It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. Leviticus 1:9
Repeated eight times in the first three chapters of Leviticus, this idea of the offering as a pleasing aroma to the Lord captivates me. Used first in Genesis 8:21 about Noah’s sacrifice after exiting the ark and found again in Ephesians describing Christ’s sacrifice:
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (5:1-2, emphasis added)
What made some offerings fragrant, pleasing, to the Lord while others were not? We know the Law in its entirety was fulfilled in Christ, so these sacrifices must be incomplete pictures of the final sacrifice of Christ.
The Burnt Offerings
All burnt offerings were voluntary, not required (as were the sin offerings). Burnt offerings were to be of the highest quality, without blemish, and consumed completely. No portion of the burnt offering was given to the priest as his portion. The whole offering was given to the Lord.
The Grain Offerings
The grain offering was also voluntary and generally done in conjunction with the burnt offering. Grain was likely a more rare commodity than livestock to the ancient Hebrews. This offering was, in some ways, a greater sacrifice. There were multiple ways to offer the grain, each carrying it’s own symbolism and reminder of the Lord’s provision for the people.
The Fellowship Offering (also called the Peace offering)
These offerings were given as thanksgiving, as fulfillment of a vow, or as a freewill offering. The fellowship offerings were shared by the Lord, the priests, and the giver in contrast to the burnt offerings which went entirely to the Lord and the grain offerings which were primarily given to to the priests with a portion to the Lord.
So, what does this mean to us?
- Jesus offered Himself willingly. He is the fulfillment of the burnt offering, given voluntarily and entirely to God.
- Jesus was the Bread of Life, broken and given, again as a freewill offering.
- Jesus is our peace offering, the opportunity for renewed fellowship between us and God.
Have you found yourself amazed by the foreshadowing and imagery of Christ in these first few books of the Old Testament? Truly, God has been writing the story of redemption since His words spoke creation into existence.
Today is the day we link up whatever we’ve written about our Bible in 90 Days journey in the past week. I’m adding these posts to my One Amazing Summer board on Pinterest so be sure you have an image associated with your post so I can link it up there too. The conversation on our Facebook page has been awesome – keep sharing your daily insights there too! And if you don’t blog, we’d love it you’d leave a quick comment checking in.
I shared this week’s reading schedule yesterday and don’t forget the calendars and pages for taking notes are also available on my resources page. Be sure to check out the additional information and resources on the Bible in 90 Days website.
Okay, link it up, y’all!!