the offeror and all with whom he wants to celebrate and who are clean.
Anyone who comes with a peace offering must bring it with “his own hands”. We cannot leave the offering of the peace offering to others. In the meeting this applies to every brother and every sister. God wants to receive from each individual what is present in the heart. The brothers may express this out loud (1Cor 14:34).
The breast is where the heart is. The breast speaks of the love of the Lord Jesus. A priest is particularly concerned about this. The priest is also given the right thigh, which speaks of the strength and perseverance we see in the way the Lord Jesus has gone. Love and strength we also see in Song of Songs 8 (Song 8:6). It is the love and strength of the work of the Lord Jesus through which the fellowship is established.
Confirmation of the Laws of the Offerings
Moses received these instructions for the offerings of the LORD at Mount Sinai. God has thus expressed His will that the people should bring Him offerings. The area in which these offerings are to be brought is also emphasized: it is “in the wilderness of Sinai”. This makes us clear that God expects us to “continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” (Heb 13:15) while living on earth.
Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Leviticus 7". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26