Why Study the Sacrifices?• If we profess that Christ fulfilled the sacrifices, we should know what they are.• Sacrifices are a form of worship that God ordained.• Understanding the sacrifices will also help us understand the book of Hebrews, which deals with sacrifices heavily.• To better understand our God, His Word, and the sacrifice of the Son.
Questions• Before we continue, are their any specific questions we would like to find the answer to in our studies?• We should write them down at this time and keep them in mind as we go.
BackgroundThe sacrifices are listed beginning in Leviticus 1. Before we dive into them, let’s talk about the context.• After the 10 Plagues, Israel leaves Egypt• Israel crosses the Red Sea on dry ground while the Egyptians are drowned.• Manna & Quail from Heaven• Moses goes up to Mt. Sinai and receives the Torah, including 10 Commandments
Background (cont.)• The golden calf incident, the broken tablets and the re-make• The building of the tabernacle, the Ark, and all the temple furnishings.• The cloud of the Lord covers the Tabernacle. (Exod. 40:34-38)• When the cloud covers the Tabernacle, no one can enter, not even Moses.
Background (cont.)• Dedication of the Tabernacle, Gifts from the leader of each tribe• The end of the book of Exodus leaves us wondering, how can Israel approach God? Not even Moses can go into the Tabernacle when the cloud of glory envelopes it.
God and manDespite our desire to communicate with and know God, our “humanness” also keeps us apart from Him.
God and manGod Man• Holy (Lev. 11:45) • Common• Eternal Life (Exod. 15:18) • Mortal (Gen. 6:3)• Pure (Psalm 12:6) • Unclean• Infinite • Finite (Gen. 6:3)• Consuming Fire (Deut. 4:24) • Dust (Gen. 2:7) Even if we wanted to, we cannot enter the Presence of God on our own.
korban This is the Hebrew word translated as ―sacrifice‖ in English.The English words “sacrifice” and “offering” do not accurately express theconcept for the korban.The word “sacrifice” implies that the person bringing it must deprivehimself of something he cares about.The word “offering” implies a payment, fee, or tax.
korbanThe root of the word korbanis karav. Karavis translated as: ―to approach, to come near‖ A korbanshould be understood as: “something brought near.”
korban Something brought nearThe first few verses of Leviticus imply that man, himself, cannot comenear God in His dwelling place, the Tabernacle. Thus, man brings akorban as a vehicle that allows man to draw near to God in the holyplace.The person who brings a korban, does so in order to come near to God.To draw near to God is to have fellowship with the manifest presence ofGod on earth.
korban Can also be translated as ―a gift.‖ Wait a minute! Does God need gifts? Of course not! He doesn’t need our gifts, just like Hedoesn’t need our prayers or our songs of praise, but all 3 are things God has enabled us to offer to him so we can enjoy a relationship with Him.
korban vs. sacrifice We are usually taught that theIsraelites brought sacrifices to thetemple to pay the penalty for theirsins. This type of reasoning turns the sacrifice into a scapegoat. When a person sinned anddeserved death, he could make a sacrifice instead, killing a cow or sheep in his place.
korban vs. sacrificeThis concept of scapegoat makes it seem like God was angry with the sinner and demandedpunishment. Once the animal haddied, God was appeased and no longer felt angry—at least something had died! Is this really who our God is? No!
Sacrifices & Paying for Sins Christians often think that in the OT, people brought sacrifices to pay for their sins. Most of the sacrifices had nothing to do with paying for sins as we will see in the text.
The 5 Types of Sacrifices•Burnt Offering•Grain Offering•Peace Offering•Sin Offering•Guilt Offering
Burnt Offering•Leviticus 1:1-17 & 6:8-13•―korbanolah”. Olahmeans “thatwhich rises.”•Can be a young bull, sheep, goat,turtledoves or pigeons
Burnt Offering•Bull/Sheep/Goat: Young, male,unblemished •Laying of hands on bull’s head •Slaughter bull in front of the Tent •Splash blood around all 4 sides of altar (by the priests) •Skin the bull & cut into pieces •Priesthood tends fire and wood on the altar •Priests arranges head, fat, and pieces on the altar. •Entrails and legs of animal to be washed. •Priests cause everything to go up in smoke as a burnt offering.
Burnt Offering•Turtledoves/Pigeons: Young •Priest brings it to altar, snaps head, place head on altar •Blood is drained on side of altar •Food pouch and feathers from neck are discarded on ash pile east of altar •Priest pulls wings open, without tearing it in half. •Priest places bird on altar, cause it to go up in smoke.
