December 29, 2022
“If his offering is….”
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“If his offering is….” Leviticus 3:1
A friend of mine tells the story of a woman trying to decide how she should confess her sins. She asked, “Shall I ’fess ’em as I does ’em, or shall I bunch ’em?”
The problem of “bunching” is very much related to our study of the offerings. The offerings of the Torah are something like the tools in a workman’s shop: There is a particular tool for each task, and you never use the wrong tool for the job.
The Torah seems to have more offerings than we can count. That can lead to a fair bit of frustration on the part of the modern-day Christian, but there is a vital lesson to be learned here, which may help to motivate us in our study of these offerings.
There is no specific Torah-commanded offering that sums up the entirety of Jesus’ atonement. Thus, we must see that Messiah’s death, burial, and resurrection accomplished many different functions, not just ONE. Basically, through His death and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled ALL the requirements of the law, which had been parsed out as several individual offerings.
That being said, we also tend to “bunch” the benefits of the work of the Messiah rather than considering them one at a time. In so doing, we risk not recognizing the enormity of the blessing of Grace offered to mankind. One significant contribution the Book of Leviticus makes is that it names each specific sin…along with the way to be restored to God. Through His suffering, we gain greater insight into the intricacy of the atonement that the death of Messiah, the Lamb of God, provides.
The pre-Messianic Jewish worshipper would sacrifice the various offerings at prescribed times, and he would grasp, to some degree, the blessings God had given. A particular blessing was attached to each offering, but it was not all-encompassing and comprehensive atonement. For us modern believers, ALL the blessings of God are realized by ONE offering, made once-for-all by the death of Messiah at Golgotha.
In considering the Torah offerings, we are given the privilege to pause and focus on the PARTICULAR benefits & blessings we have received in Jesus’ death & resurrection. And we can thank Him (in our hearts & prayers) for each facet of His atonement, as He reveals them to us when we read His Word.