THE BURNT OFFERING
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This introduction will be the first and foundational teaching in a series on the offerings, or sacrifices, given through Moses in the book of Leviticus. It will provide an OT basis for understanding the New Covenant revelation of Yeshua’s sacrifice in a way that carries profound implications for the Lord’s disciples. There are five offerings mentioned in the first five chapters of the book of Leviticus: 1.Burnt offering, 2.Grain offering, 3.Peace offering, 4.Sin offering 5.Trespass offering
As this presentation unfolds, it will provide an OT foundation to better understand New Covenant realities concerning sacrifice, primarily the sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah in its deepest dimension, but also, the sacrifice we are called to by Paul, the apostle, in Romans 12:2; to be a “living sacrifice”. A better understanding of these offerings will open our spiritual eyes to foundations of New Testament truth which can radically affect our daily lives.
How this teaching came about
In the Year 2008, I received what I believe was a word from the Lord: “You are approaching me the wrong way (in the wrong order)”. Immediately, I remembered the verse, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise”. How could my 30 year old way be wrong? As I thought and prayed, “Lord what are you trying to tell me?”, my attention became focused on the Old Testament approach to God based on sacrificial offerings at the altar of the Tabernacle, described in the first five chapters of Leviticus. I believe the Lord was speaking to me about approaching Him with a better understanding of the meanings of these offerings, especially in light of the New Covenant. My first important insight was this: the first offering commanded in Leviticus 1 is not for sin. The first offering is the Burnt offering! Why is this significant? I typically approached God in the understanding that he accepted me because Jesus was punished for my sin, in my place. This punishment for sin is typified by the Sin offering described in Leviticus Chapter 4. What I realized was that I was approaching God from Step number 4, the Sin offering, and not step number 1, the Burnt offering. This is what I believe the Lord was saying; He wanted to shift my understanding and way of approaching Him, from the Sin offering to the Burnt offering. Since this was a personal word to me, I was determined to discover the Lord’s meaning and purpose for the change. I knew I needed to study to develop my understanding of the Burnt offering. The lessons which follow are the result of this study. It’s important to emphasize I am in no way diminishing the tremendous significance of Yeshua’s sacrifice for our sins, or His fulfillment of the Levitical Sin offering. This was and is essential. I’m simply saying that I believe the Lord has guided me to approach Him from another point of view, which is beautifully exemplified by the Burnt offering, the first of five in the Levitical order. This way of approach includes the Sin offering, but recognizes its basis and foundation in the Burnt offering!
In this and following teachings I will explain
1.That the Sin offering is for Forgiveness, the Burnt offering is for Acceptance 2.How the Burnt offering may be understood and expressed in the life of New Covenant believers 3.How the Burnt offering was fulfilled in Jesus’ life. 4.What is strange fire?
A fundamental point of this teaching will be to reveal the foundational nature of the Burnt offering and the implications of this truth for us as New Covenant believers. Here are some scripture passages which exemplify and emphasize this foundational sacrificial offering: -First of all, the altar in the Tabernacle is never called the Altar of Sin offering. Seven times in the book of Exodus and eight times in the book of Chronicles it is called “The Altar of Burnt Offering”. Furthermore, every offering before the Law was given was a Burnt offering, and even after the Law was introduced, the Burnt offering remained foundational. In fact the first mention of a Sin offering in the Bible is in Leviticus 4; before that, there were only Burnt offerings. -When God destroyed the inhabited world in a global flood, sparing Noah and his nuclear family, Noah made Burnt offerings to the Lord and the fragrance pleased Him. In this “good mood” God once again pronounced blessings on mankind. [Genesis 8] -Abraham’s offering of his son, Isaac in chapter 22 of Genesis was a “Burnt offering”, not a Sin offering. -When Job’s friends sinned against him they were commanded to bring a Burnt offering. [Job 42:8] -In Exodus the Burnt offering was foundational before any other offering, a lamb in the morning and in the evening. The other offerings were offered on this foundation. The morning and evening Burnt offerings were called the “Tamid” in Hebrew, translated, “continual”. The Sin offering was slaughtered where the Burnt offering was slaughtered, and the blood of the Sin offering was poured where the blood of the Burnt offering was poured. The Grain offering, Peace offering, Sin offering and Trespass offering were all slaughtered on the base foundation of the Burnt offering! And even before the scapegoats could be sacrificed in Leviticus, a Burnt offering had to be sacrificed before them. -In Daniel the Prince to come, an antichrist figure, takes away the “tamid”, the Burnt offering, the foundation of all sacrifices. -When King David numbered the people of Israel and Judah which invoked a plague on Israel in which 70,000 died, and the angel with a drawn sword was about to destroy Jerusalem, David repented and brought Burnt offerings for his sin. (Again, why not sin offerings?)
