Leviticus 3 … Consider His Peace Offerings

“Now if his offering is a sacrifice of peace offerings, if he is going to offer out of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without defect before the Lord. He shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and slay it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood around on the altar,” (3:1-2).

In the original language, the English words translated as “peace offerings” or “fellowship offerings”  is actually one word in Hebrew:

שֶׁלֶם šelem: A noun meaning thanksgiving offerings, also called peace offerings. These offerings were voluntary, given to God in thanks or in praise to Him.”

And in the notes in the NIV Study Bible we read, “Two basic ideas are included in the offering: peace and fellowship.”

Consider His Peace Offerings

  • His Peace Offerings required acknowledgement of man’s inability to atone for his sin and agreement that blood of one without defect was required.
    • …he shall offer it without defect before the Lord, (3:2).
  • His Peace Offerings required faith. Laying hands on the head of the offering was a symbolic act of transferring one’s own sins onto the animal to be slain.
    • He shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and slay it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood around on the altar, (3:2, 8, 13).
  • His Peace Offerings opened the door to experience fellowship, by faith in the substitutionary death of the animal sacrifice, one could experience peace and fellowship with Holy God.
    • at the doorway of the tent of meeting… (3:2).
  • His Peace Offerings were voluntary offerings; it was an invitation to experience fellowship and His Peace through faith in the substitutionary death of the sacrifice of an animal without defect.
    • Now if his offering is a sacrifice of peace offerings, if he is going to offer… (3:1).

How do we respond to His Peace Offerings?

  • We must acknowledge our need for salvation and agree it is humanly impossible to atone for our own sin; we need what only the Divine Savior can do.
    • Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
      And our sorrows He carried;
      Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
      Smitten of God, and afflicted.
      But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
      He was crushed for our iniquities;
      The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
      And by His scourging we are healed.
      All of us like sheep have gone astray,
      Each of us has turned to his own way;
      But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
      To fall on Him,
      (Isaiah 53:4-6).
  • By faith, we trust our sins were transferred to Him as our substitutionary sacrifice.
    • He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, (2 Corinthians 5:21).
    • …and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed, (1 Peter 2:24).
  • By faith we receive the peace of His Presence, regardless of what is happening around us, we depend on His Presence and Peace, not our own works or feelings.
    • “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful,” (John 14:27).
    • “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33).
    • For He Himself is our peace… (Ephesians 2:14).
  • It is by faith that we are able to experience both fellowship and peace with God; but it is voluntary, our choice to live by His Spirit and walk by faith. We can know Jesus as our Savior, but still be consumed by the cares and anxiety of this world. Jesus paid a great cost; our sins were transferred to Him and we have become the very righteousness of Christ. By faith, let us wholeheartedly accept His invitation to enjoy His fellowship and peace.
    • Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 4:6-7).
    •  …casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you, (1 Peter 5:7).

Let’s Grow Together!

Consider His Peace Offerings in Leviticus 3

“Now if his offering is a sacrifice of peace offerings, if he is going to offer out of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without defect before the Lord. He shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and slay it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, …” (3:1-2).

Click on the link to read the devotion: Leviticus 3 … Consider His Peace Offerings

Let’s Grow Together!

Leviticus 2 … Consider His Absolutes

The grain offering, a thing most holy, of the offerings to the Lord (2:3, 10) was not a means to accomplish atonement, for there was no blood sacrifice involved. The grain offering was a freewill opportunity to worship.

The requirements for the grain offerings were not as rigid as those of the blood sacrifices. God permitted some personal choice (baked in an oven, made on a griddle, made in a pan or as wafers) in the way a person prepared the grain offering, but there were still His Absolutes.

Consider His Absolutes

  • No grain offering shall be made with leaven.
    • No grain offering, which you bring to the Lord, shall be made with leaven… (2:11).
  • Every grain offering shall be seasoned with salt.
    •  Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt, (2:13).

How do we respond to His Absolutes?

Our times of Bible study, worship and prayer do not atone for our sin. Only the blood of Jesus, our perfect atoning sacrifice accomplishes so great an impossible feat. In response to His great grace, we desire to spend time in His Word and in prayer; how can we not bring our freewill offerings? As we consider His Absolutes let us be careful to consider our worship offerings.

