We’ve just started our study of Leviticus Chapter 6 and there are a few more introductory thoughts I need to get out of the way before we start getting deep into the text.
Again, recall I mentioned in my last post that both chapters 6 AND 7 should be treated as one continuous whole.
The primary theme of Leviticus chapters 6-7 can be summed up in the following question:
What is to be done with the huge quantities of animals and grain that are used for the sacrificial offerings?
To be even more specific, the issue that needed to be sorted out was which parts or portions of the animals and grains used for the sacrifices were okay FOR FOOD and which were not?
Most of the sacrifices were to be eaten by the priests, the worshippers or both.
Actually, while residing in the wilderness, a majority of the meat, and I when I say a “majority”, I’m talking about 99% of the meat eaten was first part of a sacrificial ritual.
Except for the OLAH or the Burnt Offering, for most of the other types of offerings, only certain portions of the animal were placed on the on Brazen Altar to be burned up.
The majority of the animal was later eaten.
However, there was one major change that occurred once Israel entered the Promised Land.
Once Israel entered the Promised Land, it became okay to kill animals for food without them first being offered up as a sacrifice.
When God established the Levitical sacrificial system, it was His plan that portions of the meat, grain, and wine be used as the main means of support for the priests.
In other words, the priests were to be given a part of God’s portion for their own food.
I say “God’s portion” because everything that was offered BELONGED to the Lord.
All of the animals, grains, and wine that were brought to be sacrificed INSTANTLY became the Lord’s Holy Property.
As soon as the sacrificial offering was carried into the Tabernacle area, there was a shift in ownership from the worshipper to YHVH.
How do we know this?
Recall the meaning of SEMICHAH or the practice of laying hands on the animal before it was killed.
The whole meaning of one laying hands on the head of the sacrificial animal was to signify a change in ownership from the worshipper to God.
And once ownership of the animal was transferred to the Lord, the Lord could do with it as He pleased.
And what pleased Him?
It pleased Him that the designated animal would be burned up into smoke and ashes and that some of the remaining portions would be given back to the worshippers and His priests to be eaten for their sustenance.
One important lesson to take away from all of this is that when we dedicate ourselves to the Lord, just like the sacrificial animals in the days of Leviticus, we too become the Lord’s Property.
And once that happens, the Lord can do with us as He pleases.
We are not our own any longer.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Therefore, I urge you,
brothers and sisters,
in view of God’s mercy,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God-
-this is your true and proper worship.”