Joseph Prince - How To See Jesus In The Burnt Offering
This excerpt is from: Greater Shalom And Security (22 Aug 2021)
I want to share with you from Leviticus. Of all the books in the Bible, the book of Leviticus, usually, are the ones that are still, in most christians' Bibles, still stuck together. People hardly teach on the book of Leviticus. But I want to teach from the book of Leviticus chapter 1. Alright? The very first chapter and the very first verse says: "Now the Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying," And this word "now the Lord called" The word "called" is the Hebrew word where the name of Leviticus is taken from. Of course, "Leviticus" means the Levitical priesthood, but actually in the Hebrew, this book is called "vayikra". "Vayikra" means "called". He called. Literally, the first word of Leviticus. "God called to Moses and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘when any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock, of the herd and of the flock.’"
Notice here that God is talking about the burnt offering. The word "offering" in the Hebrew "qorban", means to "approach near". An offering means to approach near. So the offering causes you to approach God, come near to God, draw near to God. The Bible says: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you". Now, this is the burnt offering. "If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord. Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him".
So notice that the Bible says: "If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd". Why? Because in this same chapter, they are three categories of burnt offerings. The first one is what we are reading here. The herd. From the herd. A bullock, a son of the herd in Hebrew. A son of the herd. For the son of the herd, usually, this bullock is raised not to do any work in the fields. They are not raised for labor, but they are raised for sacrifice finally. The second category is actually from the flock, from the sheep. Okay? The sheep. Now that's the median, right? Middle-income people. Those who are rich, those who are wealthy in those days, they are able to bring the bullock, like the father of the prodigal son. Those with the middle income, probably bring in the lamb. Okay? Or a sheep. And that’s what the Bible says. For the second category.
The third category is the smallest of all the burnt offerings. God says: "If you cannot afford to to bring the bullock, you cannot afford to bring the lamb or sheep, you bring a dove or a pigeon". Okay? A pair of doves or a pigeon. And these are birds, right? And they are small! Notice the decreasing sizes? A bullock, okay? Then we have the lamb or a sheep. Okay? Then we have the bird, notice the decreasing sizes? It speaks of capacity, it speaks of our ability to see the work of Jesus at the cross and whether we are increasing in knowledge. If we are, like we have a bullock-sized revelation of Jesus and His work at the cross, we have that capacity, that strong capacity to receive from the Lord because our capacity to know Him has increased. We have a bullock-sized revelation. Or we have a middle-sized revelation. Right? This is where most people live, I believe. That's why the Bible reckons Jesus as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, not the bullock there, okay? But nonetheless, these are truths that God put in the Word for the three categories of burnt offering. Then we have the bird.
Now for the bird, it is the lowest. Of course, in the natural back then, it was for the poorest. The poorest will bring the bird, which is abundant everywhere. The pigeon or the dove, and they will capture it. It's easier for the poor people. They know how to capture it. And then they can offer that as a burnt offering to the Lord. But nonetheless, even though they are decreasing sizes, they all have the same effect. They emit a fragrance to God that reminds God of His Son, because each of them represent the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. The bullock, of course, strong to labor. We see Him coming to earth with the heart that is ready to serve and to die for our sins on the cross. And then the lamb. We see Him, the Lamb of God, meek, gentle, lowly. Though the bullock is like a king, right? Strong. The lamb is gentle and lowly. Then the bird is a creature of the sky, the heavens. Amen. We see Jesus coming from heaven. So each of them portray the Lord Jesus Christ in its’ own way. So God does not say: "Until your capacity to see My Son becomes a bullock-sized revelation, then I accept your sacrifice, then I'll impute righteousness to you". God doesn't say that. Right? God accepts any capacity.
