Summary: This is the 3rd sermon in the series "3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope".
Series: 3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope [#3]
THE HOPE THAT COMES FROM SACRIFICE
This morning, we are going to continue our series from chapter 3 verse 16 of each Book of the Bible. The most familiar of these is John 3:16, a verse that gives us hope; but each of the 3:16’s have a message of hope. Last week we looked at the hope that comes from deliverance; today we are going to look at 1 of the Old Testament sacrifices.
The Old Testament seems to have more offerings than we can count. There is not just 1 Old Testament offering that sums up the work of Jesus. Every sacrifice that an Israelite offered was of a certain type, and for a specific purpose. Every offering had very specific rules as to what was offered, how it was offered, and by whom it was offered. The Israelite’s worship was to involve his whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.
This morning, we are going to look at the Peace Offering, which is also referred to as the Fellowship Offering. You could offer a Peace Offering as an act of thanksgiving, or to fulfill a special vow, or as a freewill offering. These were all optional offerings, which an Israelite could offer at any time, except for the feast of Pentecost and the fulfillment of the Nazarite’s days of separation, when the offering was mandatory.
Leviticus 3:1 (NIV)
"If someone's offering is a fellowship offering, and he offers an animal from the herd, whether male or female, he is to present before the LORD an animal without defect.”
There is hope in…
1. Desiring peace and fellowship with God.
Do you want to have peace and fellowship with God? Do you have the desire to have a closer relationship with God? For the Israelites, the Peace Offering was the only offering that did not have to do with atonement for sin. This was an offering made by choice.
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Christian, if you desire to have a closer relationship with God, then this is how you do that. We do not offer up cattle, or sheep, or goats for our peace offering; we offer ourselves. You have to make the choice to do this. If you are ok where you are at in your relationship with God, then don’t change a thing.
Leviticus 3:13-17 (NIV)
“He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the Tent of Meeting. Then Aaron's sons shall sprinkle its blood against the altar on all sides. From what he offers he is to make this offering to the LORD by fire: all the fat that covers the inner parts or is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys. The priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the LORD's. "`This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.'"
There is hope in…
2. Giving your best to God.
There are several things in this passage that we need to notice. After the person chose the animal to be killed, he took the animal in front of the Tent of Meeting and laid his hand on the head of the animal, then he killed the animal. (This symbolized the transference of sin from the person to the animal, then the sacrifice was killed.) Then the priest would sprinkle the blood on the altar. Once this was done, then the animal would be burned on the altar. Here is the most important part, the priest was to burn all of the fat from the offering. The reason for this is that the fat was considered the best part of the offering and it completely belongs to God.
In order to offer yourself as a living sacrifice to God, you must be holy. That means that you are set apart. On your own, you have no chance of making that work; but through Christ dying in your place, you can be holy and pleasing to God. This means that you must confess your sins to God, and He will forgive you of all unrighteousness. If you want to have a closer relationship with God you must resist the devil and draw near to God.