Sin Against A Fellow Believer - Part III
Leviticus 6:8-9 - "And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord, before the altar."
THE LAW OF THE MEAT OFFERING
We are to now study the law of the meat offering, which, in effect, was a grain or cereal offering, which could be constituted as a thank offering.
The word meat then was used for all types of food, whereas meat at present refers to the flesh of animals. In fact, in this offering, there was no blood shed because it was a grain offering. It was offered along with the peace offering, the latter of which was a blood sacrifice, every time the other offerings were presented to God.
The meat offering, as the other offerings, was first for God and His glory and then for man and his need.
As the sin offering and the trespass offering, so was it most holy. Thus, the Holy Spirit testifies to the sinlessness of Christ as a man at the moment in which He was made sin upon the Cross.
In the first part of Chapter 2, the people were told of what this offering consisted and what portion belonged to the priests. Now we find that additional directions were given to the priests about the eating of the portions that belonged to them and about the treatment of the residue.
As we’ve already stated, this was not a bloody offering, which means it was not an animal sacrifice. In fact, it was the only sacrifice of the five that was not bloody. It was a thank offering, or as one might say, a thanksgiving offering, intended to be presented to the Lord in thanksgiving that the burnt, sin, or trespass offerings had been accepted.
While the sons of Aaron here did represent the actual sons of the high priest, the phrase is intended to comprise his lineal descendants who succeeded to the priestly office.
A SWEET SAVOUR
“And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the LORD” (Lev. 6:15).
As is by now obvious, the meat offering was unlike the whole burnt offering in that it was not a bloody sacrifice. As the burnt offering taught the totality of the atonement as effected by Christ, so the meat offering taught the recognition of God’s supremacy and submission to that supremacy. The burnt offering and meat offering taught these attitudes in two ways:
By requiring that a living creature, one substituting for the offerer himself, namely Christ, be surrendered up.
By calling for the offerer to also hand over to God, as a gift, a portion of some of the good things that he had originally received from God, in the form of thanksgiving.
The lesson taught to the Jew was that of the necessity of loyal service to God. By the meat offering, he was taught thanksgiving. Actually, the meat offering was such, as stated, that it could well have been referred to as a thanksgiving offering. The individual was also taught the need of purity and incorruption of spirit, with this quality being symbolized by the prohibitions against leaven and honey and the command to use salt (Lev. 2:11–13).
It is said that the relationship between the two sacrifices, that of the whole burnt offering and of the meat offering, was so close that the burnt offering was seldom offered without the accompaniment of the meat offering (Num. 15:2–4). This would hold true to a lesser extent for its accompaniment of the sin offering and the trespass offering.
THE GREATNESS OF CHRIST
The glory of the Lord Jesus Christ is so great that no one offering could symbolize His grandeur and greatness, regarding who He was and what He did, and we refer to the Cross. It, therefore, took some five separate offerings, those prescribed in this book of Leviticus, to encompass the Christ symbolism - and even then, the symbols pale into insignificance alongside the reality.
Likewise, man’s oblation to God could not be symbolized by one offering. It would take several offerings to encompass man’s worship of God. As we have just mentioned, the very heart of this particular offering is thanksgiving. Of course, it is obvious that thanksgiving must be done out of a free will (Lev. 2:1).
In fact, Israel’s major problem was the sin of thanklessness or ingratitude. This is illustrated in their constant murmurings against Moses and against the Lord.
“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?” (Ex. 15:24).
Understanding that, is it not possible that one of the most prevalent sins in the body of Christ today is that of thanklessness? Is it not true that we today are mostly unappreciative and ungrateful to God, despite all the good things that He does for us?
Paul said, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful” (Rom. 1:21).
The phrase, “And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering,” pertains to Christ.
The flour of the meat offering was to be a fine flour. The grain had to be thoroughly ground to a powder consistency. There were to be no lumps in it anywhere and no foreign material of any kind. This powdery, pure white flour speaks of the perfection and purity of spirit which marked our Lord. He was perfect in everything that He did. He never had to apologize for a single statement in all of His life. He never lost His temper, nor did He ever speak crossly to anyone. He never had to say, “I am sorry.” He was never gripped by jealousy, pettiness, vengefulness, stubbornness, or hatred in the way that we are. The fine flour truly symbolized His perfect character and His perfect humanity.
In essence, the fine flour represented the perfect humanity of our Lord, in fact, the only perfect humanity that has ever existed.
This particular sacrifice called for only a small portion to be offered up at the brazen altar. The balance of the offering was to go to the priests for their own use. The meat offerings, therefore, must have gone far toward supplying the priests with food since for every handful of flour burned on the altar, nearly one gallon went to the priests. They were required to eat foods made with this flour within the precincts of the tabernacle, as was the case with the animal sacrifices that were considered most holy. So, what does this tell us?
