Leviticus 1** God ordained divers kinds of oblations and sacrifices, toassure his people of the forgiveness of their offences, if theyoffered them in true faith and obedience. Also he appointed thepriests and Levites, their apparel, offices, conduct, andportion. He showed what feasts they should observe, and at whattimes. He declared by these sacrifices and ceremonies, that thereward of sin is death, and that without the blood of Christ,the innocent Lamb of God, there can be no forgiveness of sins. * The offerings. (1,2) From the herds. (3-9) From the flocks,and of fowls. (10-17)1,2 The offering of sacrifices was an ordinance of truereligion, from the fall of man unto the coming of Christ. Buttill the Israelites were in the wilderness, no very particularregulations seem to have been appointed. The general design ofthese laws is plain. The sacrifices typified Christ; they alsoshadowed out the believer's duty, character, privilege, andcommunion with God. There is scarcely any thing spoken of theLord Jesus in Scripture which has not also a reference to hispeople. This book begins with the laws concerning sacrifices;the most ancient were the burnt-offerings, about which God heregives Moses directions. It is taken for granted that the peoplewould be willing to bring offerings to the Lord. The very lightof nature directs man, some way or other, to do honour to hisMaker, as his Lord. Immediately after the fall, sacrifices wereordained. 3-9 In the due performance of the Levitical ordinances, themysteries of the spiritual world are represented bycorresponding natural objects; and future events are exhibitedin these rites. Without this, the whole will seem unmeaningceremonies. There is in these things a type of the sufferings ofthe Son of God, who was to be a sacrifice for the sins of thewhole world? The burning body of an animal was but a faintrepresentation of that everlasting misery, which we all havedeserved; and which our blessed Lord bore in his body and in hissoul, when he died under the load of our iniquities. Observe, 1.The beast to be offered must be without blemish. This signifiedthe strength and purity that were in Christ, and the holy lifethat should be in his people. 2. The owner must offer it of hisown free will. What is done in religion, so as to please God,must be done by love. Christ willingly offered himself for us.3. It must be offered at the door of the tabernacle, where thebrazen altar of burnt-offerings stood, which sanctified thegift: he must offer it at the door, as one unworthy to enter,and acknowledging that a sinner can have no communion with God,but by sacrifice. 4. The offerer must put his hand upon the headof his offering, signifying thereby, his desire and hope that itmight be accepted from him, to make atonement for him. 5. Thesacrifice was to be killed before the Lord, in an orderlymanner, and to honour God. It signified also, that in Christiansthe flesh must be crucified with its corrupt affections andlust. 6. The priests were to sprinkle the blood upon the altar;for the blood being the life, that was it which made atonement.This signified the pacifying and purifying of our consciences,by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ upon them byfaith. 7. The beast was to be divided into several pieces, andthen to be burned upon the altar. The burning of the sacrificesignified the sharp sufferings of Christ, and the devoutaffections with which, as a holy fire, Christians must offer upthemselves, their whole spirit, soul, and body, unto God. 8.This is said to be an offering of a sweet savour. As an act ofobedience to a Divine command, and a type of Christ, this waswell-pleasing to God; and the spiritual sacrifices of Christiansare acceptable to God, through Christ, #1Pe 2:5|. 10-17 Those who could not offer a bullock, were to bring asheep or a goat; and those who were not able to do that, wereaccepted of God, if they brought a turtle-dove, or a pigeon.Those creatures were chosen for sacrifice which were mild, andgentle, and harmless; to show the innocence and meekness thatwere in Christ, and that should be in Christians. The offeringof the poor was as typical of Christ's atonement as the morecostly sacrifices, and expressed as fully repentance, faith, anddevotedness to God. We have no excuse, if we refuse the pleasantand reasonable service now required. But we can no more offerthe sacrifice of a broken heart, or of praise and thanksgiving,than an Israelite could offer a bullock or a goat, except as Godhath first given to us. The more we do in the Lord's service,the greater are our obligations to him, for the will, for theability, and opportunity. In many things God leaves us to fixwhat shall be spent in his service, whether of our time or oursubstance; yet where God's providence has put much into a man'spower, scanty offerings will not be accepted, for they are notproper expressions of a willing mind. Let us be devoted in bodyand soul to his service, whatever he may call us to give,venture, do, or suffer for his sake.
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