Main point summary
Any man’s sacrifice to God whether from the herd or flock must follow the guidelines according to the animal brought which makes atonement resulting in pleasing God.
Sacrifice is at the heart of the Old Testament for worship. We certainly see this theme from chapter 1 to chapter 7 in Leviticus. God gave a manual to the people and priests on how to worship God in order to be holy and have peace with God in the midst. The people needed this manual due to wrongfully worshiping God resulting in breaking the covenant in the book of Exodus. The people needed to worship God rightly. The people needed a way to have their sins atoned due to their sin. So here in chapter 1 of Leviticus God has laid out a instruction manual for people bringing burnt offerings to help them. v 1-2 Without a word from God, the people would be hopeless. There would be no way to know how to worship God or way to be reconciled to Him. But He spoke. God showed Moses the direct way to receive the offerings of the people. * The Lord demands that a person who voluntarily brings a offering must bring a domestic animal from their own herd or flock. It can be cattle, lamb, goats, or birds. * Meat is a luxury in the OT (2 Samuel 12:1-6). The best and most costly is demanded by God and cattle is the richest (2 Samuel 24:24). And it is to be a sacrifice without blemish. * To give second best to God despises Him (Mal. 1:7;13). The worst thing to happen is a sacrifice not accepted. v3-17 * God has given instructions for each specific group. In verses 3-9 is for the herd (cattle). And in verses 10-13 is for the flock (goats; sheep). Finally in verses 14-17 is for the birds if a person could not afford a larger animal. * All burnt offerings are consumed entirely on the altar if followed by the instructions. * To quickly sum up the instructions for the worshipper, the person would prepare the animal, kill the animal, skin the animal, wash, and chop up the animal. * To quickly sum up the instructions for the priest, the person would catch the blood, sprinkle it over the altar, and put the pieces in the fire. * These kinds of offerings were for individuals. They are the most common offerings and were able to be presented everyday. So what? If everything was followed by the worshipper and the priest, it would result in being accepted by God. In other words, bring a "pleasing aroma to the Lord" (Lev 1:9,13,17). But for what purpose? Leviticus only gives us a taste in the instruction given for a offering from the herd. Leviticus 1:4 tells us it is "to make atonement for him". The offering was the ransom payment for the worshipper to escape punishment due to the them. The ultimate aim for the burnt offering is bring out peace with God. The animal died in the place of the worshipper. And this offering altered God's attitude to man. It did not remove sin or change man's sinful nature, but made fellowship possible with God. The sacrifice satisfied God's wrath against sin. So then reconciliation is provided God accepting the offering. Where is Christ? * Jesus is the better sacrifice. We do not need anymore bulls and goats. He satisfied God's justice due to us. Our sins were atoned for on the cross. He is the better burnt offering. He is the most ultimate valuable offering. More than anything this world can offer. He is Holy. The Holy one died in my place. So that we may have fellowship with Himself. (Ephesians 5:2; 1 Peter 1:18-19) How does Leviticus 1 apply to me? * We should have a heart full of thanksgiving because our sin separated us from Him who His holy. Since He is holy he cannot look upon sin. Punishment must be given. By God's grace the Son of God died on our behalf that we can have fellowship with Him. This truth should remind us of His Holiness, grace, and our sinfulness. * Burnt offerings were given daily which showed the need for forgiveness daily. When the person pressed on their animal prayer was most likely involved. Prayer and confession with a broken heart was performed (Lev. 16:21; Deuteronomy 21:6-9) Let us act in this manner because we are always in need of God’s forgiveness. But let us not offer sacrifices. Rather let us go to Christ in prayer in need forgiveness and help to be more conformed to His image (1 John 1:7-9). Confess your sins to Him. Let us go to the Son of God who intercedes for us now. So then let us enjoy and praise from a sincere heart. * As Christ was a sacrifice for us so then let us be a living sacrifice by praising God for His grace and declaring one's intention to love God and keep His commandments. (Hebrews 13:15-16) * As the whole animal was burnt, and Christ completely followed the will of the Father even to death on a cross, so then let us die to ourselves. Give all that we are to all that He is. My hands, feet, head, and even dreams are no longer mine, but rather they are His. Think over * Where would you be without the cross?
Offer Up the Sacrifice
Then a the Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them,
‘When any man of you brings an 1 a offering to the Lord ,
you shall bring your 1 offering of animals from b the herd or the flock.
If his offering is a a burnt offering
from the herd,
he shall offer it, a male b without defect;
he shall offer it c at the doorway of the tent of meeting,
that he may be accepted before the Lord .
a He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering,
that it may be accepted for him to make b atonement on his behalf.
a He shall slay the 1 young bull before the Lord ;
and Aaron’s sons the priests shall offer up b the blood
and c sprinkle the blood around on the altar
that is at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
a He shall then skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces.
a The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire.
Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces,
the head and the a suet over the wood which is on the fire that is on the altar.
Its a entrails, however, and its legs he shall wash with water.
And b the priest shall offer up in smoke all of it on the altar
for a burnt offering,
an offering by fire of c a soothing aroma to the Lord .
‘But if his offering is from the flock, of the sheep
or of the goats,
for a burnt offering,
he shall offer it a a male without defect.
a He shall slay it on the side of the altar northward before the Lord ,
and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar.
He shall then cut it into its pieces with its head and its a suet,
and the priest shall arrange them on the wood which is on the fire that is on the altar.
The entrails, however, and the legs he shall wash with water.
And a the priest shall offer all of it, and offer it up in smoke on the altar;
it is a burnt offering,
an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord .
‘But if his offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds,
then he shall bring his offering from the a turtledoves
or from young pigeons.
The priest shall bring it to the altar,
and wring off its head and offer it up in smoke on the altar;
and its blood is to be drained out a on the side of the altar.
He shall also take away its crop with its feathers
and cast it beside the altar eastward, to the place of the 1 a ashes.
Then he shall tear it by its wings,
but a shall not sever it.
And the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar on the wood which is on the fire;
b it is a burnt offering,
an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord .