Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Levitical Offerings
by Dr. James Modlish


(Leviticus 1:1-17)


The Old Testament is full of ritual as we shall particularly see in our study of the Levitical offerings. There are undoubtedly several reasons why:

[1]. Israel had just come out of 400 years of Egyptian bondage and no doubt a large percentage of them were illiterate; they learned not through reading but through repeated ritual.

[2]. Ritual foreshadows reality. There is very little ritual in the church age - only the Lord's Supper and Baptism. Most ritual has been eliminated because the cross is now historical.

[3]. There was definitely a need for blood shedding if they w re to have a way to approach God. (Heb. 9:22) - (Heb. 10:1-10)


I. The Offering -

A. The place of the command (vs. 1) - The tabernacle was a place where God would manifest His grace as opposed to Sinai where the law would be given. Consequently the command of the burnt offering came from a place of grace.

B. It was a voluntary offering (Lev. 1:3) - God has never forced salvation upon any one. It was voluntarily given and must be received the same way

C. His hand upon the head of the offering - The laying on of hands was identification; the sins of the man were now identified with the animal to be slain. (2 Cor. 5:21)

D. The place of Offering - "the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord." This was none other than the local church of that day (Acts 7:38).


II. The Bullock - (Lev. 1:5-9)

A. The bullock was killed by the one doing the offering (vs. 4,5) - The bullock was tied to the horns of the altar (Ps. 118:27) and identified with the offerer's sins. The actual killing was a simple procedure. The one who slaughtered the animal gripped his muzzle, held tight, and plunged the knife into the animals throat causing excessive bleeding. With every heartbeat, the dying animal literally pumped out his own blood, which soon stained the ground, the altar, the offerer and even the priests. The offerer watched as the powerful animal became weaker and finally died. Watching a spotless, vigorous, innocent animal die was a shocking way to realize your need of a sin bearer. It is a shocking thought that as surely as the sins of the offerer. Caused the death of the sacrificial animal on that altar, so our sins caused the death of Christ on the cross. (Isa. 53:5,6) If that does not make you realize and appreciate the greatness of God's grace, nothing will.

B. The offerer skinned and cut up the sacrifice (vs. 6) - The shock method of teaching continued the offerer skinned the bull, demonstrating that there was no blemish beneath the hide. Thus he was reminded of the absolute perfection of the humanity of the coming Saviour who would be free from both overt and mental attitude sins. The bull was "cut into pieces" to depict the work of Christ on the cross.

C. The wood and fire was applied (vs. 7) - The wood represented and instrument to burn and consequently one of judgment. Christ bore our sins upon a wood cross. (Gal. 3:13) The fire is naturally that which consumes the sacrifice instead of the offerer. (Ps. 22:6; Mk. 9:42-50)

D. The parts

[1]. The head - inner purity
[2]. The fat - outer purity
[3]. The legs - remind us of our walk, in the spirit (Gal. 5:16), by faith (2 Cor. 5:7), in love (Eph. 5:2).
[4]. The inwards - represent our inner life and the washing of them has to do with confession of sin. Talk about a shock treatment, there stood the offerer with a hand full of "guts" being reminded of his own great need of confession and inner righteousness.


III. The Flocks - (Lev. 1:10-13)

Of the three categories of burnt offerings, it was the bullock which delineated propitiation in the greatest detail. There was of necessity, a certain overlap in the symbolism of the burnt offerings, for these also pictured the Person and work of our Lord. As the Jews learned by repetition, so must we.

A. The sheep - Old Testament Jews knew and understood something of the significance of the sheep offering. For example, John the Baptist was a Jew who lived in the Old Testament dispensation when Jesus Christ was presented daily in shadow form. The moment he saw the Lord, he recognized Him as "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Jn. 1:29) Substitution was not new to the Jews even when the Levitical offerings were established. (See Abraham and Gen. 22).

B. The goat - The Jews observed seven feasts, most of which were connected with animal sacrifices. Of these feasts, The Day of Atonement was the most solemn. Not only the bullock, but two goats played an important role of that day. (Lev. 16:7 10,15,16) - (See Ps. 103:10-14)


IV. The Fowls - (Lev. 1:14-17)

The teaching of Bible doctrine must always be available to all people. The fowl offering applied particularly to the poor. It is interesting that the poorest of the poor brought that which represented the greatest; our Saviour. (2 Cor. 8:9)

-Page Navigation-

1. The Burnt Offering | 2. The Meat Offering | 3. The Peace Offering | 4. The Sin Offering | 5. The Sin and Trespass Offering