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 3:1-17)



The very fact that a peace offering is needed implies that something is wrong in regard to the relations between God and man. Man by nature since the fall is unfit for fellowship with God.

The third offering commanded by God was the Peace Offering, and it was natural that it should come third, as there can be no peace either with God or man until both God's requirements and man's needs are fully met. These we see were fully met in the Burnt Offering representative of Christ entire dedication to God, and the Meat offering, where Christ becomes representatively the Bread of the world. When we see the full satisfaction made by our Substitute we have peace, and not before. Some say: "Make your peace, before you die". (Rom. 5:10)


I. The Type -

A. Male or female - (3:1) The Peace Offering differed from the Burnt offering in that either a male or female animal could be used. Because the male is by nature aggressive, active, and independent, the active obedience of Christ is demonstrated through the male. He showed His perfect willingness to go to the cross. However, once He hung on that cross, active obedience became passive obedience. This is where the female offering is important. How was His passive obedience manifested? In His willingness to bear our sins in His own body. (1 Peter 2:24), in receiving the judgment which belonged to mankind (2 Cor. 5:21).

B. Identification - (3:2) The offerer was to lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it himself at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. This again speaks of the identification of the offerer with his offering. It brings out most vividly the truth of substitution and should impress upon every one of us the fact that we ourselves need a Substitute. Christ is our Substitute, and we are directly responsible for His death.


II. The Elements -

A. The Fat - (3:3,4) Fat in the Scriptures always means the richest and the best (Gen. 45:18; Prov. 11:25; Prov. 13:4; Isa. 25:6). And when in the sacrifices these are indicated, it is God's portion. The fat consumed on the altar represented the best portion - Christ is the best.

B. The Kidneys - (3:4) The kidneys were something that only could be reached through death. They were something that were innermost in the body of the sacrifices. Hence where the Peace Offering is concerned, the kidneys pictured Christ volition. It's interesting that the Holy Spirit notes that the kidneys were next to the flanks. The flanks of course, were a picture of strength and confidence. (Eph. 6:14) Christ decision to go to the cross was accomplished by perfect confidence in the Father's plan (Eph. 1:3-6). In spite of tremendous opposition Christ submitted to that plan. (Isa. 50:6-7)

Kidneys are purifiers. We need them because of the tremendous amount of impurities and waste that go through our bodies. From a spiritual standpoint Christ's kidneys would have been the only acceptable ones to God because of no impurities (2 CoL. 5:21).

C. The Caul - (3:4) According to Webster the caul is the "large fatty omentum covering the intestines."

Your guess is as good as mine - A possibility is the caul is a membrane and consequently somewhat transparent. The membrane laid bare could be the manifestation of God's glory in Christ, who is the only visible Person of the God head (Jn. 1:18).

D. The Rump - (3:9) If the offering was to be from the flock something new was added: "the whole rump shall be taken off." Since the rump contained the most fat, it was esteemed to be the most delicate portion of the sacrificial animal. Of course Jesus Christ is most closely identified with the lamb (John 1:29), therefore it would be natural for God to demand more of this offering.


III. The kinds and rules -

A. Thanksgiving - (Lev. 7:12-15) The Thanksgiving Peace Offering was a memorial reminding the sinner of his desperate need to approach God. This is typified in that he was commanded not only to bring wafers and cakes of unleavened (the significance of which was covered under the meat offering), but also cakes of leavened bread. (vs. 13) This introduces representatively the existence of sin; not, of course, in the offering, but in the offerer. The very name "Peace Offering" implies peace needs to be made between the sinless (unleavened bread) and the sinner (leavened bread).

B. The Vow - (Lev. 7:16-18) The offering of the vow seems to be essentially the same as the Thanksgiving except for one major change. The portion that could be eaten must be eaten the same day as the offering of the Thanksgiving Peace Offering. When you make peace with the Lord (Reconciliation) it is an instantaneous thing (picture of the, new birth') as opposed to a vow that is a continuous thing. Therefore the peace offering, in the form of a vow could be eaten the next day but not the third. By the third day the possibility existed of the meat becoming contaminated and God has always been unwilling to accept anything that is unclean (Lev. 7:19-21).


IV. The Portions -

A. The Breast - (7:31) The breast was a portion that was designated for the priest. The breast always indicated the seat of affections. All of the priests were to feed upon that which speaks of the love of Christ. (1 Jn. 3:1-6; Jn. 15:1-10)

B. The Right Shoulder - (7:32-34) The right shoulder, speaking of the strength of the Lord, (His omnipotent power) was the special portion for the offering priest himself. God will never call you to a job, ministry, or place without giving you the necessary strength to perform the task (Phil. 4:19; 2 Cor. 12:9,10).

C. The Remainder - The remainder could be eaten by the offerer which pictures so clearly what the peace offering was really all about. God and man becoming reconciled and peace being made (Col. 1:20; Rom. 5:1).

We find God and His people enjoying the offering together. It was a time of rejoicing when God's Righteousness and His Mercy were brought together and His people benefited from it.

At the close of the war between the States, a party of Federal cavalrymen were riding along a road toward Richmond one day, when a poor scarecrow of a fellow,weak and emaciated and clad only in the ragged remnants of a Confederate uniform, came out of the buses on one side and attracted their attention by begging hoarsely for bread He declared that he had been starving in the woods for a number of weeks, and subsisting only upon the few berries and roots he could find. They suggested that he go into Richmond with them and get what he needed. He demurred, saying that he was a deserter from the Confederate army, and he did not dare to show himself lest he be arrested and confined in prison, or possibly shot for desertion in time of war. They looked at him in amazement and asked, "Have you not heard the news?" "What news?" he anxiously inquired. "Why, the Confederacy no longer exists. General Lee surrendered to General Grant over a week ago, and peace is made." "Oh!" he exclaimed, "Peace is made, and I have been starving in the woods because I did not know it." Believing the message, he went with them into the city to find comfort and food.

Oh, unsaved one, let me press upon you the blessed truth that peace was made when our adorable Saviour died for our sins upon the cross of shame. Believe the message, then you enter into the good of it; and, remember, peace rests not on your frames or feelings but on His finished work.

"That which can shake the Cross,

Can shake the peace it gave,

Which tells me Christ has never died,

Nor ever left the grave."

As long as these blessed facts remain-the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ - our peace stands secure.

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