“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. 2 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.
5 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.
6 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).
- Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
- 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. 7 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).