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“The Law of Consecrations”
“And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD……This is the law of the burnt offering, of the meat offering, and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offerings; Which the LORD commanded Moses in mount Sinai, in the day that he commanded the children of Israel to offer their oblations unto the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai.” (Leviticus 7:11-38)
Leviticus 7:11-38 is all about consecration, consecration to God. The root of stedfastness is consecration to God; but the world has not yet seen what God might do with a man utterly consecrated to him. Oh, that God would give me the grace to make me such a man! Oh, that God might give us grace, day by day, to consecrate ourselves to him! Consecration is not a word we hear or use very often; but it is used frequently in Holy Scripture. In fact, entire chapters are devoted to the subject of consecration. Here the Lord God gives us what he calls “the law of the consecrations.” — Consecration is neither more nor less than the giving of ourselves to God, the dedication and devotion of our lives to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
May God grant you who read these lines and the man writing them grace to consecrate ourselves to him. This consecration to God by faith in Christ is what was typified in all the Old Testament sacrifices of consecration described in Leviticus 1-7. The instruction given in this portion of Leviticus 7 is an inspired recapitulation of the instructions given in chapter 3 concerning the sacrifice of the peace offering. However, there are some very important additions given here. Let me direct your attention to these additional words of instruction. Then, I will show you how our Lord Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled all these typical sacrifices.
The peace offerings were sacrifices made by redeemed sinners as redeemed sinners, as those reconciled to God. — “And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD” (v. 11). The peace offerings were offerings brought to the Lord God by his people as expressions of praise, gratitude, and thanksgiving for God’s great goodness in deliverance. We are here taught by example to take care that we turn to our God in thanksgiving for every deliverance wrought for us by his hand of omnipotent mercy: deliverance from captivity, deliverance from sickness, deliverance from great trouble, deliverance from our adversaries, deliverance from destruction.
The soul, overflowing with gratitude and praise, voluntarily brought a sacrifice to the Lord, by which he declared both his gratitude and his personal consecration to God (Psalm 119:108). These were not the sacrifices of men and women seeking peace with God, but the sacrifices of men and women who had obtained peace. This is the position we are in in Christ. — “He is our peace.”
The Lord God reconciled us to himself judicially when he sacrificed his darling Son for us at Calvary (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). We have been reconciled to God by the Holy Spirit’s gracious operations in conversion. And, now, as reconciled sinners, we gladly, voluntarily give ourselves to our God (Hebrews 13:10-15).
Next, we are told that the reconciled sinner could not bring his peace offering to the Lord, except he bring with it his leavened bread.
“If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried. Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for an heave offering unto the LORD, and it shall be the priest’s that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings.” (vv. 12-14)
He brought his unleavened cakes, anointed with oil. These unleavened cakes pointed to Christ in his spotless, holy purity. But why was the worshipper required to offer “leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings” (v. 13)? The answer is obvious. — All who come to God in a state of reconciliation, come to him in a state of humility, confessing their sin. While we rejoice in the knowledge and assurance of sin’s complete forgiveness by the sacrifice of Christ, we are keenly aware of our personal sinfulness and inward corruptions (1 John 1:8-10; Isaiah 64:6).
Must be Eaten
Then, the offering had to be eaten in the holy place by the priests, and eaten on the same day it was offered.
“And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning. But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offereth his sacrifice: and on the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten: But the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with fire. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity.” (vv. 15-18)
There are many very practical things to be observed from the instructions given in these verses. First, the apostle Paul, writing by divine inspiration, in 1 Corinthians 9:13-14, tells us plainly that the law here given was given to teach us that those who preach the gospel are to live by the gospel. Second, observe how quickly the sacrifice must be eaten. So our Lord Jesus Christ, our Sacrifice, is to be received by faith with urgency (Hebrews 3:13-14). Third, when the poor soul saw God’s priests immediately eating his sacrifice, he was assured, immediately assured, of the acceptance of his sacrifice by the Lord. — No guess work here. He went home rejoicing in divine approval!
Again, the Lord took great care that no part of the sacrifice see corruption. Anything left over until the third day was to be burned with fire. Why? The Lord Jesus Christ, our great Surety, after being offered as the Sacrifice for our sins, must rise from the dead on the third day. His body could not see corruption (Psalms 16:9-11).
Only the Clean
Only one who was ceremonially clean could come before the Lord with a peace offering.
“And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire: and as for the flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof. But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.” (vv. 19-21)
Our works, our sacrifices, our services, be they ever so great and costly, will never be accepted of God until we are ourselves washed, and justified, and sanctified by Christ (1 Peter 2:5; Philippians 4:18). No ceremony, no religious service, no religious activity (Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Church Membership, Church Attendance, Bible Reading, Prayer, etc.) can make us clean before God (Leviticus 19:8; Haggai 2:12). It is the conscience that must be purged from dead works to serve the true and living God (Hebrews 9:14; 1 Corinthians 11:29). And only God the Holy Ghost can purge the guilty conscience, and he only by the blood of Christ.
