Leviticus 6:8 – chapter 7 (NRSV)
from Leviticus, by Samuel E. Ballentine
The instructions concerning sacrifices are set forth in two sections. The first, Lev. 1:1 – 6:7, has primarily addressed the laity, with the objective of teaching them their role in bringing gifts to God. The second, Lev. 6:8 – 7:38, primarily addresses the priests, to teach them their role in administering the rituals of sacrifice that comprise worship.
Instructions concerning the Burnt Offering
8The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 9Command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the ritual of the burnt offering. The burnt offering itself shall remain on the hearth upon the altar all night until the morning, while the fire on the altar shall be kept burning. 10The priest shall put on his linen vestments after putting on his linen undergarments next to his body; and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire has reduced the burnt offering on the altar, and place them beside the altar. 11Then he shall take off his vestments and put on other garments, and carry the ashes out to a clean place outside the camp. 12The fire on the altar shall be kept burning; it shall not go out. Every morning the priest shall add wood to it, lay out the burnt offering on it, and turn into smoke the fat pieces of the offerings of well-being. 13A perpetual fire shall be kept burning on the altar; it shall not go out.
This offering spoke of consecration. The animal had to remain upon the altar in a slow burn for a long time, tended by the priest. The long-burning character of the burnt offering is an appropriate illustration of the work of giving ourselves completely to God. Coming to God as a living sacrifice is not a quick work and we may feel that we are roasted on the fire for a long time. The perpetual fire is also connected to the idea that these offerings must be made continually. Before the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, it was impossible to perfectly complete them.
Mark 12:32-33 (New Living Translation)
The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”
Instructions concerning the Grain Offering
14This is the ritual of the grain offering: The sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord, in front of the altar. 15They shall take from it a handful of the choice flour and oil of the grain offering, with all the frankincense that is on the offering, and they shall turn its memorial portion into smoke on the altar as a pleasing odor to the Lord. 16Aaron and his sons shall eat what is left of it; it shall be eaten as unleavened cakes in a holy place; in the court of the tent of meeting they shall eat it. 17It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it as their portion of my offerings by fire; it is most holy, like the sin offering and the guilt offering. 18Every male among the descendants of Aaron shall eat of it, as their perpetual due throughout your generations, from the Lord’s offerings by fire; anything that touches them shall become holy.
19The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 20This is the offering that Aaron and his sons shall offer to the Lord on the day when he is anointed: one-tenth of an ephah of choice flour as a regular offering, half of it in the morning and half in the evening. 21It shall be made with oil on a griddle; you shall bring it well soaked, as a grain offering of baked pieces, and you shall present it as a pleasing odor to the Lord. 22And so the priest, anointed from among Aaron’s descendants as a successor, shall prepare it; it is the Lord’s—a perpetual due—to be turned entirely into smoke. 23Every grain offering of a priest shall be wholly burned; it shall not be eaten.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
Be imitators of God, therefore,
as dearly loved children
and live a life of love,
just as Christ loved us
and gave himself up for us
as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Instructions concerning the Sin Offering
24The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 25Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the ritual of the sin offering. The sin offering shall be slaughtered before the Lord at the spot where the burnt offering is slaughtered; it is most holy. 26The priest who offers it as a sin offering shall eat of it; it shall be eaten in a holy place, in the court of the tent of meeting. 27Whatever touches its flesh shall become holy; and when any of its blood is spattered on a garment, you shall wash the bespattered part in a holy place. 28An earthen vessel in which it was boiled shall be broken; but if it is boiled in a bronze vessel, that shall be scoured and rinsed in water. 29Every male among the priests shall eat of it; it is most holy. 30But no sin offering shall be eaten from which any blood is brought into the tent of meeting for atonement in the holy place; it shall be burned with fire.
(Contemporary English Version)
After the high priest offers the blood of animals as a sin offering, the bodies of those
animals are burned outside the camp. Jesus himself suffered outside the city gate,
so that his blood would make people holy.
We don’t bring animals and grain to the Lord anymore. HERE Third Day tells us what is to be our “Offering.”
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.