Thursday, March 30, 2017

Parashat Vayikra ("and he called") Leviticus 1:1-6:7



 Parashat Vayikra ("and he called")  Leviticus 1:1-6:7
"The LORD called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying," (Lev 1:1).
(This is a big one today, too many sources to mention).

The book of Leviticus is often overlooked by modern church goers simply because it has been heavily preached that all the sacrifices are “done away with”.   A quick read of Ezekiel chapters 44 and 45 would finally put that doctrinal error to rest; Leviticus is sometimes called the “Book of Sacrifices” because it focuses on the various offerings, but Leviticus has more to offer than simply the slaughter of animals.   Over 40 percent of all of the Torah's commandments are found in this central book of the Scriptures and it is worth investigating their central purpose for today’s believer.   1 John  5:3 is quite clear “Loving G-d means keeping His commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome”.    So of course, learning the mitvot and understanding how the mitzvot can be applied to our lives is part of loving our Heavenly Father. 

The very first verse of Leviticus is a “calling out” to Moses, from G-d who is speaking from the Tent of Meeting, to learn about to learn about Holiness.   Considering that now G-d is in the midst of the people, Vayikra reveals how to be in relationship with Him. The word “Vayikra” in English means “and he called”.  Even Today, G-d is STILL calling out to anyone who is listening to learn about holiness in HIS presence.  And He is “calling us out” of the worldly system of sin.  The key is the sacrificial system.  The Hebrew word for sacrifice in the Bible is “Korban” which comes from the root word  Karev.  Karev means “to approach, to become closely involved with, to come near and get close”.  This is meant to be the essence of the experience.

It’s disappointing that no word in the English language can adequately explain the idea behind the Hebrew word korban. We use the word "sacrifice" for lack of a better word, but it is a highly unsuccessful attempt at translation; it could even be called unfortunate because the idea of a sacrifice or offering seems to indicate giving up something of value for another's benefit, or going without something of value yourself, for the benefit of that other.    The true meaning can only be grasped through its root... the concept of coming close.  Later in scripture we find that the prophets denounced the offerings made at the Temple because they had become useless in their designed purpose of drawing us close to G-d.  The sacrifice itself was of no value because there was no real heart response to G-d’s gracious love. 

So let’s get the sacrifice part sorted first.  Firstly, obedience to Torah does not mean sacrificing animals in your back yard – yes, I’ve heard that one before.   There must always be a correct order of things before sacrifices can be made – correct items, utensils and priesthood.  Yeshua will put into place all these things upon his return (Ezekiel 44 & 45).  

Historically, of course, as there were sacrifices made before the mishkan was constructed for specific purposes – your back yard still does not count.   For example, the following seven tzaddikim (righteous ones) were all said to have offered animal sacrifices before the Tabernacle was consecrated for Israel:
Adam - According to midrash, after Adam ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (etz hada'at tov v'ra'), he experienced darkness for the first time as the sun set. The next morning, however, the sun rose, and Adam then offered an ox upon an altar.   We do read, however that HaShem made a sacrifice to cover Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:21 “The Lord G-d made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

Abel - Adam's son Abel (Hevel) offered the best of his sheep upon this same altar to the LORD (Gen. 4:2-4).

 Noah - After Noah left the ark, he offered sacrifices of the "clean" animals to the LORD in thanks of having survived the global mabul (flood). Note also that Noah knew the difference between clean (tahor) and unclean (tamei) animals. (Gen. 7)

Abraham - Abraham built at least four altars and offered animal sacrifices upon them (Gen. 12:7,8; 13:4, 13:18; 22:9).

Isaac - built an altar and offered sacrifices (Gen 26:25).

Jacob - built two altars and offered sacrifices (Gen. 33:20; 46:1).

Moses - built several altars before he was given revelation of the mishkan at Sinai. These included the sacrifices made after the battle with Amalek (Ex. 17:5) as well as the sacrifices made at the foot of Sinai after receiving the sefer habrit (book of the Covenant) (Ex. 24:4-6).

A blood sacrifice is required issue of sin. Leviticus 17:11 agrees with the teaching in the B'rit Chadashah (New Testament) in Hebrews 9:22: "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission." In Yoma 5a it is likewise written, "There is no atonement without blood." The substitutionary shedding of blood, the "life-for-life" principle, is essential to the true "at-one-ment" with the LORD G-d.