Can you see now how profoundly Many of those I mentioned earlier, who offered Burnt offerings to God, were people foundational is the Burnt offering? who were clearly consecrated and totally The Sin Offering for Forgiveness, the Burnt committed to Him. This, I believe, is what Offering for Acceptance Paul the Apostle urges believers to do in his letter to the Romans; [Romans 12:2]. He The first important insight derived from a does not command it; he does not require it; right understanding of the Burnt offering can he urges it, ...”in view of God’s mercy offer be expressed by the word, “acceptance”. your body as a living sacrifice.” In my own This word, used in Leviticus (in the Hebrew life I’ve noticed that this understanding has bible) to accompany the Burnt offering “... begun to relieve deep feelings of abandonand it shall be accepted for him to make ment, rejection and unworthyness, which atonement for him”, helps us to understand are melting away with an increased revelathe heart of God toward His chosen ones; tion of His acceptance. a heart of acceptance. [Leviticus 1:4] The Hebrew literally reads, “He shall sacrifice it Why not just one offering? 5 We see Jesus becoming sin and befor his acceptance.” ing punished for us, and rightly so, never to But an important difference exists between be gainsaid. the English translation and the original He- YET...Why did our Hebrew ancestors for hunbrew. The English says that the animal will dreds of years offer to God five types of sacbe accepted, but the Hebrew says that the rificial offerings, and even more; offerer will be accepted, after placing his especially seeing they never understood the hand on the head of the animal. The offerer fulfillment of these offerings in Messiah, and will be accepted! Further, it is stated that never (under that covenant) received the the Priest, not the offerer, would lay his hand actual cleansing from sin which Yeshua’s on the head of the Sin offering. This shows sacrifice provides? In God’s revelatory plan, that there must be a priest involved for sin their obedience to the ritual sacrifices given to be atoned, but for the Burnt offering, no by Moses was a foreshadowing of the compriest is required since the offerer, himself prehensive single sacrifice which the Messimakes the offering, and on that basis, he is ah Yeshua’s suffering and death would finally accepted. Finally, the word “acceptance” is accomplish for us all. Each of the Levitical never associated with the Sin offering. sacrifices speaks visually and prophetically of an aspect of Yeshua’s perfect offering of In this connection, I became aware that of- Himself. Each one finds its consummate exten, as a believer, I could feel forgiven, (the pression in Messiah Yeshua. blessing of the Sin offering), but yet not, somehow, fully accepted by God. I express The first offering, the Burnt offering, is the this sense of acceptance by the word, “son- foundation for all the others. It represents ship”, an intimate family relationship with voluntary, total, giving of flesh to the fire of a loving Father. We hear a lot about “son- God. Much more can be said of this, and will ship” these days, yet many believers have be in future teachings. You will, no doubt difficulty experiencing this deeply in their ask the question, How do I “offer a Burnt hearts. What I discovered is that a true un- Offering” to the Lord in my own life? I look derstanding of the Burnt offering provides a forward to sharing further insights He has Biblical foundation for realizing the reality given me. of “sonship” in the Lord, and the intimacy implied in that relationship, the feeling of deep acceptance and love.
All of this has led to understanding that the Burnt offering represents a total commitment or consecration to God, and that approaching Him on that basis opens the way for an experience of “sonship” not explicitly implied in the Sin offering by itself. This realization is changing my life in Yeshua. The Burnt offering has come to represent a total giving of myself to God, a foundational surrender to Him of my entire being. I now understand this is what the Lord was guiding me toward when He said, “You are approaching me in the wrong way (order)”.