Monday, April 4, 2011

Leviticus: Chapter 3

Oh, I am so enjoying this slow walk through the Old Testament--there is so much more than I have ever taken the time to explore.  (And just so you know, so much more than I post in here--do dig someday--for now, though, may this bless you as it has me!)

This offering--the Fellowship Offering--speaks to us about the fellowship we have in Christ; it encourages celebration of the fact that in Christ, we are reunited to God and earthly relationships are strengthened as well.  Unlike the burnt offering, a male or female animal can be offered; this, too, reflects the unity we have in Christ for Galatians 3:28 tells us:  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 

With each fellowship offering, a specified portion was dedicated to God, another portion to the priests and a significant portion was reserved for the offerer.  God was to receive what was then considered the best:  the inner parts, the fat parts.  God's portion represented the precious, priceless character of Christ.  God's portion was to be consumed by fire, reminding us of the total dedication of Christ.  The priests received the breast and the shoulder:  representing the love and power of Christ.  The sinner, the offerer, was invited to enjoy the remainder.  God indeed has prepared a table for us, a banquet:  Christ is the bread of life we are invited to enjoy in fellowship with God. 

Finally, of note is that the offering could be of the herd (cattle) or of the flock (sheep or goats).  The cattle present the servant aspect of Christ.  The cows were domesticated, servants of men.  The sheep are the example we are most familiar with:  the sacrificial lamb--identified with us in life and death.  The goat reminded me of the scapegoat sent off in the Old Testament, and the separation of the sheep and the goats in Matthew.  Jesus willingly became the scapegoat for us; He protects us from the final eternal separation.  Isn't this just an amazing look at Jesus through the Old Testament offerings?!

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