 Yeshua ha-Mashiach is the "propitiation" or "expiation" for our sins. The Greek word used in Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2, and 1 John 4:10 ("hilasterion") is the same word used in the LXX Septuagint for the kapporet [cover of the ark of the covenant] in the Holy of Holies which was sprinkled with the blood of the sacrifice on Yom Kippur.

The doctrine of “sin offering” is well known, however, there are 5 types of Sacrifices mentioned in the Vayikra parashah and each of these sacrifices demonstrate the picture of the sacrifice of Yeshua.  His death on the cross was more than just a sin offering, it is the key to repentance.

You will notice that there is NO sacrifice here for “deliberate sin”, they are all for “unwitting sins”.   If we take the sin referred to as an “unwitting” violation, this is not to say there is no purification possible for intentional or even brazen sins. Leviticus 5:20-26 and Numbers 5:6-8 clarify that deliberate sins are atoneable, how?. The rabbis said, “Great is repentance, which converts intentional sins into unintentional ones” (cited by Milgrom, b. Yoma 86b).

The 5 sacrifices are:

1.         Olah (Lev 1:3) an "ascending offering": This was a freewill sacrifice that was consumed entirely by the fire on the altar. It is unique because it is the only offering completely dedicated to YHWH. The offering wasn’t for sin or guilt. The person who offers an Olah receives nothing in return—– no meat, no expiation, no purification.  It is completely consumed by the continual flames of the Brazen Alter.  More than any other sacrifice, the Olah represents complete surrender to YHVH. This unfettered devotion is a selfless portrait of one wholly dedicated to YHVH. In other words, a “tzaddik” or “righteous” person. A tzaddik has turned his or her will over to the Almighty. This is the picture Paul paints in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of G-d, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto G-d, which is your reasonable service”.  The sacrificial victim must be an animal or a bird that is without defect. As the animal is slaughtered, the kohen catches its blood in a pan and sprinkles it (zerikat hadam) on the altar. The animal is then cut up, salted, and entirely burned. Normally, semichah (leaning of the hands on the head of the animal) and viduy (confession of sin) accompanies this sacrifice (though in the case of a bird olah, semichah is not performed).  Is it possible that this continual offering that ascends to the Most High G-d points to Yeshua The Messiah and the sacrifice that He offered which includes His ascending (olah).  Interesting to note that we get the word “holocaust” from Olah.

2.         Shelamim  "peace offering": (Lev 3:1) this was a nedavah (freewill) offering (eaten by the one bringing it) given as a way of expressing thanks to G-d on joyous occasions. These offerings could be brought for thanksgiving, to fulfill vows, or simply to rejoice before YHWH. Peace offerings are most often associated with celebration. They had nothing to do with sin or purification.  Unlike the Olah, the whole animal is not burned. The fat on the entrails, the 2 kidneys and their fat, the lobe of the liver, and the fat-tails from the flocks are all burned completely on the altar. The rest of the animal is shared between the offerer and the priest (the priest gets the breast and the right thigh). It is not a “most holy” offering, so the priest may take it and share it with his family and the offerer may do likewise. However, anyone who partakes of it must be in a state of ritual purity; otherwise, it will be a sin to consume it.  This is the only korbanot from which the offerer receives a portion. Thus, we can see that the Shelamim is a fellowship meal between YHWH, the priests, and the offerer. Hence, some English translations call the Shelamim a “Fellowship”

3.         Chata "sin offering": (Lev 4:3) this was a chovah (required) offering to make atonement for certain sins committed unintentionally by an individual (by the High Priest, the entire community, the king, or the ordinary Jew). Note that there is no explicit sacrifice for deliberate, intentional, and willful sins against the LORD, but instead punishment by an early death. This type of korban was a required sacrifice brought by the offerer to restore relationship with YHWH. Willful sin has always had the same remedy: REPENT! The Chatat is also required in some areas that seem to deal with purification and not sin. For example, a woman after childbirth, a nazarite that comes in contact with a dead body or that completes his vow, and a leper that has been cleansed all must bring a Chatat offering. None of these mentioned have committed a sin, so a Chatat cannot be understood as merely an offering for sin. Ritual uncleanliness or defilement is not a sin. It is impossible to avoid becoming “unclean”. This is human nature. Therefore, the Chatat has a cleansing purpose for the “flesh”. Scripture is clear that sin makes one “unclean”, but this is more than a ritual impurity, for it also affects us spiritually.

