Summary: the meaning of the cross
Intro: why did God institute the sacrifices? Is there any value in understanding their meaning for us today? How do they all point to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross?
I. Why did God institute the sacrificial system?
a. First of all to point to the significance of the shedding of blood as atonement for sin. Hebrews 9:22 – this is an amazing point. God showed man through the sacrifices his way of salvation and still man rejected the death of Christ as the means of atonement.
b. Karav—to draw near—this system was put in place so that man would draw nigh to God. God desires man to draw near to him. Draw near to God, He will draw near to you. James 4:8
c. Reverence to God—Leviticus 10:3—God was to teach man to approach God in a holy manner, that He would be glorified. The strange fire that the sons of Aaron offered was simply approaching God without a reverent heart and spirit.
II. The Value of understanding these offerings?
1. The Trespass Offering- asham—guilt offering—Lev. 6:6 this offering was different from the sin offering in that it was offered for any unintentional sin. It was an offering that said, God I want to be pure, I want to be right with you, so if I am guilty of anything, I offer this trespass offering to you. The beauty is that this offering means the removal of guilt.
2. The Burnt offering—olah- to rise up—Lev. 6:9
There are three very important parts about this offering.
a. transference—as you offered this offering to the Lord, you placed your hands on the head of the animal offered as a sign that the animal now would carry your sin.
b. The burnt offering was completely burned. In some offerings you could partake of part of the offering in a meal, but in the burnt offering, it was completely burned. This symbolizes the totality of sins removal before God.
c. The smoke rising before the Lord as pleasing. This total giving to God was a worship acceptable with God.
III. The Drink Offering—Lev 23:13
a. it was poured out over the sacrifice—or on the ground—not to be enjoyed, only to be poured out---there is so many significant points to this. Our lives are to be poured out.
b. Even the poorest could offer this to the Lord. The beauty of this offering is that anyone can offer something to the Lord.
IV. Wave Offering—Heave Offering—Lev. 7:30-32
Both of these have the symbolic meaning of lifting the sacrifice unto the Lord. It simply was the method of showing that the sacrifice was to the Lord. Every offering was to the Lord.
V. Freewill Offering- nedevah—to give willingly—Numbers 29:39
a. a voluntary offering given for no particular reason, but offered because of an over flowing joy in the heart toward God.
b. God was to teach that not only do we give offerings in obedience to the commandments of God, we also give offerings to God out of pure worship to Him.
There are many other offerings: peace, meal, thanksgiving and consecration offerings. One point that I found in reading about these offerings, many where done during feasts times, or celebration times. We have here that God loves a cheerful giver. The Jewish nation didn’t give their offerings out of pure necessity, they gave out of worship, celebration and thanksgiving to God.