The sacrifice of the peace offering had to be brought by the worshipper personally, with his own hands.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat. And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn with beasts, may be used in any other use: but ye shall in no wise eat of it. For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people. Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, He that offereth the sacrifice of his peace offerings unto the LORD shall bring his oblation unto the LORD of the sacrifice of his peace offerings. His own hands shall bring the offerings of the LORD made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before the LORD. And the priest shall burn the fat upon the altar: but the breast shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings. He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part. For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest and unto his sons by a statute forever from among the children of Israel. This is the portion of the anointing of Aaron, and of the anointing of his sons, out of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, in the day when he presented them to minister unto the LORD in the priest’s office; Which the LORD commanded to be given them of the children of Israel, in the day that he anointed them, by a statute forever throughout their generations.” (vv. 22-36)
The prohibition here given forbidding the eating of fat and blood is the same law given in Leviticus 3:16-17. As it referred to all the ceremonial sacrifices, the blood was considered sacred because of its reference to the sin-atoning blood of our Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 9:4; Deuteronomy 12:16; Leviticus 17:11).
Still, there is more to be learned from this prohibition. — The fat and the blood belonged to God. There was a spiritual significance to this command. We enjoy peace with God by giving him the best, represented by the fat. And we belong to God by giving him our lives, represented by the blood.
In all things pertaining to the worship of God, personal faith is required. We must trust Christ ourselves. We must come to him ourselves. We must walk with him ourselves. Everyone who brought the peace-offering brought it with his own hands. Why? Because salvation is a personal thing. Faith in Christ is a personal thing (Job 19:25-26; Galatians 2:20).
Fulfilled by Christ
Now, look at the last two verses of Leviticus 7. Here the Holy Spirit lumps all these sacrifices together, as if to declare that all these great sacrifices of divine worship and all the instructions concerning them are for one great purpose. — The sacrifices were all given to point sinners to Christ. They were all typical of Christ. And all have been fulfilled by Christ (Leviticus 7:37-38; Hebrews 10:10-14).
“This is the law of the burnt offering, of the meat offering, and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offerings; Which the LORD commanded Moses in mount Sinai, in the day that he commanded the children of Israel to offer their oblations unto the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai.”
Christ is our true Burnt Offering (Leviticus 1; Ephesians 4:32-5:2). The Lord Jesus Christ is our true Meat Offering, our Offering of Firstfruits (Leviticus 2; 1 Corinthians 15:19-23). Our Savior is our true Peace Offering (Leviticus 3; Romans 4:25-5:11). He is our one and only Sin Offering (Leviticus 4; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Galatians 3:13-14). The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God himself, is our only and our true Trespass Offering (Leviticus 5; Isaiah 53:1-12).
Christ is our Sacrifice, in whom alone sinners have access to and acceptance with the holy Lord God. He is the Burnt-offering, the Meat-offering, the Peace-offering, the Sin-offering, and the Trespass-offering for all his people. If we would come to God, we must come to God by him. Blessed be his name, we can come to God by him.
That is the law of consecrations. Thank God for the law of consecrations by which our Lord Jesus Christ and God’s salvation in, by, and with him are portrayed so vividly!
May God the Holy Spirit now persuade you, by his sweet, irresistible grace, to come to God, to consecrate yourself to God in Christ Jesus. Christ is the one great Sacrifice who can atone for sin, give sinners acceptance with God, and bring peace to your soul forever.
Has the Son of God done this for you? Has he done this for me? — The most reasonable return we can make is giving ourselves to him. He died for us that we should not henceforth live unto ourselves, but unto him who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
“Here, Lord, I give myself to Thee, `tis all that I can do.” This heart, these eyes, these ears, these hands, these feet, this mind, this life that I now live in the flesh, all that I am, and all that I have belongs to God my Savior. I have no claim to anything. I belong to Christ, my Redeemer.
Spirit of God, give us grace to keep our eyes stedfastly looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith! As we behold our Redeemer typified in this chapter of Inspiration, we give you thanks for the pictures we have of him here. As the Lord Jesus Christ was and is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, may our hearts rejoice and participate with him in all the sweet things here represented. May it be our portion, blessed Savior, to feed upon you, to live unto you, and to rejoice in you! Let us never presume to bring anything of our own to mingle with the all-sufficient sacrifice of God our Savior. Oh, may we ever be led by God the Holy Ghost in the new and living way of Christ’s precious blood and make mention of his righteousness, even of his only!
Dear Lamb of God, how blessed is it to see you as our only Sacrifice, our only Priest, and our only Altar! You have made all your people kings and priests unto God and the Father. As you are our great Peace-offering and our glorious Paschal Lamb, we feed on you. By you, our Sacrifice, we live. By you we are nourished, sustained, and made partakers of everlasting life. Precious Lord Jesus, ever give us so to eat of your flesh and drink of your blood that we may have eternal life abiding in us!