For he is our peace …
The beginning of Leviticus presents us with five types of offerings to approach God each carrying a different message. We have lost their meaning in translation but their imagery still reveals their message. These offerings are the physical outward expressions of the longings of the inward heart in seeking to approach God in full communion.
The Sin and Guilt Offerings are mandatory. The Passover lamb and the daily perpetual offerings fall under these categories. The Sin Offering is for the state of being a sinner, the Guilt Offering for sins involuntarily committed (there are not offerings for voluntary sins). You see, we are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners. We may have never killed or stolen, but we may have thought or wished it at times through coveting. There is a teaching in Judaism that the last of the Ten Commandments is the reason why we break the nine others. Both God and priest get a share of this offering; the offerer gets nothing.
After we have acknowledged our sinful states, sinful actions and thoughts that result from it, we have the ‘Ascent Offering’ which is the only one that is totally dedicated to God. No one but God gets to partake of it. It is a voluntary offering. After we have cleansed ourselves from sin, the ‘Ascent Offering’ represents a desire for complete utter abandonment to God; a strong desire to perpetually abide with the Almighty. After dedicating our lives to God comes the Meal Offering. The Meal Offering is voluntary and now that we’ve dedicated ourselves to Him, it represents our walk with God. Only priest and God get a share.
After confessing our faults and dedicating our lives to walk with God, we celebrate the Peace Offering; the one we all look forward to as it expresses the completion of our union with God. This is the one we also get a share of along with God and the priests. These usually consisted of lavish parties. God’s fellowship with us has always been expressed by a meal; it was true on Mount Horeb and it will be true at the end of the age (Exodus 24:9-11; Revelations 19:9). That is why the most spiritual thing we can do in this world, the highest act of spirituality we can practice on this earth, is to have a peaceful and joyful meal with our families. It represents our union with God.
It is no wonder that in this day and age of the soon return of the Master, the enemy works like mad (and he is mad and the father of all madness; cursed be his name!) to break up families. When we break up our families we play in the devil’s hands against God’s plan. For decades now, his biggest attacks have been against the family units. First he got everybody distracted away from the daily dinner table which resulted in families breaking apart. Now the very idea of family is being redefined; ugh!
Please Messiah, return soon, even in our days, so we can recline with You at that Peace offering meal with all our brothers and sisters and start the work of bringing back sanity to this world!