Leviticus Chapter 3 Continued

We are examining the peace offerings. This is an offering of thanksgiving. This offering can be either a male or female of the herd. All of the fat is to be burned on the bronze altar as a sweet smelling savor to the Lord. The blood belongs to God as well and must be sprinkled on the altar by the priests. We discovered in the last lesson that the tail (rump), of the sheep must also be offered to God, because it was fat.

Leviticus 3:10 "And the two kidneys, and the fat that [is] upon them, which [is] by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away."

The same direction is given here as about the bullock of the peace offering (see note on Lev. 3:4).

This is a very important lesson here to be learned about the fat. Perhaps it is telling us that we should watch our diet and not let our flesh cause us to be a glutton. We have spoken before about Satan worshippers partaking of blood. Perhaps the spiritual meaning of believers not partaking of blood means that we should be peacemakers and not warmongers. We should be interested in saving life, not in destroying life. It is interesting to me that the priests, the person who brings the offering, and God are all to partake of this offering. To me this indicates fellowship of the believer with God: if you will, in the breaking of bread (sharing a meal).

Leviticus 3:11 "And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: [it is] the food of the offering made by fire unto the LORD."

“The food”: The sacrifice was intended to symbolized a meal between God and the one offering it, where peace and friendship were epitomized by sharing that meal together.

The fact that God's part of the offering was completely burned up, shows His consumption of His part of the feast.

Leviticus 3:12 And if his offering [be] a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD.

As it might be, and which also was of the flock.

"Then he shall offer it before the Lord": In the same place and manner as the bullock and the lamb.

This is an interesting thing to have as an offering. Even to associate the Lord Jesus with a goat almost seems sacrilegious. But remember, this offering does not foreshadow the flesh of Jesus. This shadow of Jesus in this goat, perhaps, has to do with the fact that this goat gave his life so that the rest of the flock would be spared. Jesus gave His life that all others might be saved. Even though the flesh of Jesus is not foreshadowed in the peace offering, Jesus is foreshadowed as Savior.

John 11:50 "Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not."

John 18:14 "Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people."

It had been taught from the beginning that one should die for the people. In this, only this goat that was chosen from the flock to die that the others might live, foreshadows Jesus' dying that all who would believe might live.

Leviticus 3:13 "And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about."

His right hand, according to the Targum of Jonathan. As before; the same directions are given for the killing of it, and for the sprinkling of its blood, as in the offerings of the bullock and lamb.

On the goat as well, we see the person offering laying his hand upon the goat to make the goat's blood represent him before God. Had the goat's blood or these other animal's blood not been shed, then the blood of the person would have been required. The blood of the animal was in place of the blood of the person. All of this was preparing the way for mankind to believe that Jesus represented each of us to God: and more than that, it was acceptable to God. One of the most vivid examples of this was when Abraham took his son Isaac to the mount to sacrifice him, and God stayed his hand and provided a substitute.

Genesis 22:13 "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind [him] a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son."

Leviticus 3:14 "And he shall offer thereof his offering, [even] an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that [is] upon the inwards,"

The same rules are laid down about taking the fat off of several parts as in the sacrifice of the bullock. But nothing is said of the fat of the rump and tail, as is said of the lamb.

We covered this in a previous lesson, but God thought enough of it to repeat it, so we must look at it again to drive the lesson home. We see repeated over and over that the fat belongs to God. It is not enough that the fat was not to be eaten, but it was to be burned on the altar. The odor of the fat burning was a sweet savor to the LORD (Jehovah). The first mention of fat being offered to the Lord was when Abel offered to the Lord.

Genesis 4:4 "And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:"

Leviticus 3:15 "And the two kidneys, and the fat that [is] upon them, which [is] by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away."

The parts that God required would not be what any of us would regard as the choice part of the meat. Perhaps, the training that these Hebrews gave their children passed down to our customs today. The spiritual lesson that I see in this is that God wants the inner man. To truly be a follower of the Lord, we must give Him our innermost being.

Leviticus 3:16 "And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: [it is] the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savor: all the fat [is] the LORD'S."

Which shows that not the fat only, but the inwards and the kidneys, were burnt also. So Maimonides says, that the priest salted the parts, and burned them upon the altar. And the priests might not have the breast and shoulder (which were what belonged to them), until the parts were burnt.

"It is the food of the offering made by fire": Which the Lord ate of, or accepted of.

"For a sweet savor": As a type of the sweet smelling sacrifice of Christ, with which he is well pleased.

"All the fat is the Lord's": That is, all that was upon the parts mentioned in the several sacrifices of peace offerings, which was to be taken off and burnt. Though the Jewish writers understand it of all fat in general, and so interpret the law that follows.

We see in this Scripture that these items burned on the altar, are food for God. This bears out what we said about God, the priests, and the offeror all sharing in the food this animal provides.

Leviticus 3:17 "[It shall be] a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood."

“Eat neither fat nor blood”: The details given in the chapter distinctly define which fat was to be burned and not eaten, so that whatever adhered to other parts or was mixed with them might be eaten. As with many facets of the Mosaic legislation, there were underlying health benefits also.

The word perpetual in the verse above, means everlasting, eternal and beginning of the world without end. Statute here means custom, manner, ordinance, and site. This leaves no doubt that this request from God is still in effect today. God's people are never to eat fat or blood.

Leviticus Chapter 3 Continued Questions

1.      The peace offering is what kind of offering?

2.      What was to be done with all of the fat?

3.      Who would sprinkle the blood on the altar?

4.      Why was the rump of the sheep to be burned?

5.      What sometimes causes us to be a glutton?

6.      Who was to partake of this offering?

7.      What shows that God consumed His part of this offering?

8.      What unlikely animal foreshadows Jesus?

9.      What does John 11:50 tell us about this offering?

10.  Who gave council to the Jews that one should die for the people?

11.  Where should this animal be killed?

12.  What was the offeror to do before killing the animal?

13.  What would the blood of this Goat do for the offeror?

14.  In Genesis who did God provide a substitute for to keep him from sacrificing his son?

15.  What was the substitute God provided?

16.  What was all of this preparing mankind to believe?

17.  Where was the first mention in the Bible of the fat of the animal being offered to God?

18.  What is the spiritual message in the fact that God wanted the innards of the animal?

19.  What tells us that this is food for God?

20.  What does the word perpetual mean?

21.  What does the word statute mean?

22.  Are we to keep these ordinances today?

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