4.         Asham "guilt offering": (Lev 5:16) The word Asham means trespass, guilt, sin, or offense. The root word of Asham, Shem, is a name, breath, or character. A man’s name is who he is; what he stands for or represents. It is his “breath”. In Hebrew thought, a man’s breath is akin to his spirit. Therefore, we can see that Asham implies the disposition, temperament, or “spirit” of a person, but it is offensive. We are told that the Asham shares the exact same laws as the Chatat offering (Lev. 7:7). In other words, they are the same sort of sacrifice. Many scholars believe that the Asham is a subclass of the Chatat offering that requires a payment or restitution along side of the sacrifice. For example, if a man forgot to bring in the first fruits offering, which were reserved for the priests, he not only committed sin but contracted guilt. This required more than a sacrifice; he also must make restitution by adding a fifth part (20%) and give it to the priests and then atonement would be offered in his behalf. Other areas that required an Asham were in cases of theft, perjury, or any situation where damages were deemed necessary. Full repayment plus one fifth more in addition to an Asham were required of the offerer. Even a person uncertain of whether or not he is “guilty” is required to bring an Asham.his offering has more to do with offenses committed against “our neighbor” which in essence is also an offense against Elohim (G-d). This could be Yeshua’s point in Matthew 5:23-24 when he mentions bringing a gift (korban) when we have something against our brother. We first make things right with our brother and then we bring our gift or sacrifice.

5.         Minchah "meal offering":(Lev 6:13) This was a nedavah (freewill) offering of flour (prepared with fine flour, olive oil and frankincense), usually brought by a person of modest means. Part of the meal offering is burned on the altar, and the remaining part is eaten by the kohanim (the word "mincha" means gift). Korban Mincha (Grain Offering) is a bloodless offering. It was solely made from fine flour, olive oil, and frankincense, unleavened bread as it were. This was the least expensive korbanot and was also done voluntarily. The Torah appoints Mincha offerings to be brought with every Olah and Shalem (peace) offering (including the daily [tamid] offering of two lambs), with every festival offering, and within the Holy Place the Table of Showbread displayed a continual Mincha offering. The Mincha offering is all about relationship an intimate and loving one. Note that any flour offering must be baked quickly to prevent the dough from rising (i.e., unleavened bread). Like the animal sacrifices, minchah offerings must also be salted. While the offerer didn’t partake of the Mincha, the priest did. It is called in Hebrew “kadosh kadosh” or a thing most holy of the offerings to YHWH by fire. (Lev. 2:10) This designation meant that it could only be consumed by a son of Aaron, the priest’s, and within the confines of the Tabernacle or Temple courtyard. Most often this offering was baked before being offered to prevent leavening from naturally taking place. It was then broken into pieces and a memorial portion was burned completely as sweet aroma to YHWH. The fact that the Mincha was smeared with oil means it was essentially anointed!     (source: Hebrew4Christians).

But were sacrifices made by early Christians?  Yes, definitely.   Many years after the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the early church saw the value in continuing sacrifices.  In Acts 18:18 and 21:23-24 Paul takes and pays for a Nazarite vow – which included three offerings: a lamb as a burnt offering (olah), a ewe as a sin-offering (chata), and a ram as a peace offering (shelamim), in addition to a basket of unleavened bread, grain offerings and drink offerings, which accompanied the peace offering. They would also shave their head in the outer courtyard of the Temple (the Jerusalem Temple for Judaism) and then place the hair on the same fire as the peace offering. (Numbers 6:18).

Sacrificial offerings – by Jews and Believers - were only halted after the destruction of the Temple. 

So when Yeshua returns and re-establishes the priesthood and sacrificial offerings in Ezekiel 44 & 45, to what value to they hold?

1.      Obedience is better than sacrifice.  And Yeshua is completely obedient to the eternal Word of HaShem.   Remember that Yeshua allowed Himself to be baptised – but really didn’t need to be baptised.
2.      It’s a memorial of the work that Yeshua had done on the cross for the remission of sins.  A visual display, if you will, of the horror of sin and how desperate HaShem was to draw “near” (karov).
3.      The fulfilling of YHVH’s plan for external and internal cleansing; “The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to G-d, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living G-d!”  
a.       When Yeshua returns, there will be an expectation that all who want to enter the Sanctuary MUST be BOTH externally and internally clean. “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites” Ezekiel 44:9.



Shalom.  Jon Eaton



"The LORD called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying," (Lev 1:1).

