Leviticus 1: The first seven chapters in Leviticus deal with the five different types of offerings the people were to make to Elohim. The first three offerings were sweet aroma offerings which were for worship and consecration. The last two offerings were non-sweet aroma offerings which were for pardon and forgiveness of sins.
While all the sacrifices were probably performed since the Garden of Eden, this first one recorded in Leviticus appears to be the offering recorded of Abel, Noah, and Abraham in Genesis. We have called it the burnt offering. This offering gives us a picture of Messiah in depth as well as in His death. We cannot probe the full meaning of this offering because it shows us much of what Elohim sees in the death of His Son, Yeshua Messiah.
This burnt offering shows us the person of Messiah as our substitute (Eph. 5:2).
Throughout the Torah, the name of “Elohim” is never used in reference to the sacrifices. He is referred to by His name “Yahweh” when speaking of offerings. Elohim means “mighty one” and can sometimes refer to a false god. There is to be no mistake as to whom the sacrifices are for. They are to be made to Yahweh only.
(Lev 1:1 NASB) Then the LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying,
Lev 1:1: In the book of Exodus, Elohim spoke to Moses with thunder and lightning from Mount Sinai. Here Elohim is speaking from the Tabernacle in reconciliation. Elohim is going to reveal to them the way that they can make atonement for their sins and have fellowship with Him.
(Lev 1:2 NASB) “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When any man of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock.
Lev 1:2: The King James Version states “If any man of you brings an offering…” Man is not obligated to approach Elohim. You may ignore Him your whole life if you wish. We are not forced to worship Elohim.
But if we do approach Elohim, we still must approach Him on His terms, not our own. The only way to approach Him is through “sacrifice.” We now approach Him on the basis of the sacrifice of His Son, through whom was given the gift of the Spirit (Breath) of the Father (John 14:6).
When sacrifices are made again in the presence of Elohim, they are to show us the awfulness of our sin and repentance is required. It is not optional.
A lamb was offered twice daily which pictures our need to come to Him and confess our sins and offer thanksgiving and praise.
(Lev 1:3 NASB) ‘If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer it, a male without defect; he shall offer it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD.
Lev 1:3: This offering is to be made of your own free will. Yeshua said “If any man thirst, let Him come.” If you do not thirst, do not come. As a matter of fact, if you do not thirst for Elohim’s Word, you are sure not going to want to study Leviticus. His chosen ones come to Messiah when he has a need or a thirst.
There are two types of animals allowed in the burnt offering. One is the animal of the herd (v.3-9). This is cattle. The other is the animal of the flock (v.10-13). This is sheep. Wild animals and animals of prey were not allowed. Unclean creatures could not be a picture of the Messiah to come.
The sacrifices had to be made “at the door of the tabernacle.” Elohim would not allow the sacrifices to be made just anywhere. It had to be made only at the door of the tabernacle and later only in the temple. One reason for this was to keep the people from idolatry. Isreal was prone to idolatry. That is the primary reason they were taken into captivity into Babylon.
Another reason the sacrifices had to be made at the door of the tabernacles to show that you must come to Elohim on His terms, not your own. We do not make the terms when we come to Elohim. Mankind tends to think that we are pretty good folk and we can dictate how Elohim should run things. The fact is, our wonderful deeds are as filthy rags to Elohim if we do not do them “His way.”
Many people think that the righteousness of Elohim is the same as the righteousness of man, only on a higher plain. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Elohim can only accept HIS righteousness which only comes through faithfulness in Yeshua Messiah and in following His Word (Torah).
(Lev 1:4 NASB) ‘And he shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf.
Lev 1:4: The man was to lay his hands on the head of the animal to be killed. The laying on of hands is considered an act of designation. According to Torah, when a man was to be stoned for blasphemy, the witnesses laid their hands on the head of the blasphemer, designating him as such. Moses laid his hands on Joshua, designating him as Mose’s successor.
The laying of hands on the innocent animal transferred your sins to that animal. He is designated as your sin bearer. The little innocent animal died a substitutionery death for the sins of the offeror. This is what Messiah did for us.
