Heavenly Father, sin had separated me from you; there was nothing I could do that would allow me to come into your presence. Thank for the sacrifice of your Son, and for your gift of the Holy Spirit, who drew me to him in faith.
Read LEVITICUS 1, 2
The Burnt Offering
1 The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When anyone among you brings an offering to the Lord, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.
3 “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord. 4 You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you. 5 You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 6 You are to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. 7 The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8 Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. 9 You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
10 “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the flock, from either the sheep or the goats, you are to offer a male without defect. 11 You are to slaughter it at the north side of the altar before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. 12 You are to cut it into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. 13 You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to bring all of them and burn them on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
14 “‘If the offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds, you are to offer a dove or a young pigeon. 15 The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off the head and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 He is to remove the crop and the feathers[a] and throw them down east of the altar where the ashes are. 17 He shall tear it open by the wings, not dividing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is burning on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
- Leviticus 1:16 Or crop with its contents; the meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
The Grain Offering
2 “‘When anyone brings a grain offering to the Lord, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it 2 and take it to Aaron’s sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial[a] portion on the altar, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 3 The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the Lord.
4 “‘If you bring a grain offering baked in an oven, it is to consist of the finest flour: either thick loaves made without yeast and with olive oil mixed in or thin loaves made without yeast and brushed with olive oil. 5 If your grain offering is prepared on a griddle, it is to be made of the finest flour mixed with oil, and without yeast. 6 Crumble it and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. 7 If your grain offering is cooked in a pan, it is to be made of the finest flour and some olive oil. 8 Bring the grain offering made of these things to the Lord; present it to the priest, who shall take it to the altar. 9 He shall take out the memorial portion from the grain offering and burn it on the altar as a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 10 The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the Lord.
11 “‘Every grain offering you bring to the Lord must be made without yeast, for you are not to burn any yeast or honey in a food offering presented to the Lord. 12 You may bring them to the Lord as an offering of the firstfruits, but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. 13 Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.
14 “‘If you bring a grain offering of firstfruits to the Lord, offer crushed heads of new grain roasted in the fire. 15 Put oil and incense on it; it is a grain offering. 16 The priest shall burn the memorial portion of the crushed grain and the oil, together with all the incense, as a food offering presented to the Lord.
- Leviticus 2:2 Or representative; also in verses 9 and 16
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Take my life and let it be / consecrated, Lord, to thee / … Take myself, and I will be / ever, only, all for thee.’1
The reason why people were to bring burnt offerings to the priest is specified: ‘to make atonement for you’ (1:4). It could be a bull from the herd of the well-to-do, a lamb or a goat from the flock of the averagely endowed, or a dove or pigeon which even the poorest could afford. Thus atonement was available and accessible to all, irrespective of social position or possessions.
The burnt offering is the first of five sacrifices described in Leviticus. There are four facts worth noting about the rituals involved. First, there is the laying-on of hands (1:4). This practice conferred spiritual responsibility and/or blessing on the person involved.2 Here in Leviticus, responsibility for sin is placed on the sacrificial animals, perhaps anticipating how it was finally to be placed on the crucified Savior on our behalf. Second, and rather strangely, the internal organs and the legs are to be washed clean before being burned 1: 9). This, together with the fact that only spotless animals could be brought for sacrifice, highlights the fact that our holy God demands purity from his people. Third, blood had a special place in the ritual (Chapter 1 vv. 5, 11, 15), for ‘the life of the flesh is in the blood.’3 Finally, although the priests, and sometimes the people who brought the offerings, can eat of other sacrifices,4 this one is dedicated to God in its entirety and so it is completely consumed by fire.
In Yoruba traditional African religion, there is a saying that ‘When you’ve led a goat to the shrine you let go of the leash.’ When we offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, how complete is the offering? Do we hold on to the leash in some parts of our lives?
‘The problem with living sacrifices is that they try to crawl off the altar.’5 How does this apply to you in the light of Romans 12:1?
Lord Jesus, I want to live my life for you—with no reservations, no distractions, with nothing standing in your place. I ask you to purify my heart; direct my thoughts and actions as I seek to live a life that is one of true worship.
Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by kingstar