It's big one today.  Too many sources to thank individually.

The book of Leviticus is often overlooked by modern church goers simply because it has been heavily preached that all the sacrifices are “done away with”.   A quick read of Ezekiel chapters 44 and 45 would finally put that doctrinal error to rest; Leviticus is sometimes called the “Book of Sacrifices” because it focuses on the various offerings, but Leviticus has more to offer than simply the slaughter of animals.   Over 40 percent of all of the Torah's commandments are found in this central book of the Scriptures and it is worth investigating their central purpose for today’s believer.   1 John  5:3 is quite clear “Loving G-d means keeping His commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome”.    So of course, learning the mitvot and understanding how the mitzvot can be applied to our lives is part of loving our Heavenly Father. 

The very first verse of Leviticus is a “calling out” to Moses, from G-d who is speaking from the Tent of Meeting, to learn about to learn about Holiness.   Considering that now G-d is in the midst of the people, Vayikra reveals how to be in relationship with Him. The word “Vayikra” in English means “and he called”.  Even Today, G-d is STILL calling out to anyone who is listening to learn about holiness in HIS presence.  And He is “calling us out” of the worldly system of sin.  The key is the sacrificial system.  The Hebrew word for sacrifice in the Bible is “Korban” which comes from the root word  Karev.  Karev means “to approach, to become closely involved with, to come near and get close”.  This is meant to be the essence of the experience.

It’s disappointing that no word in the English language can adequately explain the idea behind the Hebrew word korban. We use the word "sacrifice" for lack of a better word, but it is a highly unsuccessful attempt at translation; it could even be called unfortunate because the idea of a sacrifice or offering seems to indicate giving up something of value for another's benefit, or going without something of value yourself, for the benefit of that other.    The true meaning can only be grasped through its root... the concept of coming close.  Later in scripture we find that the prophets denounced the offerings made at the Temple because they had become useless in their designed purpose of drawing us close to G-d.  The sacrifice itself was of no value because there was no real heart response to G-d’s gracious love. 

So let’s get the sacrifice part sorted first.  Firstly, obedience to Torah does not mean sacrificing animals in your back yard – yes, I’ve heard that one before.   There must always be a correct order of things before sacrifices can be made – correct items, utensils and priesthood.  Yeshua will put into place all these things upon his return (Ezekiel 44 & 45).  

Historically, of course, as there were sacrifices made before the mishkan was constructed for specific purposes – your back yard still does not count.   For example, the following seven tzaddikim (righteous ones) were all said to have offered animal sacrifices before the Tabernacle was consecrated for Israel:
Adam - According to midrash, after Adam ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (etz hada'at tov v'ra'), he experienced darkness for the first time as the sun set. The next morning, however, the sun rose, and Adam then offered an ox upon an altar.   We do read, however that HaShem made a sacrifice to cover Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:21 “The Lord G-d made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

Abel - Adam's son Abel (Hevel) offered the best of his sheep upon this same altar to the LORD (Gen. 4:2-4).

 Noah - After Noah left the ark, he offered sacrifices of the "clean" animals to the LORD in thanks of having survived the global mabul (flood). Note also that Noah knew the difference between clean (tahor) and unclean (tamei) animals. (Gen. 7)

Abraham - Abraham built at least four altars and offered animal sacrifices upon them (Gen. 12:7,8; 13:4, 13:18; 22:9).

Isaac - built an altar and offered sacrifices (Gen 26:25).

Jacob - built two altars and offered sacrifices (Gen. 33:20; 46:1).

Moses - built several altars before he was given revelation of the mishkan at Sinai. These included the sacrifices made after the battle with Amalek (Ex. 17:5) as well as the sacrifices made at the foot of Sinai after receiving the sefer habrit (book of the Covenant) (Ex. 24:4-6).

A blood sacrifice is required issue of sin. Leviticus 17:11 agrees with the teaching in the B'rit Chadashah (New Testament) in Hebrews 9:22: "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission." In Yoma 5a it is likewise written, "There is no atonement without blood." The substitutionary shedding of blood, the "life-for-life" principle, is essential to the true "at-one-ment" with the LORD G-d.

 Yeshua ha-Mashiach is the "propitiation" or "expiation" for our sins. The Greek word used in Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2, and 1 John 4:10 ("hilasterion") is the same word used in the LXX Septuagint for the kapporet [cover of the ark of the covenant] in the Holy of Holies which was sprinkled with the blood of the sacrifice on Yom Kippur.