The greater portion going to the priests proclaims to us the fact that all that Jesus did on the Cross, typified by the handful of flour there placed, was done for our benefit. Considering that almost all of the offering went to the priests, we learn from this that all that He did on the Cross was entirely for our benefit. In other words, He didn’t die for Himself, for angels, or for God the Father, but altogether for us. While it is true that the whole burnt offering was, in effect, for God, that His righteousness be satisfied, still, this was necessary if man was to be redeemed. So, in essence, it was done for us!
The phrase, and the oil thereof, signifies the Holy Spirit.
The part that was to be burned on the brazen altar was to have a liberal portion of oil poured on it. The word pour in Leviticus 2:6 demands this. It was to be a liberal application.
This tells us three things:
Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit above anyone who has ever existed (Ps. 45:7).
The Holy Spirit not only superintended the life of the Saviour in every respect but, as well, superintended His death on the Cross, in effect, even telling Him when to die (Heb. 9:14).
The believer is to be literally baptized with the Holy Spirit, with the word baptize or baptism referring, as is obvious, to a total inundation (Acts 1:4–5).
Frankincense is a bitter, white substance, a resin that came from piercing a tree, which grew in the cracks of marble rock. There was very little fluid in this type of tree that produced this type of incense, so any fluid that was extracted from it, of necessity, would be precious.
The frankincense was not mixed with the oil and the flour, or with the salt, as a constituent element of the offering. It was, rather, scattered over all the components and was burned together with them in the memorial. This use of frankincense symbolized intercession - that of Christ on our behalf.
Frankincense was also used in the incense, which was placed on the altar of worship - the incense which routinely produced the cloud of beautiful fragrance in the Holy Place. This was done twice a day, at the time of the morning and evening sacrifices.
Just as the frankincense produced a sweet savour unto the Lord as it was offered on the altar of worship in the Holy Place, likewise, it would produce a sweet savour unto the Lord when it was offered on the brazen altar as part of the offerer’s sacrifice of thanksgiving (Lev. 2:2).
After the priest placed a handful of the mixture on the brazen altar and the flames burned through the flour, causing the oil to ignite, the sweet aroma of the frankincense would fill the air for a few moments. This would be a testimony to the glory and wonder of Christ and what He would do at the Cross, all on our behalf, which made His intercession possible.
The phrase, “And shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the LORD,” refers to something that must be remembered. This means that a memorial is something that keeps remembrance alive — but remembrance of what?
Jesus Himself told us,“And when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me” (I Cor. 11:24).
In a sense, the Lord’s Supper is a form of the meat offering in a spiritual sense. It is done as a memorial “till He come,” and we must never forget what He has done for us.
I’m afraid that much of the modern church is forgetting the great sacrificial offering of Christ on the Cross. They are forgetting that this is the very foundation of the faith, in effect, the faith. They are forgetting that there is no salvation outside of faith in Christ and the Cross. They are forgetting that it’s impossible for the saint to live a holy life without continued faith in the sacrifice of Christ. How do I know that? I know it because the Cross is relegated more and more to a place of insignificance. This is proven by the foray of the modern church into humanistic psychology. There was a time that theology was the queen of the sciences in the universities of our land. Today, humanistic psychology has taken its place.
There was a day when the Cross was held up as the answer to man’s dilemma, but today, even as with the universities, the church instead holds up humanistic psychology as the answer. What a travesty! What an abomination!
Likewise, the Word of Faith people, who have made such inroads into the modern church, and all because
false doctrine is always easily accepted, actually repudiate the Cross. They refer to it as “the greatest defeat in human history.” Their teachers openly proclaim that the Cross should not be preached.
Kenneth Hagin, in the April 2002 issue of his monthly publication, plainly stated that if we preach the Cross, we are preaching death! He then encouraged preachers to preach the resurrection or the throne, but don’t preach the Cross. That seems strange considering that Paul said, “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (I Cor. 2:2).
Then, “I am crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20).
And then, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect” (I Cor. 1:17).
He then said, “For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18).
And finally, “But we preach Christ crucified” (I Cor. 1:23).
He didn’t say, “we preach Christ on the throne,” or “we preach Christ resurrected.” He rather said, “but we preach Christ crucified.”
Yes, the meat offering was to ever be a memorial of what Christ would do at the Cross. We must never forget that! It must be sung in our songs, proclaimed in our messages, explained in our teaching, and, in effect, the very center of all that we are in Christ and all that we believe.
IT IS THE CROSS! THE CROSS! THE CROSS!