Don’t get lost in the details! Here’s a couple of things to keep in mind when you are reading this section of scripture.
First, it is about communion with God. A holy God desires a relationship with unholy people. The only way for that to happen is to bring an atonement between the people and God. So restitution must be made (chapter 5 talks about sin offerings and restitution offerings). The way between God and Israel must be made right again. This is completely in line with what Jesus does for us. Jesus just did perfectly what cattle and sheep could not do. This leads to the fellowship offering, where the participants share in the meat of the offering, as if they were sharing a meal with God. Wiersbe writes that in the East, eating with people made them your friends and your allies. By sharing in the fellowship offering, the worshipper was giving thanks that they were at peace with God.
Also notice that the stipulations given for the sacrifices include not just offenses against God but also offenses against one another. Jesus stated clearly that the law could be summed up in “love God and love your neighbour”. As you read these instructions for the sacrifices, pay attention to both sides of that equation.
The point of these rules was to bring cleansing from God onto the people. We would call it forgiveness. The sacrifices in these chapters point us to Jesus.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Leviticus 8-10