Reading through the Bible together
Leviticus 1-7 provides instructions for five basic kinds of sacrifices: burnt, grain, peace, sin, and trespass offerings. These differed in terms of whether some of their meat could be eaten by priests (only burnt offerings could not) and offerers (only peace offerings could), and where priests applied the blood (usually sides of altar, but sin offerings on altar horns). Why such variety? No single animal sacrifice could symbolize the richness of Christ’s sacrifice! For example, He was totally consumed (burnt offering), but we can spiritually partake of Him (peace offering). How could anyone literally “eat” what is “burned up”?
Why is the grain offering included with animal sacrifices? Grain and drink items often accompanied meat to make a gift of food (compare Gen 18:6-8; Num 15). Grain could represent Christ, “the bread of life” (John 6:35; Matt 26:26). In Leviticus 2, a grain offering without blood or flesh is a sacrifice because it involves transfer of something to the sacred domain of God for His use. This explains how Paul could urge Christians to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom 12:1). We don’t need to die in order to be fully consecrated. We can be “living sacrifices” by giving our lives over to God for His service.