The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Leviticus 3

Lev 3:1

Lev 3: "The beauty of the Mosaic Law is the lessons it teaches of God manifestation in flesh, for every ritual of the Law is designed to focus on the Messiah. That principle is clearly revealed in the Peace Offering (vv 1-5). The word is from the Hebrew 'sheckhim', to bring together as one, suggesting the idea of divine fellowship. Yahweh, the priestly Mediator and the worshipper 'were united' as one by a sacrificial feast (Lev 7:15). This was a cause of great rejoicing as the word suggests. Then Moses describes the lamb to be selected (Lev 3:6-11), or a goat (vv 12-16), with the fat (v 17). Every element in the record is important" (GEM).

The whole work of Christ in relation to the believer's peace is here in type: he made peace (Col 1:20), proclaimed peace (Eph 2:17), and is our peace (Eph 2:14).

Lev 3:2

HE IS TO LAY HIS HAND ON THE HEAD OF HIS OFFERING: By laying his hand on the head of the sacrifice before killing it, the offerer was to establish a close, personal link between himself and the sacrifice. First of all, it was to be his property (Lev 1:2); and secondly, he was to touch it and handle it, thus identifying himself with it.

All this is figurative of our relationship with Christ, who is the true and complete and final sacrifice for all sins. First of all, Jesus is one of us: His Heavenly Father made him a man, born of woman, born under the law (Gal 4:4), and thus possessing our own sin-prone nature (Rom 8:3; Heb 2:14). The Father did this, so that the Son, in his perfect life and self-denying death, could overcome that nature that was subject to sin.

Secondly, we emphasize this relationship in baptism, when we identify ourselves with his death, burial, and resurrection (Rom 6:1-4). Thus we show that he belongs to us, and we belong to him. In this way, and this way only, his sacrifice will have meaning for us -- figuratively, we lay hands on Jesus, and he becomes OUR offering!

And thirdly, we remember that great sacrifice, and renew our connection with it and our dedication to it, in the regular breaking of bread. Thus -- in a spiritual sense, we lay hands on Christ as we partake of the bread and wine -- and he becomes "that... which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched" (1Jo 1:1).

Lev 3:9

• THE ENTIRE FAT TAIL CUT OFF CLOSE TO THE BACKBONE: This was considered a delicacy, and the tendency would have been to keep a bit back for oneself. But the point of the sacrifice is to give 100%, not 99%!

Lev 3:17

See Lesson, Blood. Cp Lev 7:26,27; 17:11,14; Deu 12:23.
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