“These, then, are the regulations for the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the ordination offering and the fellowship offering, which the Lord gave Moses at Mount Sinai in the Desert of Sinai.” (Leviticus 7:37–38)
Because this Shabbat is just before Passover, which starts Monday night, this Shabbat is called Shabbat HaGadol (Great Shabbat), and a special Haftarah portion from Malachai is added that speaks of offerings and the coming of Messiah.
Shabbat HaGadol is a commemoration of God telling the Israelites in Egypt to obtain a lamb for sacrifice and bring it into their homes (Exodus 12:3).
Obtaining the many sheep was definitely a miracle since the Egyptians worshiped the ram god Amun, and the Israelites did not hide that they intended to sacrifice the lambs of Egypt. According to the Rabbinic writings, many Egyptians, upon learning of the coming 10th plague, tried to have the Israelites set free.
Because this occurred on a Shabbat, it is a tradition to remember this event on the Shabbat even if the actual anniversary falls on another day of the week.
In last week’s Parasha, God gave to Moses the laws of the korbanot (animal andmeal offerings). Those offerings include the olah (burnt offering), minchah (meal offering), shelamim (peace offering), chatat (sin offering for unintentional sin), and the asham (guilt offering).
This week’s Torah portion describes how these different sacrifices were performed.
While such offerings seem strange, even outrageous, to modern man, they do pertain to worship and the attitude of the heart.
Understanding them ultimately helps us to understand what Yeshua (Jesus) did for us on the Roman execution stake (cross), and why His death was necessary.
These offerings shed light on the Brit Chadashah (New Testament), in particular the challenging Letter to the Hebrews.
“The offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.” (Malachi 3:4)
Torah (Law) of the Burnt Offering
“The Lord said to Moses: ‘Give Aaron and his sons this command: ‘These are the regulations [Torah] for the burnt offering.’” (Leviticus 6:8–9)
The burnt offerings, which were freewill offerings, were blood sacrifices of innocent animals that impressed upon the repentant person the seriousness of their sin before God.
They were offered every morning and evening on a fire that originated from God and burned continually (Leviticus 9:24). These offerings burned on that fire until they were totally consumed while the priests stood watch making sure that the fire did not go out.
Because of this, the burnt offering speaks of consecration and a life of continual service to God.
“The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.” (Leviticus 6:13)
That eternal flame is a good analogy for our love for God. Let us tend to the fire in our heart for God and never let it go out.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23)
Suffering Outside the Camp
“The High Priest [Cohen HaGadol] carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Yeshua also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through His own blood.” (Hebrews 13:11–12)
Leviticus specifies that the Cohen (priests) were to carry the ashes of the burnt offerings outside the camp (Leviticus 6:11).
In prophetic fulfillment of this, Yeshua (Jesus) also gave Himself as an offering outside the camp—outside the gates of Jerusalem.
“Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore.” (Hebrews 13:13)
We are required to go “outside the camp” of this world to meet Yeshua where we will likely become objects of criticism and be considered unclean or unworthy by man; but in doing so, we are in God’s sight holy as He is holy.
Although we might be hated by men, and sometimes feel defeated and downcast, we know we are deeply accepted by our Beloved Father in Heaven (Ephesians 1:4–10).
May God so fill you with the deep knowledge of His love that you will be willing to suffer outside the camp and stand alone in the Truth, if needed.
God delights in you!
Torah of the Peace Offering: The Sacrifice of Praise
“If he offers it as an expression of thankfulness, then along with this thank offering he is to offer cakes of bread made without yeast and mixed with oil, wafers made without yeast and spread with oil, and cakes of fine flour well-kneaded and mixed with oil.” (Leviticus 7:12)
The peace offering was a freewill offering that was an expression of thanksgiving.
The peace offering is so important that when King David brought the ark of God back to its place in the Tabernacle, the first thing he did was offer burnt offerings and peace offerings.
He also appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel with psalms, stringed instruments, harps, cymbals and the shofar.
“He [David] appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to extol, thank, and praise the Lord, the God of Israel.” (1 Chronicles 16:4)