“However, what remains of the meat of the sacrifice on the third day is to be burned up completely. If any of the meat of the sacrifice of his peace offerings is eaten on the third day, the sacrifice will neither be accepted nor credited to the person offering it; rather, it will have become a disgusting thing, and whoever eats it will bear the consequences of his wrongdoing.”-Leviticus 7:17-18
Although within the context of the ZEVAH offerings, from verse 17 we are given rules that apply to ALL the sacrifices.
The general rule is that the meat from a sacrificial offering must be eaten within two days.
If there is any meat left over on the 3rd day, the remains must be destroyed by fire.
What would be the consequences if somebody actually ate meat on the 3rd day?
It would negate the effects of the sacrifice itself.
It would be as if the sacrifice never occurred in the first place.
In addition, the transgressor would have committed another sin.
Not only has the sacrifice he performed been rendered unworthy but the meat he has eaten on the 3rd day is now ritually unclean.
Check out this Scriptural admonition.
“Anyone who touches something unclean — whether the uncleanness be from a person, from an unclean animal or from some other unclean detestable thing — and then eats the meat from the sacrifice of peace offerings for Adonai, that person will be cut off from his people.”-Leviticus 7:21
Since the ZEVAH SHELAMIM (Vow Offering) was also performed by common worshippers and was permitted to be eaten OUTSIDE of the Tabernacle, a further warning is given that any flesh which touches anything unclean should NOT be eaten.
Because the food would have become infected by uncleanness.
This reinforces the God-principle I introduced in an earlier post that uncleanness can be transmitted via contact.
Recall it’s a one-way street.
A piece of meat that began ritually clean, should it come into contact with something unclean, would become unclean.
However, the opposite does NOT occur.
Something clean does NOT transmit its cleanness to something unclean.
To put it simply: UNCLEANNESS IS CONTAGIOUS!
Verse 20 also reinforces the point that it isn’t just food that can become infected with uncleanness.
A person can become unclean by for example eating meat ritually unclean, eating unclean food itself (pork or shellfish), or by coming into contact with a corpse, etcetera.
However, it doesn’t stop there.
That person who has now become unclean can infect other things with his or her uncleanness.
If that unclean person touches food which came from a holy sacrifice, upon contact that food would be instantly rendered unclean.
Since repetition is the mother of effective learning, I will say it again.
Uncleanness (also called “impurity”) that touches something “holy” or “clean” renders that object (whether living or not) UNCLEAN.
However, the opposite does not occur.
If something clean comes into contact with something unclean, then that something, whether living or not, becomes unclean.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“I saw no Temple in the city,
for Adonai, God of heaven’s armies,
is its Temple, as is the Lamb.
The city has no need for the sun
or the moon to shine on it,
because God’s Sh’khinah gives it light,
and its lamp is the Lamb.
The nations will walk by its light,
and the kings of the earth will bring
their splendor into it.
Its gates will never close,
they stay open all day because night
will not exist there,
and the honor and splendor of the nations
will be brought into it.
Nothing unclean may enter it,
nor anyone who does shameful things or lies;
the only ones who may enter are those
whose names are written in
the Lamb’s Book of Life.”