Burnt Offering•What can we learn from the burntoffering? •Complete offering – nothing is left over to eat or take home or to give to priest. •Represent the person who is completely surrendered to God. •Like Romans 12:1 ―offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God‖
Burnt Offering & Laying of Hands•When do we see the “laying of hands” inthe Bible? •Numbers 8:10 Israel laid hands on the Levites •Numbers 27:18 Moses laid hands on Joshua •2 Kings 13:15-17 Elisha laid hands on the King •Mark 10:13-16 Jesus laid hands on the kids •Acts 6:5-6 New apostles chosen, ordained•On what other occasions do we see the“laying of hands?” •Healing for a sick person •Ordaining ministers
Burnt Offering & Laying of Hands•What is the purpose of the “layingof hands?” •Transferring of identity •Levites invested with the identity of Israel •Joshua invested with identity of Moses as leader •Animal (korban) invested with the identity of person bringing the korban.
Burnt Offering & Atonement•Leviticus 1:4 says, ―Then he shallput his hand on the head of theburnt offering, and it will beaccepted on his behalf to makeatonement for him.‖•One might assume that thesacrifice was meant as anatonement for sin, but this is notaccurate.
Burnt Offering & Atonement•The term for atonement here iskaphar, and certainly can implyforgiveness of sin and removal ofguilt, but the word means more thanthat.•Kapharis used in Genesis whenGod instructs Noah to ―cover‖(kaphar) the ark inside and out withpitch.•Kapharmay also be used in theform as a ―ransom‖ for one’s life.•Both definitions apply to the
Burnt Offering & Atonement•Everything in the tabernacle had to becovered (i.e. Ark was wood, covered withgold on the inside and the outside) inorder to survive the Presence of God.•Same is true of the worshipper whowanted to draw near to God’s Presencein His holy place. Fragile, mortal fleshcannot survive God’s Presence.•Levitcal atonement should beunderstood as a covering, a protectiveshelter from the manifest Presence ofGod, who occupied thetabernacle/temple.
Sacrifices & Salvation•In the sacrificial system,―atonement‖ does not mean ―attainsalvation.‖•Hebrews 10:4 makes it clear thatsacrifices were not intended toremove sins.•Hebrews 9:9-10 explains that thesacrifices could not cleanse theconscience because they were onlyintended to relate to matters of theflesh, not the spirit.
Sacrifices & Salvation•Many Christians make the mistakeof looking at the sacrificial systemthrough the eyes of ―Old vs. NewCovenant‖, ―OT vs. NT‖, ―pre-Calvary vs. post-Calvary.‖•If animal sacrifices actually gavepeople forgiveness of sins andsalvation, then Jesus did not need todie at all, and His death only makesit easier for the animals and moreconvenient for us.
Sacrifices & Salvation•Temple sacrifices = cleansing offlesh•Faith & Repentance = cleansingof the spirit•Jesus tells us that we should dothe spiritual cleansing prior to theflesh in Matt. 5:23-26. Rabbisagree with this, that withoutrepentance, no sacrifice will bringatonement for sins.
Doesn’t God hate sacrifices? •Isaiah 1:11-13 & Jeremiah 6:20 & Malachi 1:10 seem to support the idea that God hates sacrifices. •This seems contradictory. Why would God say He hates sacrifices when He’s the one who commanded Israel to bring them? •A more careful reading of the prophets shows them not speaking against the sacrificial system, but rather the worshippers. The prophets rebuked the worshippers for violating the commandments, while continuing to go through the motions of the sacrificial system. •Their hearts were far from God, but they continued keeping the religious rituals anyway. •This is a good lesson for us – we must be careful not to develop a sense of right-standing with God through ritual observances. Outward rituals should reflect our inner person. •Repentance makes us right with God, not sacrifices.
Messiah and the korban•Human sin and mortality separates us fromGod.•Like Moses, we are unable to approachHoly God.•In the Eternal Temple (heavenly), Christ isour korban, the unblemished, perfect,sinless one that brings us near and coversus in the Presence of God.•No one comes to the Father, but throughChrist. John 14:6•We are to identify with Christ to the extent,we consider ourselves to have died andrisen with him. Gal. 2:20
Messiah and the korban•Worshippers are able tophysically draw near to God withinthe Temple through the sacrificialblood of animals, but this neverbrought him near to God in theeternal sense of life and death(salvation).•Salvation: Only through theHeavenly Temple, only with thekorban-Christ.
Messiah and the korban•Hebrews 10:1-2 should be understoodin this light-animal sacrifices do notsave, only Christ saves.•More than just taking our punishmentfor our sins, Christ draws us near to Godthrough His resurrection.•If Christ died, without resurrection, itwould be like a korban slaughteredwithout going to the altar. Through Hisrising, Christ brings us to God.•Christ is our ―covering‖ as we draw nearto God.