Passover begins at sunset on April 5—that’s next Wednesday. With this in mind, we are going to jump ahead in our Tabernacle story this week. As I prayed about it, Holy Spirit urged me to discuss the offerings and sacrifices given at the altar. Keep in mind that Moses did not receive the full instructions about these offerings until later. While we can read about them in various places, they are best described in Leviticus 1-7.
There are five main ritual sacrifices or offerings.
· The Burnt Offering
· The Meal or Grain Offering
· The Peace or Fellowship Offering
· The Sin Offering
· The Trespass Offering or Guilt Offering
To begin, we will focus on the Burnt Offering. It is the first offering Yahweh speaks about. Remember that the whole purpose of the Tabernacle is to provide a place where we can meet with the Lord. He prepared sacrifices needed to remove the stain of sin from our lives and prepare us in holiness to meet Him.
The intention of the Brazen Altar or Altar of Sacrifice was to draw people closer to God. The word for offering is ‘corban’. It means to bring near, cause to approach, draw near, or present. Not all the offerings atoned for sin. But the Burnt Offering, the Sin Offering, and the Trespass Offering all deal with sin and need atonement.
Leviticus 1:1-17 speaks of the burnt offering. It is also called the elevation offering. It’s the offering that causes us to ascend to Yahweh as the smoke from the altar rises. A burnt offering was for the atonement of impure thoughts. As we all know, our thoughts can often influence our souls—minds, will, and emotions. And in turn, move us into actions that miss the mark of God’s high calling—sin.
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:14-15
Here is the first of the instructions—Leviticus 1:1-9
Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock.
3 ‘If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord. 4 Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. 5 He shall kill the bull before the Lord; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 6 And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. 7 The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire. 8 Then the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; 9 but he shall wash its entrails and its legs with water. And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.
Note: The offering was a male animal without blemish. The person bringing the offering had to have a willing heart. It was not demanded or programmed in any way. Whenever the person felt the need to do this, he brought his offering to the tabernacle and the priests.
Also, note that the person bringing the offering was the one who killed the animal. He would place his hand on the head of the animal (note that it was the head—where our thoughts begin.) Then he tied the animal to the horns on the altar, pulled back its head, and slit its throat. The priest would be there with a bowl to catch the blood and sprinkle the blood on all four sides of the altar. The priests were then responsible to prepare the animal for burning.
We find the second set of instructions in Leviticus 6:8-11
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 9 “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law of the burnt offering: The burnt offering shall be on the hearth upon the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it. 10 And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen trousers he shall put on his body, and take up the ashes of the burnt offering which the fire has consumed on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. 11 Then he shall take off his garments, put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place.
The priest wore a linen garment to remove the ashes which were now considered holy. And then changed into other clothes to carry the ashes out of the camp.
The change of clothes had to do with the fact that outside the camp was a defiled area. Linen garments represent holiness. A change of clothing protected the priests from defilement.
Our sacrifice—Our burnt offering, Yeshua, Jesus, was the only blemish-free male on earth. He willingly gave Himself. Each of us took part in His death. While we weren’t there in person, He was our sacrifice when we confessed Him as our Lord and Savior. He made our salvation and righteousness possible, so we can stand blameless before Yahweh.
Christ our Lamb (John. 1:29; Revelation 13:8) died upon the altar of the cross to bear the judgment of God’s wrath against sin on our behalf (Isaiah 53:3-6; Romans 4:25). The sacrifice being burnt upon the altar as a sweet savor to God (Leviticus 1:9) typifies Christ who was offered up as a “. . . sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor” (Ephesians 5:2).
Colossians 1:21-22 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight–
Please note Paul speaks of being ‘alienated’ in our minds. This is the focus of the Burnt Offering. And also note that there is more to this paragraph.
— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
While it was a one-and-done action taken by Yeshua, there is still a responsibility for us to be aware of our thoughts and steward them in line with God’s word. We are forgiven—Yes. But cleansing is still necessary.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. – This is counsel for born-again believers.
We no longer need to kill animals. But we need to confess our sins to Yahweh and walk in obedience and grace with Holy Spirit. If we do, we will remain cleansed and stay in close communion with Him and with each other.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10
I intend to put together the other two sin-related offerings in another blog this week. It is important as Passover nears and Easter soon after that we have a clear picture of the sacrifice Yeshua made for each of us. May our worship increase as we consider
Shalom, my friends. ♥
2 thoughts on “What Are You Thinking? – The Burnt Offering”
I love to read your posts. I wondered however, when I read this line:”Jesus, was the only blemish-free male on earth.” Is that accurate? Was Adam and Eve not also blemish-free before they sinned?
Would love to hear your feedback.
Hello, The Promise. I believe it is 100% accurate. Adam and Eve were likely blemish-free before they sinned. However, what would have been the point for them to go to the cross for the sins of the world when they were the population of the world–at least as far as we know? Jesus came at the ‘fulness of time,’ the appointed time when the world was full of sinners without hope. Only Jesus could pay the price. Only He had blood free of sin to wash us all clean. —Thanks for your question.