  • Leaven (or yeast) most often symbolizes sin in Scripture.
    • “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy,” (Luke 12:1).
    • For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).
  • We must be careful and intentional to bring our offerings without the leaven of sin.
    • If I had cherished sin in my heart,
      the Lord would not have listened;
      (Psalm 66:18).
    • Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, (1 Corinthians 5:8).
    • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:9).
  • Jesus called His disciples to be the salt of the earth. In Jesus’ day, salt was valued for its three properties: preserving, medicinal, and flavor.  
    • “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot,” (Matthew 5:13).
  • The loss of these properties rendered the salt as no longer good for anything. Our worship is not to be confined to a morning appointment with God or a gathering on Sunday morning. Our offering of worship is in everything we do and must never lack salt.
    • Are we preserving His truth?
      • What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us, (2 Timothy 1:13-14).
    • Are we bringing healing to others?
      • We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God, (2 Corinthians 5:20).
    • Are we adding the flavor of Christ in all we say and do?
      • Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone, (Colossians 4:5-6).

Let us pray and commit our whole selves, that by the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit, our worship offerings would become “a thing most holy, of the offerings to the Lord.”

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).

Let’s Grow Together

Leviticus 1 … Consider His Call to Come Near

Then 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 offering to the Lord, you shall…’” (1:1-2).

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance we learn the  Hebrew meaning of the word translated “brings”: “7126. קָרַב qāraḇ: A verb meaning to come near, to approach. The basic concept is a close, spatial proximity of the subject and the object.”

This was not a call to merely bring along an offering, which was required; but this was His Call to Come Near, to come close! His Call to Come Near conveys His desire to be intimate with His People; it’s almost too much to believe.

It is a solemn call to approach Holy, Majestic, Awesome, Creator of the Universe God. And though He called His people to come near, they could never answer His Call to Come Near in their own strength or by their own means.

Consider His Call to Come Near

  • His Call to Come Near was a call extended to individuals.
    • “When any man of you brings an offering to the Lord…” (1:2).
  • His Call to Come Near stated the need for atonement.
    • “He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf,” (1:4).
  • His Call to Come Near necessitated a mediator.
    • “He shall slay the young bull before the Lord; and Aaron’s sons the priests shall offer up the blood and sprinkle the blood around on the altar that is at the doorway of the tent of meeting,” (1:5).
  • His Call to Come Near demanded a male without defect.
    • he shall offer it, a male without defect;” (1:3, 10).
  • His Call to Come Near required a total burnt offering.
    • “And the priest shall offer up in smoke all of it on the altar for a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord,” (1:9, 13).

How do we respond to His Call to Come Near?

  • Have we personally answered His Call to Come Near by believing in His only begotten Son?
    • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16)
  • Have we acknowledged our need for atonement?
    • for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23).
  • Have we, by faith, transferred our sins to Him, our only acceptable Mediator?
    • For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5).
  • Have we placed our faith in His required Sinless Sacrifice?
    • He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • When our faith is tested, are we joyfully answering His Call to Come Near?
    • In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls, (1 Peter 1:6-9).

The NIV Study Bible comments on the significance of shall offer up in smoke all of it,” (1:9,13). “The completeness of its burning also speaks of total dedication on the part of the worshiper.”

Oh that our whole lives would be completely consumed in gratitude for His amazing grace and mercy. Oh that we would wholeheartedly, without reserve, willingly offer ourselves to please Him; that we might live to be a soothing aroma to the Lord, (1:9,13,17).

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).

Let’s Grow Together!

Matthew 28 … Consider Him Who Is Risen Just As He Said

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said, (28:5-6).

He Has Risen from the dead, Just As He said; is there anything at all He cannot or will not do, Just As He Said? If the grave could not stop Him, what can?

Consider Him Who Is Risen Just As He Said

He Is Risen Just As He Said; therefore, He is not in the grave, (28:6).

He Is Risen Just As He Said; therefore, there is no reason to fear, (28:10).

He Is Risen Just As He Said; therefore, go and tell others, (28:10).

