Leviticus: The Offerings of the Lord
If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people;
then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto
the LORD for a sin offering. And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the
congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock before the LORD.
Leviticus 4:3ff (Spoke 3, Cycle 1)
The great theme of giving fills the first seven chapters of Leviticus where God defined the five Offerings of
the Lord. The Levitical Priests, from whom the Third Book received its name, administered these offerings.
J. Sidlow Baxter noted that the first three offerings are described as voluntary and
yield a sweet savor unto the Lord,
whereas the last two yield no sweet savour and are compulsory, as listed in the table below.
He also noted many typological relations between each offering and the Gospel of Christ, such as the
sweet savour of the Meal and Peace Offerings which typify our blessed communion with the Holy Spirit
mentioned in the Trinitarian formulation of the last verse of the last book on Spoke 3:
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of
the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:14 (Spoke 3, Cycle 3)
This is the incomparable gift that God promises to all His children – communion with Him through
His indwelling Spirit. It is also in this Book that we find the sweet savour specifically associated
with the Knowledge of Christ:
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and
maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and
in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other
the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
2 Corinthians 2:14ff (Spoke 3, Cycle 3)
The word translated as "sweet savour" is "euodia" (eu-good odia-smell), whereas the word translated in
"the savour of death" is "osme" (odor) which would be accurately rendered as "the stench of death" as it is
in many versions. We are able to become the "sweet savour of Christ" unto God only because Christ became "the stench of death"
when He bore our sins and became our sin offering (2 Cor 5:21).
This is the basis of our fellowship with God.
Baxter saw this as defining the large-scale structure of Leviticus which he divided into two great sections:
1) the Ground of Fellowship through sacrificial atonement, and
2) the Walk of Fellowship by faithful obedience to
the Laws of God delineated in the Holiness Code. These are the primary themes of the Third Book.
They link directly to the character and ministry of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the
HOLY Spirit. Except for using slightly different terminology, W. Graham Scroggie discerned essentially the same
pattern as Baxter, which I combine as follows (chapters in parentheses):
|The Structure of Leviticus: Fellowship with God
|Fellowship through Sacrifice (1 - 10)
||Fellowship through Separation (11 - 27)
Scroggie then explained the main thrust of Leviticus in a single sentence:
Israel's liberty could be known and enjoyed only in fellowship with God, and Leviticus
reveals the ground, the condition, and the product of this fellowship.
Fellowship with God is impossible without Holiness. This is the abiding value and dominant
theme of Leviticus – the Book of Holiness and Sanctification – which teaches these things in symbols and types.
The next two articles will review the two primary divisions of Leviticus;
Fellowship though Sacrifice and
Fellowship through Sanctity.