The doctrine of “sin offering” is well known, however, there are 5 types of Sacrifices mentioned in the Vayikra parashah and each of these sacrifices demonstrate the picture of the sacrifice of Yeshua.  His death on the cross was more than just a sin offering, it is the key to repentance.

You will notice that there is NO sacrifice here for “deliberate sin”, they are all for “unwitting sins”.   If we take the sin referred to as an “unwitting” violation, this is not to say there is no purification possible for intentional or even brazen sins. Leviticus 5:20-26 and Numbers 5:6-8 clarify that deliberate sins are atoneable, how?. The rabbis said, “Great is repentance, which converts intentional sins into unintentional ones” (cited by Milgrom, b. Yoma 86b).

The 5 sacrifices are:

1.         Olah (Lev 1:3) an "ascending offering": This was a freewill sacrifice that was consumed entirely by the fire on the altar. It is unique because it is the only offering completely dedicated to YHWH. The offering wasn’t for sin or guilt. The person who offers an Olah receives nothing in return—– no meat, no expiation, no purification.  It is completely consumed by the continual flames of the Brazen Alter.  More than any other sacrifice, the Olah represents complete surrender to YHVH. This unfettered devotion is a selfless portrait of one wholly dedicated to YHVH. In other words, a “tzaddik” or “righteous” person. A tzaddik has turned his or her will over to the Almighty. This is the picture Paul paints in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of G-d, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto G-d, which is your reasonable service”.  The sacrificial victim must be an animal or a bird that is without defect. As the animal is slaughtered, the kohen catches its blood in a pan and sprinkles it (zerikat hadam) on the altar. The animal is then cut up, salted, and entirely burned. Normally, semichah (leaning of the hands on the head of the animal) and viduy (confession of sin) accompanies this sacrifice (though in the case of a bird olah, semichah is not performed).  Is it possible that this continual offering that ascends to the Most High G-d points to Yeshua The Messiah and the sacrifice that He offered which includes His ascending (olah).  Interesting to note that we get the word “holocaust” from Olah.

2.         Shelamim  "peace offering": (Lev 3:1) this was a nedavah (freewill) offering (eaten by the one bringing it) given as a way of expressing thanks to G-d on joyous occasions. These offerings could be brought for thanksgiving, to fulfill vows, or simply to rejoice before YHWH. Peace offerings are most often associated with celebration. They had nothing to do with sin or purification.  Unlike the Olah, the whole animal is not burned. The fat on the entrails, the 2 kidneys and their fat, the lobe of the liver, and the fat-tails from the flocks are all burned completely on the altar. The rest of the animal is shared between the offerer and the priest (the priest gets the breast and the right thigh). It is not a “most holy” offering, so the priest may take it and share it with his family and the offerer may do likewise. However, anyone who partakes of it must be in a state of ritual purity; otherwise, it will be a sin to consume it.  This is the only korbanot from which the offerer receives a portion. Thus, we can see that the Shelamim is a fellowship meal between YHWH, the priests, and the offerer. Hence, some English translations call the Shelamim a “Fellowship”

3.         Chata "sin offering": (Lev 4:3) this was a chovah (required) offering to make atonement for certain sins committed unintentionally by an individual (by the High Priest, the entire community, the king, or the ordinary Jew). Note that there is no explicit sacrifice for deliberate, intentional, and willful sins against the LORD, but instead punishment by an early death. This type of korban was a required sacrifice brought by the offerer to restore relationship with YHWH. Willful sin has always had the same remedy: REPENT! The Chatat is also required in some areas that seem to deal with purification and not sin. For example, a woman after childbirth, a nazarite that comes in contact with a dead body or that completes his vow, and a leper that has been cleansed all must bring a Chatat offering. None of these mentioned have committed a sin, so a Chatat cannot be understood as merely an offering for sin. Ritual uncleanliness or defilement is not a sin. It is impossible to avoid becoming “unclean”. This is human nature. Therefore, the Chatat has a cleansing purpose for the “flesh”. Scripture is clear that sin makes one “unclean”, but this is more than a ritual impurity, for it also affects us spiritually.

4.         Asham "guilt offering": (Lev 5:16) The word Asham means trespass, guilt, sin, or offense. The root word of Asham, Shem, is a name, breath, or character. A man’s name is who he is; what he stands for or represents. It is his “breath”. In Hebrew thought, a man’s breath is akin to his spirit. Therefore, we can see that Asham implies the disposition, temperament, or “spirit” of a person, but it is offensive. We are told that the Asham shares the exact same laws as the Chatat offering (Lev. 7:7). In other words, they are the same sort of sacrifice. Many scholars believe that the Asham is a subclass of the Chatat offering that requires a payment or restitution along side of the sacrifice. For example, if a man forgot to bring in the first fruits offering, which were reserved for the priests, he not only committed sin but contracted guilt. This required more than a sacrifice; he also must make restitution by adding a fifth part (20%) and give it to the priests and then atonement would be offered in his behalf. Other areas that required an Asham were in cases of theft, perjury, or any situation where damages were deemed necessary. Full repayment plus one fifth more in addition to an Asham were required of the offerer. Even a person uncertain of whether or not he is “guilty” is required to bring an Asham.his offering has more to do with offenses committed against “our neighbor” which in essence is also an offense against Elohim (G-d). This could be Yeshua’s point in Matthew 5:23-24 when he mentions bringing a gift (korban) when we have something against our brother. We first make things right with our brother and then we bring our gift or sacrifice.

5.         Minchah "meal offering":(Lev 6:13) This was a nedavah (freewill) offering of flour (prepared with fine flour, olive oil and frankincense), usually brought by a person of modest means. Part of the meal offering is burned on the altar, and the remaining part is eaten by the kohanim (the word "mincha" means gift). Korban Mincha (Grain Offering) is a bloodless offering. It was solely made from fine flour, olive oil, and frankincense, unleavened bread as it were. This was the least expensive korbanot and was also done voluntarily. The Torah appoints Mincha offerings to be brought with every Olah and Shalem (peace) offering (including the daily [tamid] offering of two lambs), with every festival offering, and within the Holy Place the Table of Showbread displayed a continual Mincha offering. The Mincha offering is all about relationship an intimate and loving one. Note that any flour offering must be baked quickly to prevent the dough from rising (i.e., unleavened bread). Like the animal sacrifices, minchah offerings must also be salted. While the offerer didn’t partake of the Mincha, the priest did. It is called in Hebrew “kadosh kadosh” or a thing most holy of the offerings to YHWH by fire. (Lev. 2:10) This designation meant that it could only be consumed by a son of Aaron, the priest’s, and within the confines of the Tabernacle or Temple courtyard. Most often this offering was baked before being offered to prevent leavening from naturally taking place. It was then broken into pieces and a memorial portion was burned completely as sweet aroma to YHWH. The fact that the Mincha was smeared with oil means it was essentially anointed!     (source: Hebrew4Christians).

But were sacrifices made by early Christians?  Yes, definitely.   Many years after the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the early church saw the value in continuing sacrifices.  In Acts 18:18 and 21:23-24 Paul takes and pays for a Nazarite vow – which included three offerings: a lamb as a burnt offering (olah), a ewe as a sin-offering (chata), and a ram as a peace offering (shelamim), in addition to a basket of unleavened bread, grain offerings and drink offerings, which accompanied the peace offering. They would also shave their head in the outer courtyard of the Temple (the Jerusalem Temple for Judaism) and then place the hair on the same fire as the peace offering. (Numbers 6:18).

Sacrificial offerings – by Jews and Believers - were only halted after the destruction of the Temple. 

So when Yeshua returns and re-establishes the priesthood and sacrificial offerings in Ezekiel 44 & 45, to what value to they hold?

1.      Obedience is better than sacrifice.  And Yeshua is completely obedient to the eternal Word of HaShem.   Remember that Yeshua allowed Himself to be baptised – but really didn’t need to be baptised.
2.      It’s a memorial of the work that Yeshua had done on the cross for the remission of sins.  A visual display, if you will, of the horror of sin and how desperate HaShem was to draw “near” (karov).
3.      The fulfilling of YHVH’s plan for external and internal cleansing; “The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to G-d, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living G-d!”  
a.       When Yeshua returns, there will be an expectation that all who want to enter the Sanctuary MUST be BOTH externally and internally clean. “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites” Ezekiel 44:9.





Finally, the sacrifices were PERSONAL.  Who was responsible for killing, and butchering the sacrifice?  The offeror was (all throughout Leviticus chapter 1)!  That way the individual could realise that they were personally responsible for this death.   Like-was, it was US who killed and butchered the sacrifice – our saviour Yeshua.


Shalom.  Jon Eaton

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