Reading through the Bible together

Sunday, July 22, 2012

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Verses 1-7 present the procedure for the trespass offering. The instruction that the meat belonged to the priest leads into a list of priestly portions from other sacrifices. The entire sacrifice was offered to the Lord, who assigned part of it to His priestly servant, who officiated the ritual. Thus, full-time ministers gained income from their work, which helped to support them and their families (compare 1 Cor 9:1-14).

 

An entire peace offering also went to the Lord, but then it was uniquely divided between God, the priest, and the offerer. Thus, directions regarding this sacrifice are placed at the end of the instructions. A peace offering could be motivated by the desire to show thanks to the Lord, or to fulfill a vow to Him, or simply to express devotion to Him. It was for a happy occasion of praise. But its blood, which represented life (and therefore could not be eaten (compare Gen 9:4; Acts 15:20, 29, even by Gentile Christians as it still is today) ransomed the life of the offerer (Lev 17:10-14). This shows that even our praise to God is acceptable only through Christ’s sacrifice! Now we pray rather than sacrifice animals (compare Ps 141:2), and can be blessed by giving tangible expression to our prayers through other kinds of offerings.  

 

Roy Gane

Andrews University