A little touch of the woman's hand on the hem of His garment, caused her to receive all that Jesus had. Just a little touch. The Bible says, she said: "If I may but touch the hem of His garment". Amen. Just maybe one, two fingers touching the hem of His garment and she received all that He has. So friend, it is not so much, you've got to have a great revelation, but having a greater revelation of Jesus will cause you to receive more from the Lord. Amen. But to be saved, friend. Amen. Many a times when we get saved, we don't really know much about the Lord and we are afraid to go to hell. Amen. We know that we have sinned. We know we are sinners and we need a Savior. And that much we know. Okay? But we increase and we continue to increase. And when we increase in knowledge of our Lord Jesus, favor, grace, shalom peace, well-being, wholeness is multiplied to us. Praise the Lord. So here we have the first one, which is the burnt sacrifice from the herd, which is the bullock.
Notice that it says here: "he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him". Now, the word "accepted" is the word "ratsah", which actually has the meaning of delight and pleasure. It's not just accepted with God. All that the bullock is, in its unblemished state, in its' innocence. It represents Jesus Christ. I will say Jesus in His righteousness. All that He is, as I lay my hand, so to speak, upon Jesus on the cross, like what this offerer is doing, he put his hand on the head of the burnt offering. That is a picture of identification. When you put your hand on the head of the animal, you are actually identifying with the animal. Now in those days, when they sin, they bring a burnt offering, whether it is, most of them bring a lamb. Like I said, the middle-income people, which is where most people are at, they will bring the lamb. And Jesus is a picture of the lamb. But He's also the bullock! Jesus a picture of the bullock. And here, the hands are laid on the bullock.
Now this is not mentioned in the other two burnt offerings. The lamb as well as the bird, the pigeon, or the dove. These two categories do not mention about putting on of hands. That tells us something. That tells us that they are lacking in the capacity to understand their identification in Christ. So to the extent that you lack, to that extent you have that poverty of knowledge of the Lord, to that extent you experience poverty of wisdom, to that extent you experience a lesser capacity to receive from the Lord. Notice that this is only true, laying hands on the bullock is only true of the first category of burnt offering, which is the bullock. Here it says: "He put his hand on the head of the burnt offering". Identification. Like I said just now. So we see our place in this. It was our sins that put Jesus on the cross, but the Bible tells us that "God made Jesus to be sin," Now, whose sin was that? Our sins. "God made Jesus to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him".
So there's a divine exchange at the cross. Amen. He took our sins and we take His righteousness. Let's go on with what we can learn about the cross. Through Leviticus chapter one. "The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire. Then the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar, but he shall wash its entrails and his legs with water". Now, all this is mentioned. Alright? The order of all this is mentioned also, in the offering of the lamb. So what is the head, legs, and entrails, alright? Don’t forget, this offering is Jesus. Alright? Jesus is this bullock. The head represents: "He knew no sin". He knew no sin. The entrails, the inside, the inside of the animal represents: "in Him is no sin". And the legs, the outward walk represents: "He did no sin".
So He knew no sin, in Him is no sin. He did no sin, and yet He died for us. The Bible says: "The priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord". Notice: "a sweet aroma to the Lord". All this reminds God of His Son, the Son that He loves. When God smells a sweet aroma, just like He smells the burnt offering of Noah. The first thing Noah did in the new world after the flood receded. And he came out with his family, out of the ark with all the animals, the Bible says: "Noah offered to God a burnt offering". And God smelled the burnt offering, a sweet aroma. It reminds God of His Son. And what did God say? "I will no longer curse the earth ever again with a flood". God says.
And there's always a blessing when God smells a sweet aroma. The Bible says that: "We are unto God a sweet aroma of Christ. We are unto God a sweet fragrance of Christ". Amen. And the Hebrew word here, "sweet aroma" is actually "an aroma of rest". Literally the word there is "an aroma of rest to the Lord". It is the same word where Noah got his name from. "Nuach" is the word "rest". It is a sweet aroma of rest to the Lord. God finds His rest in the sacrifice of Christ. Amen. God is not mad at you. God is not looking out to curse you or to condemn you. God is looking forward, with rest in His heart, based on all that Jesus has done, to justify you, to heal you, to provide for you, to be good to you. Hallelujah. Amen. And now He has a righteous foundation to do all that because of the death of Jesus on your behalf.