(Lev 1:5 NASB) ‘And he shall slay the young bull before the LORD; and Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall offer up the blood and sprinkle the blood around on the altar that is at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
Lev 1:5: The right kind of animal had to be killed either by the sinner, or by the priest. The sins of the offeror put that animal to death. In the same way, our sins put Yeshua Messiah to death.
Every sacrifice had to be put to death. There is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood. The blood represented life. The blood of Messiah represents life for us.
(Lev 1:6 NASB) ‘He shall then skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces.
Lev 1:6: In the same way, Messiah’s flesh was torn for our sin (Isaiah 53:4-7).
(Lev 1:7 NASB) ‘And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire.
(Lev 1:8 NASB) ‘Then Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall arrange the pieces, the head, and the suet over the wood which is on the fire that is on the altar.
(Lev 1:9 NASB) ‘Its entrails, however, and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer up in smoke all of it on the altar for a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.
Lev 1:9: Everything had to be done orderly. All the parts of the animal had be opened up and exposed to the fire. The inner life of Yeshua was opened up and exposed in a similar manner. His flesh was literally ripped open and exposed as He hanged on the tree for us.
Notice that the inward parts of the sacrifice were to be washed. Spiritually, we are to be the same way. We are to expose our inward selves to Elohim and “come clean” to Him inwardly.
(Lev 1:10 NASB) ‘But if his offering is from the flock, of the sheep or of the goats, for a burnt offering, he shall offer it a male without defect.
(Lev 1:11 NASB) ‘And he shall slay it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD, and Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar.
(Lev 1:12 NASB) ‘He shall then cut it into its pieces with its head and its suet, and the priest shall arrange them on the wood which is on the fire that is on the altar.
Lev 1:12: The sacrifice from the flock is prepared similar to the one that is from the herd.
(Lev 1:13 NASB) ‘The entrails, however, and the legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer all of it, and offer it up in smoke on the altar; it is a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.
Lev 1:13: Notice again that the offering is cut open and totally exposed.
The fire used here was a cleansing fire. It totally consumed the offering. In the same way, the fire of the Spirit of Elohim needs to cleanse our lives and bring us closer to Elohim through sanctification which is our desire to follow Him.
(Lev 1:14 NASB) ‘But if his offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering from the turtledoves or from young pigeons.
Lev 1:14: Provision is made for the poor to make sacrifices also. They are to use turtledoves or young pigeons.
(Lev 1:15 NASB) ‘And the priest shall bring it to the altar and wring off its head, and offer it up in smoke on the altar; and its blood is to be drained out on the side of the altar.
(Lev 1:16 NASB) ‘He shall also take away its crop with its feathers, and cast it beside the altar eastward, to the place of the ashes.
Lev 1:16: Poverty was no excuse for not bringing a burnt offering to Elohim. Everyone could at least bring a little bird as their sacrifice.
The parents of Yeshua used a sacrifice of turtledoves after His birth (Luke 2:21-24),
(Lev 1:17 NASB) ‘Then he shall tear it by its wings, but shall not sever it. And the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar on the wood which is on the fire; it is a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.
Lev 1:17: This is the third time it is mentioned that the sacrifice is a sweet savor unto Yahweh. That is what the sacrifice of Yeshua was to His Father also (Eph. 5:2).
Leviticus 2: All the offerings in Leviticus speak of Messiah Yeshua and our relationship with the Father. This offering is called the “meat offering” in the King James Version because all food was referred to as meat in that day. But this is the only offering that involved no meat whatsoever. It reads very much like a bread recipe. Most modern translations refer to this as the grain offering or meal offering.
The grain offering could be given baked or unbaked. Aaron, the high priest, and his sons will eat a portion of it.
This offering shows us the perfect humanity of Yeshua Messiah. Yeshua is Elohim’s original plan for mankind in that man is to be perfect in his humanness. This is Elohim’s goal for man (1 John 3:2).
Elohim’s plan for man is perfection and He showed us that in Messiah Yeshua. He was pleasing to Elohim. “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” is mentioned several times in Scripture in reference to Yeshua. We still fall way short when it comes to pleasing Him with our own attitudes and works. But Yeshua didn’t fall short. He was Elohim’s intention for mankind.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas