We continue with the instructions regarding the sacrifices (burnt, sin, guilt, peace or thanksgiving, vow, and freewill); we are told the specific steps for the sacrifices and offerings, regarding how each is to be performed and the disposition of the parts of the animals that are to be sacrificed. The parashah ends with the sanctification of Aaron and his sons, inducting them officially into the Priesthood.
Leviticus 7:11-21 specifically deals with the Peace and Thanksgiving offerings. The Chumash states that the Rabbis regard thank offerings as the supreme type of sacrifice, and that in the Messianic Era this will be the only sacrifice that continues, since Messiah will have done away with all sin. Rabbinical thought is that ingratitude is a sin, and reduces a man to something below the level of a dumb animal.
It is interesting to me that in Lev. 7:16-18 God says the flesh of the peace offering must be eaten on the day of the sacrifice- none shall be left over to the next day. However, if this is a vow or freewill offering, then the meat can be eaten on the second day, but after that any left over must be burned. None of the meat from the vow or freewill offering can be eaten on the third day, because if it is then the offering will be refused.
The Talmud says the difference between a vow and a freewill offering is that when a person says they are offering a sacrifice without specifying the animal it is a “vow”, but when you specifically state, “This animal is the one I will sacrifice”, that is a freewill offering.
I find it important to note that if we eat the meat of the vow or freewill offering on the third day, the offering will be rejected and the person doing so will be cut off from the people.
I have written often, and will continue to do so, that salvation is something we can lose. Not that anyone can take it away, but we can reject it. God is saying, right here in the Torah, that if we sacrifice appropriately it will be received, but if we violate the rules then the sacrifice that was received will be rejected. Not because God is rejecting it for no reason, or because He is reneging on His acceptance, but because we, on our part, have violated the rule and, thereby, invalidated our own sacrifice.
So, all the way back to the first giving of the Law, which Yeshua (Jesus) said He did not change at all (Matthew 5:17), we find that a sacrifice presented to, and accepted by, the Lord can be invalidated by the one offering it even after it has been accepted.
The sacrifice Yeshua made on the day after Passover was for the sin of the world, although the Passover sacrifice that the Torah calls for is not a sin or guilt sacrifice- it fits the rules for the peace offering. The offering that is for the sins of the nation is on Yom Kippur, so Yeshua accomplished the sin offering we need for later (when the final battle is over and we all come to judgment), and the peace offering we need when we come before God with thanks for His mercies (Grace.) His sacrifice was both the Yom Kippur sacrifice (to do away with all sin) and the peace offering (thanksgiving for the Grace God gives), which will be the only sacrifice left when Messiah rules the world. He accomplished two things at once- one for now and the other for later.
As we enter into the (Torah appointed) Jewish New Year and enjoy our Seder this coming Monday evening, let’s not forget what it represents: a peace offering to the Lord. The lamb’s blood was placed on the lentil not to forgive our sins, but to bring us into God’s protective custody. That blood represented our membership in the community of the Holy One of Israel, which is freedom and protection from death. If anyone of the Children of Israel living in Egypt at that time had been foolish enough to save the Passover Seder meat and bring it out with them, I wonder what would have happened to them. Would they have died the moment they ate the (now) abominable thing? Would they have been found out, and rejected from the tribes, left to go back to Egypt or wander forever in the desert, alone?
I don’t know- it is an interesting thought, and my Jewish blood is just boiling to have a heated Midrash with someone about this. Oh well, some other time.
If you have no plans to celebrate this festival, you are really missing out on a chance to experience what the bracelet many people wear says (WWJD) because He most assuredly would not miss having a Seder. And, if you really want to get closer to the way Jesus lived, then starting on Passover evening go the next 7 days without any leavened products at all- no bread, no cake, not even one cookie; skip the Ring Dings and wave “Goodbye” to the Hostess Twinkies (Oy!- what suffering I go through when I can’t eat a Twinkie!) See if you can do it. I confess this is a very hard festival for me to follow correctly, not because I just cannot go without bread (I was only kidding about the Twinkies) but because I forget! I will go to dinner with Donna and forget that I can’t eat pizza on our normal pizza night. I grab a cookie and forget I can’t eat it. I am always “biblically” Kosher, so it is easy to remember because I do it all the time, but to remember to reject one of my favorite groups of foods is hard to do. The lesson here, if nothing else, is that we need to be thinking about obedience every second of every day, and it should be foremost on our minds (…”let them be frontlets before thine eyes…”), always. Donna really helps to keep me in line- thank God for her (in so many ways!)
How about you? Would you observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread? I challenge you to obey this commandment of the Lord because I really believe if you do, at the end of the week you will find yourself receiving a blessing. God promises us blessings for obedience (Deuteronomy 28), so why not get all the blessings you can? I can almost guarantee that not only will you feel closer to Yeshua, God and the Jewish people, but you will feel better about yourself, too.
As people are always saying, “Try it- maybe you’ll like it!”