Leviticus 6:24-7:10 ~ 20160626 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
06/26 Leviticus 6:24-7:10; The Priests Portion and The Blood Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20160626_leviticus-6_24-7_10.mp3
We are in Leviticus 6-7, a section which deals again with the five sacrifices introduced in chapters 1-5.
A. Instructions for the People B. Instructions for the Priests
The Burnt Offering (ch.1) The Burnt Offering (6:8-13)
The Grain Offering (ch. 2) The Grain Offering (6:14-18)
The Priest's Grain Offering (6:19-23)
The Peace Offering (ch.3)
The Sin Offering (4:1-5:13) The Sin Offering (6:24-30)
The Guilt Offering (5:14-6:7) The Guilt Offering (7:1-10)
The Peace Offering (7:11-36)
Chapter 1 begins with the Lord speaking to Moses saying 'speak to the people of Israel and say to them, when any one of you brings an offering to the Lord...' Chapter 6 begins with the Lord speaking to Moses saying 'command Aaron and his sons, saying...' Where chapters 1-5 deal with the five offerings from the perspective of a worshiper who brings his offering to the tabernacle, chapters 6 and 7 give instructions to the priest who must handle the offerings properly.
The Sin Offering
As we studied in chapters 4 and 5, the sin offering was the offering that was made by an individual or group when they realized they had sinned. Chapter 4 deals with unintentional sins of commission; something was done that ought not to be done, and he incurred guilt, even if the sinner didn't realize that what he had done was wrong. The first part of chapter 5 deals with unintentional sins of omission; neglecting to do what ought to be done. Even though the these are not willful sins, they incur guilt, and must be atoned for by sacrifice.
Chapter 4 gave instructions for who needed to offer what, and whose sin was more serious.
Eating the Offering
If it was a common person or even a leader, blood from their sacrifice was to be smeared on the horns of the altar of burnt offering in the courtyard of the tabernacle. The choice inward parts, the fat and the organs associated with deep emotion, were to be burned on the altar. Here in chapter 6, we learn what is to be done with the rest of the animal. It is most holy. It is given to the priest who offered it for him to eat, and to share with other priests. Only those who were holy, set apart to God and ritually clean were permitted to touch it. It was not to leave the tabernacle courtyard; it must be eaten only there.
Too Holy To Eat
If it was the high priest, or the whole assembly who sinned, blood from their sacrifice was brought inside the tent to the holy place and sprinkled 7 times in front of the curtain separating the holy place from the most holy place, and some of the blood was smeared on the altar of incense in that holy place. In that case, because the blood of that animal was presented before the Lord in the holy place, it was too holy even for the priests to eat. It was to be burned outside the camp. This is the offering that the author of Hebrews tells us points to Jesus, who suffered outside of Jerusalem.
The priests of the Old Testament had no right to eat of the sacrifices whose blood was brought into the holy place. Jesus fulfilled this picture as our great High Priest by sacrificing himself as an offering for sin outside the camp. In Jesus we have rights beyond what the Old Testament priests had. We have access to Jesus, the most holy sacrifice of all. He invites us to come, come and feast; 'this is my body given for you; this is my blood of the covenant poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.' (Lk.22:19-20; Mt.26:26-28)
This passage reminds us how messy the sacrificial system was. There are instructions on what to do with things that come in contact with sacrificial blood. Blood is holy; it is set apart for a very specific use. God says in Leviticus 17
Blood symbolizes a life taken, and it was given for the exclusive purpose of making atonement on the altar. Blood was never to be consumed. It was always to be carefully disposed of properly. But remember, the tabernacle, and later the temple was a slaughterhouse. Literally hundreds of animals entered the courtyard alive, and were butchered and processed there. This was a bloody operation. Why? Why all the blood? Because my sin is that bad. The wages of sin is death, and the Levitical system is a sobering reminder of what even unintentional sins cost. This passage deals with what to do if blood is splashed on a priests garment. I imagine that this would be an almost unavoidable occurrence. But that blood is holy. It is given to make atonement. So it is not to be handled lightly. The garment is not to leave the temple courtyard. It is to be washed in a holy place. Now we begin to understand the purpose of the large bronze laver or wash basin near the altar in the courtyard. The priests garments, which were white, must be washed in this holy place.
Remember what Pilate did when he was about to hand Jesus over to be crucified?
He knew he had blood on his hands, blood of an innocent man. He was trying in vain to wash away the guilty stain.
Here we have priests who become splattered with sacrificial blood, who must remove the blood in a holy place. This is the background for some striking imagery in the book of Revelation. In Revelation 7, a great multitude from every nation and tribe and people and language are standing before the throne and before the Lamb clothed in white robes, worshiping God and the Lamb. The question is posed 'who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?'
Robes washed white in blood! The blood of Jesus the Lamb washes all our stains away!
Blood is given to make atonement. It is powerful, and to be handled with care. If the sacrifice comes in contact with a bronze container, it must be scoured and rinsed. But if it comes in contact with a clay pot, the pot must be broken. Earthenware containers, which are porous, could not satisfactorily be cleansed to remove all traces of blood. They must be destroyed. It is interesting that we are likened to earthenware pots in 2 Corinthians 4
Earthenware pots must be destroyed if they come in contact with sacrificial blood.; Have you been broken? Have you been wrecked and undone because you have come in contact with the blood?
Have you been cleansed by the blood? As earthenware vessels, we must be broken. We must realize what we deserve. We must realize that we are unworthy, and that is what it means to experience grace, because grace is undeserved. We must come to the end of ourselves, be broken before him, to demonstrate that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. And the amazing thing is that when we are broken, he will use us!
We now hold the treasure of the gospel shining out from our broken hearts!
The Guilt Offering
The guilt offering was for sins of robbing God our our neighbor. There are specific details of the instruction here that were not listed in the section on the guilt offering in chapters 5-6. Like the sin offering, the inward parts are offered to God. The guilt offering makes atonement, bringing reconciliation with God and man. This offering, like the sin offering, is to be holy food for the priests.
Miscellaneous Possessions of the Priests
Verses 8-10 address miscellaneous possessions which belong to the priests.
The language here is language of possession. These are the things that by God's design are offered to him and they become the possession of those who serve him. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9
He also tells Timothy:
This indicates that the priests who served in the temple didn't pack a lunch. They showed up in faith, depending on the goodness of God to provide for their needs. Those who served were those who first benefited from the offering. The priests portion was not stored up. It needed to be eaten right away. Day by day they were relying on God to provide for their needs.
Jesus taught us to pray:
He went on to say:
May we be satisfied as we serve him to lean on him every day in total helpless dependence.
Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org