Monday, January 18, 2010

Leviticus: Significance of the Burnt Offering

LEVITICUS: Significance of the Burnt Offering

I will discuss the significance of the burnt offering. I will include discussion on the burnt offering being a picture for God’s children and the prophecy to which the burnt offerings point. To begin, through my research, I discovered that the burnt offerings “shadowed the work of Jesus Christ and its results”.[1] In McLaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture, the author states, “As symbols, the sacrifices expressed great eternal truths as to spiritual worship and communion, its hindrances, requisites manner, and blessings. They were God’s picture-book for these children in religious development.”[2]
In The NIV Rainbow Study Bible, Heb. 9: 6-10 reveals that the way everything is arranged and the high priest enters the inner room of the tabernacle is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices made were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. The sacrifices are only a matter of external regulations applying until the time of the new order.[3]
In McLaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture, the author goes on to say that, the significance of the offering was in expatiation and burning. He states, “One man has realized to the full, in his life, what the burnt offering taught as the goal for all worshippers. Jesus has lived in the constant exercise of perfect self-surrender and in the constant unmeasured possession of ‘the Spirit of burning,’ with which He has come to baptize us all.”[4]
In Layman’s Bible Book Commentary: Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, the author reveals that the narrative of the ritual of atonement, which is found in Lev. 16:1-34, is probably more significant for the Christian than any other section in Leviticus because the essence of the ritual was interpreted by early Christians as having been fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus. His death on the cross was interpreted in terms of atonement.[5]
In The One Volume Bible Commentary, the author states that in the ritual of atonement, it was but natural that Christians should see in its striking and solemn ritual, a foreshadowing and illustration of the atonement wrought by Christ. Through the one sacrifice of himself, and his entering into the Holy Place, there to appear in the presence of God for his people. The writer of Hebrews points this out in Heb. 9:13-14.[6]
In The NIV Rainbow Study Bible, Heb 9:13-14 reveals, “The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.”[7]
In Expository Outlines of the Whole Bible, Simeon states the offering itself was slaughtered, ‘flayed’ and ‘cut into pieces’, ‘the inwards and the legs’ were washed and together with the whole body, ‘burnt upon the altar’. He says we can see in these things a striking exhibition of the sufferings of Christ, who was to become a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Moreover, he states that the consuming of an animal by fire was but a faint representation of that misery, which we would have endured for all eternity; and of that which our blessed Lord sustained, both in his body and in his soul, when he died under the load of our iniquities. Finally, he states that the partial washing of the sacrifice probably denotes the perfect purity of Christ; or the Holy Spirit, through whose aid he was enabled to offer himself up to God.[8]

Bibliography

Dummelow, J.R. The One Volume Bible Commentary. New York, NY. The Macmillan
Company.

Honeycutt, Jr. Roy Lee. Layman’s Bible Book Commentary: Leviticus, Numbers,
Deuteronomy. Vol. 3. Nashville, Tennessee. Broadman Press. 1979.

McLaren, Alexander. McLaren’s Expositions of the Holy Scripture. Vol. I. Grand
Rapids, MI. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 1959.

Simeon, Charles. Expository Outlines on the Whole Bible. Vol. 1. Grand Rapids,
Michigan. Baker Book House. 1988.

The NIV Rainbow Study Bible: New International Version. Rainbow Studies, Inc. El
Reno. Oklahoma. 1992.

[1] McLaren, Alexander, McLaren’s Expositions of the Holy Scripture, p. 233.
[2] McLaren, Alexander, p. 233.
[3] The NIV Rainbow Study Bible: New International Version, p. 3.
[4] McLaren, Alexander, p. 235-340.
[5] Honeycutt, Jr. Roy Lee, Layman’s Bible Book Commentary: Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, p. 45.
[6] Dummelow, J.R., The One Volume Bible Commentary, p. 94-95.
[7] The NIV Rainbow Study Bible: New International Version, p. 3.
[8] Simeon, Charles, Expository Outlines on the Whole Bible, p. 567-568.

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