What does it say?
Before you begin: Leviticus means things relating to the Levites. All priests were Levites, but not all Levites priests (those descended from Aaron). All Leviticus happens in a month’s time from Exodus 40:17 until Numbers 1:1.
No book has had more impact on Judaism than Leviticus, traditionally the first book taught to children. Leviticus regulates Israel’s worship life of sacrifices, priests and tabernacle. The Law never permanently cleansed sin, but was our teacher to bring us to Christ (Galatians). Without Leviticus, it is impossible to understand the Book of Hebrews. The Ten Commandments teach loving God and neighbor; Leviticus adds the details to that outline.
Now, relax and read these four chapters for the flow, not to master the details. Here are four of the five foundational offerings of Israel. Each offering has a specific focus and each has options of what animals or objects can be offered and how.
What does it mean?
While the Law is uniquely Israel’s, Israel will bless the families of the earth by modeling how people can stand in the presence of a holy God. Jesus Christ fulfills the symbolism of the Levitical Law and makes communion with God accessible to all who believe. God has provided his people a sacrifice, a priest and a place to meet him.
The first three offerings have a pleasing aroma (sweet savor) made in communion with God and celebrate the relationship. The burnt offering is total consecration, fulfilled in Christ’s devotion to his mission. The grain or meal offering (meat offering) is the only bloodless offering and represents our service offered to God in worship, on the basis of God’s grace, not to gain it. This is as Jesus’s food (meat) was to do his Father’s will. The peace offering celebrates reconciliation of sinner and holy God, fulfilled in Christ our peace (Eph 2:14).
The sin and guilt (trespass) offerings have an unpleasant aroma (non-sweet savor) because they deal with sin that breaks fellowship with God and others. The first three offerings are voluntarily; these last two are obligatory to deal with sin. Jesus Christ fulfilled these last two offerings by becoming sin for us (2Cor 5:10-21).
How will I respond?
Am I honestly in fellowship with God? Is my relationship with him healthy? Is there sin that I need to confess to God, or something to make right with others?
Does my walk with God, pictured by the offerings, model his grace for others? How will my good standing with God be a blessing for others today?