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Christ in the offerings – notes on the Levitical offerings from Mixed Week 2013. PART 5

by on July 27, 2013

 

The Guilt Offering (Leviticus 5:14-6:7, 7:1-7).

What caused the offerer to bring it?

Unintentional sin in regard to holy things, or deceiving your neighbour (something that the offerer must have been aware they were doing – but once they recognized their guilt, they acted and brought their offering).

 

How might it relate to us experientially?

Particularly relevant to us in what it teaches us about interpersonal relationships – the problems that arise when we put ourselves first, when we deceive and when we damage our relationship with others (and especially those with whom we serve).

…forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:12-14

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:15-20

Both passages speak about restoring our relationship with those whom we have offended or who have offended us. This should be done (as in Leviticus 6) before offering to God (we’ll return to this briefly when we think about our application to worship in the Remembrance).

What was the unique characteristic?

The offering was about making restitutionplus 20%! This offering does not seem to be ‘means-tested’ as other offerings were (when an offering could bring a bull, a sheep/goat, or a turtledove – whatever they could afford). The offering to God needed to be a ram – specified in Leviticus 5 & 6.

 

What does that indicate that God valued about it?

But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. Isaiah 53:10

What I did not steal must I now restore? Psalm 69:4

God valued the fact the offerings spoke of restitution being made by the Lord Jesus at Calvary – He restored that which He did not take (and what we could never, ever, have restored ourselves), as the Psalm prophetically refers to. And it wasn’t just restitution – it is restitution PLUS! God is eternally advantaged by Calvary. The end, when He will eternally have worshippers brought by His Son who has redeemed them, and Christ will have the highest place because of the eternal value of His cross work, is better even than Eden!

We sometimes sing:

Thou findest in that spotless One

Where all perfections dwell,

All that Thy heart could wish for us,

All that Thou ‘ere couldst tell.

Thou findest righteous, ransomed, fair,

Where all Thy joys transcendent are,

In Him, a People for Thy praise,

Thy glory through eternal days. 

Because of Calvary, God (in His Son) has a People for His praise, eternally. Restitution indeed!

 

How might we try to emulate Christ in this?

Perhaps the spirit of Zacchaeus – restitution and much more besides! Going beyond His requirements with a willingness to give much more.

 

How was it conducted at the Tabernacle?

Application to worship at the Remembrance?

These two questions go together today – the offering was conducted at the Tabernacle when the offerer had already made peace with His neighbour (Leviticus 6). We are back to Matthew chapters 6 and 18 – the need to resolve problems with those with whom we serve before we go to offer our thankgivings to God.

———–

I know this week has been a bit of a whistle-stop tour of the Levitical offerings – it is really all I had time to do! These notes, as I said on Monday, came from a week of study with Brian Johnston, a full time Ministering Brother in the churches of God. Despite the speed with which we have covered things this week, I hope it has been helpful in someway.

The Lord talked with those disciples on the Emmaus Road about the things concerning Himself in all the scriptures – perhaps He talked about Christ in the offerings that day! May our hearts burn within us (as those disciples) as we look into these things further and more deeply.

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