Leviticus 1

** God ordained divers kinds of oblations and sacrifices, to

assure his people of the forgiveness of their offences, if they

offered them in true faith and obedience. Also he appointed the

priests and Levites, their apparel, offices, conduct, and

portion. He showed what feasts they should observe, and at what

times. He declared by these sacrifices and ceremonies, that the

reward 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 true

religion, from the fall of man unto the coming of Christ. But

till the Israelites were in the wilderness, no very particular

regulations seem to have been appointed. The general design of

these laws is plain. The sacrifices typified Christ; they also

shadowed out the believer's duty, character, privilege, and

communion with God. There is scarcely any thing spoken of the

Lord Jesus in Scripture which has not also a reference to his

people. This book begins with the laws concerning sacrifices;

the most ancient were the burnt-offerings, about which God here

gives Moses directions. It is taken for granted that the people

would be willing to bring offerings to the Lord. The very light

of nature directs man, some way or other, to do honour to his

Maker, as his Lord. Immediately after the fall, sacrifices were

ordained.
3-9 In the due performance of the Levitical ordinances, the

mysteries of the spiritual world are represented by

corresponding natural objects; and future events are exhibited

in these rites. Without this, the whole will seem unmeaning

ceremonies. There is in these things a type of the sufferings of

the Son of God, who was to be a sacrifice for the sins of the

whole world? The burning body of an animal was but a faint

representation of that everlasting misery, which we all have

deserved; and which our blessed Lord bore in his body and in his

soul, when he died under the load of our iniquities. Observe, 1.

The beast to be offered must be without blemish. This signified

the strength and purity that were in Christ, and the holy life

that should be in his people. 2. The owner must offer it of his

own 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 the

brazen altar of burnt-offerings stood, which sanctified the

gift: 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 head

of his offering, signifying thereby, his desire and hope that it

might be accepted from him, to make atonement for him. 5. The

sacrifice was to be killed before the Lord, in an orderly

manner, and to honour God. It signified also, that in Christians

the flesh must be crucified with its corrupt affections and

lust. 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 by

faith. 7. The beast was to be divided into several pieces, and

then to be burned upon the altar. The burning of the sacrifice

signified the sharp sufferings of Christ, and the devout

affections with which, as a holy fire, Christians must offer up

themselves, their whole spirit, soul, and body, unto God. 8.

This is said to be an offering of a sweet savour. As an act of

obedience to a Divine command, and a type of Christ, this was

well-pleasing to God; and the spiritual sacrifices of Christians

are acceptable to God, through Christ, #1Pe 2:5|.
10-17 Those who could not offer a bullock, were to bring a

sheep or a goat; and those who were not able to do that, were

accepted of God, if they brought a turtle-dove, or a pigeon.

Those creatures were chosen for sacrifice which were mild, and

gentle, and harmless; to show the innocence and meekness that

were in Christ, and that should be in Christians. The offering

of the poor was as typical of Christ's atonement as the more

costly sacrifices, and expressed as fully repentance, faith, and

devotedness to God. We have no excuse, if we refuse the pleasant

and reasonable service now required. But we can no more offer

the sacrifice of a broken heart, or of praise and thanksgiving,

than an Israelite could offer a bullock or a goat, except as God

hath first given to us. The more we do in the Lord's service,

the greater are our obligations to him, for the will, for the

ability, and opportunity. In many things God leaves us to fix

what shall be spent in his service, whether of our time or our

substance; yet where God's providence has put much into a man's

power, scanty offerings will not be accepted, for they are not

proper expressions of a willing mind. Let us be devoted in body

and soul to his service, whatever he may call us to give,

venture, do, or suffer for his sake.
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