Monday, July 20, 2009

Seven aspects of Burnt Offering (Lev 1:3-9).

A burnt offering isn't part of the normal pattern of our lives, but we can consider and understand it. This comes with much help from Andrew Bonar's Geneva Commentary on Leviticus:
1. Male animal without blemish - We’re all stained by the rebellion of our first parents, Adam & Eve, and by our own rebellion against God. All humanity is marred and corrupted – not necessarily as bad as we might be, but marred in every part, opposed + unwilling to turn back to God. An unblemished sacrifice dies in the place of the guilty.
2. Before the LORD - Sacrifice given to God, because God has a problem. His anger must be turned asider, or we perish.
3. Leans on it - Jethro identifies himself with this substitute – it represents him. Neil Armstrong represented us all as he took a giant leap for mankind 40 years ago - "we went to the moon". Jethro leans on “It will be accepted in my place”. But can the blood of an animal take away sin?
4. It is killed - The life is laid down, helpless. Death is horrible, it is the curse of sin - "you will surely die". The LORD leans on the animal to bring death. Everyone will see the warm crimson blood, its life taken away.
5. Blood is spread - Bonar: “the life being taken away the sinners naked soul is exhibited.” – This is what the offerer deserves.
6. Cut up and burned up - God’s favour creates, his wrath de-creates – and the animal is taken apart. This is appropriate. We try to justify and play down our sin, but God sees it for what it is and rightly responds. His enemies deserve destruction. The consuming fire of his holiness consumes the offering
7. A pleasing aroma – We find here the meaning of the cross of Jesus. The Father sends the Son, in a plan formulated in the heart of God before creation to satisfy wrath and secure his favour. He looks on at the completed event and takes delight in it.
We do not offer a burnt offering because Jesus has already offered himself as the perfect sacrifice, once for all time for us, guaranteeing the abundant unwavering favour of God forever!

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to know if you think any of this stuff informs our understanding of what it means for us to offer ourselves as sacrifices/ to offer sacrifices of praise/ to offer up the gentiles etc.

    Obviously all 'in Christ' and with a very different purpose (not atoning) to his sacrifice. But, given that sacrificial language is used of our worship and obedience and mission, there must be something there?