The Meat-Offering: Part 2

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
But further, not only were the component parts of this offering defined, but all that was to be carefully kept out of it was as plainly declared. No leaven or honey was to be mixed with it under any pretext, whilst, on the other hand, salt was never to be absent from it; for with all their offerings they were to offer salt. Grace, of which salt is here the emblem, was always displayed in Christ, from whom corruption of the flesh and mere natural sweetness were wholly absent. Whatever then men might think of Him, calling Him the carpenter's son (Matt. 13:5555Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? (Matthew 13:55)), and forming their estimate of Him from His mother, and brothers and sisters, people like themselves, God distinguishes between Him and us. Grace, which is lacking in the natural man, was always displayed in Him. Corruption, which characterizes the offspring of the first man, was wholly absent from Him, who is the second man. This marked difference is also manifested in the contrast between the treatment of the oblation of first-fruits, which God commanded Israel annually to offer, and the meat-offering of a new harvest, an ear (not a sheaf) of corn parched by fire, corn beaten out of full ear, or, as some would describe it, garden-land grain. The former could not go on God's altar; the latter could. The former typified God's saints; the latter Christ Himself. (Lev. 2:12-1412As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer them unto the Lord: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savor. 13And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt. 14And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the Lord, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears. (Leviticus 2:12‑14)) Between them and Him how great the difference!
The cooked meat-offering duly dealt with, its residue was removed to be eaten by the priest that offered it (Lev. 7:99And all the meat offering that is baken in the oven, and all that is dressed in the fryingpan, and in the pan, shall be the priest's that offereth it. (Leviticus 7:9)), a regulation the reason of which we can understand. For as this class of offering typified the Lord, who experienced trials on earth previous to His death upon the cross, no one but Himself could know what such were; so to the officiating priest, the type of Christ, and not to all the males of the priesthood, was assigned the residue of such a meat-offering.
Of the compulsory meat-offering the measures were fixed, varying in ordinary cases with the animal offered of the herd or of the flock for a burnt-offering or a peace-offering; viz., a tenth of an ephah for a lamb, two-tenths for a ram, and three-tenths for a bullock. This was the rule to guide the offerer who voluntarily offered an animal for a sacrifice of sweet savor, and this rule held good for the daily, the weekly, the monthly, and the annual celebrations.* For Christ in His death and in His life were both to be brought in remembrance before God. His death as a sacrifice of sweet savor was to be foreshadowed, but His life likewise. The former was not to be prefigured without the latter. The order, however, is suggestive. The meat-offering accompanied the burnt-offering or peace-offering; for men can only take up Christ's life before God in connection with His death, reading, as it were, His history in the inverse order. Thank God, we may speak of that holy, spotless life when we own and share in the rich results of His atoning death; for in all these appointed meat-offerings there was typified simply the Lord Jesus as a man without reference to His path of trial upon earth. A dry, not a cooked, meat-offering was therefore presented on such occasions.
One other offering must now be noticed, that for the priests. In common with other prescribed meat-offerings its measure was determined by God; but, differing from them all, half of it was offered in the morning, and half in the evening. Daily therefore was it to be presented, and by the high priest himself. Further, it was a baked, not a dry, meat-offering, baked on a flat slice, and brought in pieces to the altar, on which it was wholly burnt; for as this offering did not shadow forth communion, those on whose behalf it was offered being all the priests, there was no one to eat of it.
By this offering then there was daily presented to God, on behalf of the priests, that which spoke of the Lord Jesus in His life of trial as He ministered here among men. How fitting this was we can understand who form part of the holy priesthood. Aaron and his sons were priests unto God, but the One whose life on earth in ministry could be acceptable to Jehovah was not of Aaron's race, and that meat-offering each morning and each evening really proclaimed it. The perfect Man had yet to come. Now He has come; and whilst Christians, as priests, are to find in the life of the Lord, traced out for them in the Word, that which is food for their souls, we have always to remember the immeasurable moral distance there was between His walk in service on earth and our walk down here. No man was ever perfectly acceptable to God in all his ways but One-the man Christ Jesus, whose life God had thus kept continually before Him. The faithful and true witness, His life which gave full satisfaction to God, is the only perfect example for us. C. E. S.