He Is Risen Just As He Said; therefore, He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, (28:18).

He Is Risen Just As He Said; therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, (28:19).

He Is Risen Just As He Said; therefore, go and teach others all He has commanded, (28:20).

He Is Risen Just As He Said; therefore, He is with His own always, even to the end of the age, (28:20).

How are we to respond to Him Who Is Risen Just As He Said?

All He has said He will do; therefore, we can live fully persuaded all He has revealed to us in His Word He will also do. Faithful are all the promises of Him Who Has Risen Just As He Said.

  •  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32).
    • He gave us His own Son, His absolute best; how can we ever doubt He will give us all we need?
  • But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 8:37-39).
    • He gave us His inseparable love; how can we ever desire anything above Him?
  • You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world, (1 John 4:4).
    • He gave us His Holy Spirit, Who imparts His strength as He dwells within us; how can we ever dread the future? 

We are to be fully assured of His promises, fully confident in Him Who Is Risen Just As He Said; for He is alive and what He has said He will do. Therefore, through Jesus, we live by faith; He alone is our Amen (firm, steady, trustworthy) and Faithful Promise Keeper, for He Is Risen Just As He Said.

For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us, (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass, (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Oh how marvelous are His ways! How can we not tell others? With gratitude and praise let us make Him known, that others would also seek Him Who Is Risen Just As He Has Said.

And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.

Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”
Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth, (Isaiah 12:4-5).

Let’s Grow Together!

Matthew 27 … Consider Him Who Was Mocked

I just couldn’t stop thinking about the mocking. The entire scene is really too much to grasp: the religious authorities conferring and conspiring; Jesus standing before Pilate; the scourging and crown of thorns; Pilate offering a way of escape; the people wholeheartedly rejecting his offer; and even Judas, His betrayer, feeling remorse.

But the mocking…

After time spent in Exodus learning of His Law and the requirements for atonement, I am convinced Scripture must be fulfilled; and without His blood sacrifice all of humanity would be lost.

But the mocking… it’s almost too much to take in. There before them stood the sinless Son of God, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world, Who would soon be nailed to a tree for them; and rather than moved to tears, they were moved to mock; and still He would lay down His life.

Consider Him Who Was Mocked

The old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” many of us most likely heard from parents attempting to bandage the penetrating wounds caused by the heartless words of others. But even as children, we knew; we knew words hurt and can be far more difficult to bear than a broken bone, with far-reaching ramifications often more destructive than physical injury.

And there stood Jesus, Creator of the universe, the King of kings, the Suffering Servant, enduring the taunts, the insults, the mocking from the very ones He came to save. As His flesh grimaced in pain, did His heart break more and more with each slicing stab of verbal assault and abuse?

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 28 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. 31 After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him, (27:27-31).

And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, 42 “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him, (27:39-42).

How do we respond to Him Who Was Mocked?

When we place our faith in His saving work on the cross, our blind eyes are opened to see our condition apart from Him. The sad truth is, we too may have stood with the mockers had we been there.

But now, if we have been born again by placing our faith in His sinless sacrifice, we are empowered by His Holy Spirit to live lives to honor and worship Him. As we consider Him Who Was Mocked, let us prayerfully and honestly ask His Holy Spirit to evaluate our own treatment of the King Who stands before us.

Re-read the passage in 27:27-31. Do we hail Him as King… yet treat Him as less than holy and worthy of our surrender and submission to His authority?

Re-read the passage in 27:39-42. Do we expect Him to prove Himself our King… insisting He satisfy our expectations in order to earn our belief?

It stings, as we see ourselves, standing amongst the mockers, with our outward displays of honor, but hearts removed and unbelieving, mocking Him Who deserves all our allegiance and devotion. Oh Lord Jesus, Sinless Savior, may we never break Your heart so as to mock Your authority and Your rule as King in our lives, never forgetting the words of Paul, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap,” (Galatians 6:7).

Oh Lord Jesus, please, may we live each and every day to honor and worship You with sincere hearts, so as to reap Your blessings through faith, obedience and submission.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation, (Psalm 24:3-5)

Let’s Grow Together!