“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.’”
Leviticus is a book about worship. After Israel was redeemed from Egypt and settled for a time at Sinai, God gave them detailed instructions regarding how to worship Him. This worship was centered around five offerings, all of which, when offered, were a sweet aroma to the Lord. Although we are no longer required to bring animal sacrifices to a temple to please God, each offering represents an important aspect of our relationship with God.
The burnt offering is a picture of complete commitment to the Lord. This offering was placed on the altar and consumed in the fire, giving off a sweet aroma, and illustrating a life totally committed to the Lord. Paul exhorts us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). This does not mean we literally lie down upon an altar, but that we devote ourselves to the Lord and His service.
The grain offering was a picture of offering all we have, and all we do, to the Lord. A person would bring the grain he had grown and harvested to the Lord. The grain offering illustrates the works of the hand, produced in the service of God. Not only are we to consecrate ourselves to the service of God, but we should offer all we possess.
The peace offering was a picture of fellowship. The offering itself was divided into three parts. One portion was placed on the altar and given to the Lord, another portion was given to the priests to eat, and the final portion was to be consumed by the person who made the offering. God, those in ministry, and the individual, all partook of the same offering. They would celebrate the sweet fellowship they had, first with the Lord then with one another. The New Testament sacrament of Communion does the same thing.
The sin and trespass offerings were different than the others; they were not voluntary. A person could choose when to offer burnt, grain or peace offerings, but the sin offering was mandatory, because all have sinned. This offering represents the work that Christ accomplished upon the cross in order to remove all sin, and make us right with God. Today, it is no longer necessary to offer animal sacrifices, but it is necessary to receive, by faith, the pardon for sin that is made available because Christ went to the Cross.
If you want your sins forgiven and you want to know God and go to heaven, join me in praying,
Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for my sin. I ask you to forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and help me follow you, Amen.