The Meat Offering

Leviticus 2  •  10 min. read  •  grade level: 8
(Read Lev. 2)
The Hebrew word used in this case is Minchah, simply meaning an offering, a word always employed for the Meat Offering. The materials of which this offering was composed was never " meat," as we speak of the flesh of animals. It was always composed of things baked in the oven, such as cakes and wafers, and sometimes of green ears of corn.
This Offering presents to us the beautiful humanity of our Lord, so delightful to the Father, that the heavens could be opened upon Him, and attention drawn to Him as the One in whom God was well pleased. Though our Lord was a perfect Man of God's delight and pleasure on this earth, yet we must never forget He was " God blessed forever " (Rom. 9:55Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 9:5)).
Seeing there is no blood-shedding connected with this sacrifice, it clearly presents the death of Christ as the culmination of a life lived upon earth that was fully to God's glory, the whole headed up, as it were, in His death. The Meat Offering, therefore, presents typically the death of Christ, not as in its atoning efficacy, but on the lines of Phil. 2. 5 to 11, where we are exhorted to have the same mind as Christ Jesus, who being on equality with God, for He was God, stooped down to man's estate, took upon Himself the form of a servant, and became obedient to death even the death of the cross. Our Lord's death gathered up all that He was in life, and the whole was presented to God for His delight and ours.
The Meat Offering was to be of fine flour without leaven and oil poured upon it. The fine flour typified the beautiful life of our Lord. Just as flour is smooth and without grit, so our Lord's life was perfect in every detail. Oil poured upon it sets forth that the Lord, as a dependent Man on earth,
received the Holy Spirit in fullest measure. Frankincense poured upon it tells us that that wonderful life was ever fragrant to God. Every word, every footfall of His, was as sweetest music in the ear of God.
A handful of this fine flour, with oil and frankincense put upon it, was burned by the priest upon the Altar as a memorial, " an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD." There is no separating Christ's life from His death. We, Christians, could not in any way touch His life, save as His death has met our sins, as will be seen in the Sin Offering, and given us acceptance, as we have seen in the Burnt Offering.
The remnant of the Meat Offering belonged to Aaron and his sons, beautiful reminder that God gives His people to enjoy, that which delights His own heart.
The Meat Offering could be treated in three ways,
Baken in the oven.
Baken in a pan.
Baken in a frying pan.
These seem to indicate the different intensities of trials and sufferings by which Christ was tested in life and death, and in all of which He was perfect. The oven speaks of that which is out of sight, and may typify the hidden out-of-sight sufferings of mind and spirit that the Lord passed, through, known only to His Father. We read of our Lord " groaning in Himself " at the grave of Lazarus. None of us with senses blunted by sin can ever realize what suffering our Lord went through in spirit as He met sorrow and sin in this world. He was indeed " a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief " (Isa, 53:3).
The pan may speak of the more public sufferings of our Lord in this world. He told His disciples, how He must " suffer many things of the elders, and chief priests and scribes " (Matt. 16:2121From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. (Matthew 16:21)). We have only to read the four Gospels to see what our Lord suffered in His path of testimony.
The frying pan may speak of that which is still more intensive, and include even the cross itself. In everything the Lord was perfect. Is it the temptation in the wilderness for forty days, when the Devil presented a threefold enticement, which with us would have appealed to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life? He came out unscathed, untouched by breath of evil, unmarked by touch of failure. Is it the want of that understanding and sympathy which His disciples should have shown? Is it in all the sore trials He endured that marked His path; nay, was it in the cross itself with its fiery trial? In everything He was absolutely perfect.
The details given bring out these thoughts clearly. They speak of
Unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil.
Unleavened wafers anointed with oil.
In both cases the Offering was to be unleavened, no evil in our Lord's life answered to this. In both cases it had to be of fine flour, again emphasizing the absolute perfection of His life.
" Mingled with oil," what can be the meaning of this? It sets forth that our Lord in His human nature was filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Oil is typical of the Holy Spirit. Our Lord was begotten by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary. From His birth it could be said, " God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him " (John 3:3434For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. (John 3:34)).
Anointed with oil is typical of the day when our Lord was baptized, and stepped into public service for God and man. " And, lo! the heavens were opened unto Him, and He, saw, the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him " (Matt. 3:1616And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: (Matthew 3:16)). The Hebrew word, Messiah, and its Greek equivalent Christ, means the Anointed One. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him " (Acts 10:3838How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10:38)).
There were two things that were forbidden in the Offerings of the LORD made by fire, viz. leaven and honey. Leaven typifies evil. To mix up the holy things of the Lord and evil is abomination to God. This was seen in the case of Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas. These two men were " priests of the LORD," that was their office, and yet in their practice they were described, " The sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD " (1 Sam. 2. 12). There followed a most tragic breakdown in the history of Israel. Eli fell dead, his two sons killed in battle, and the Ark of the LORD taken by the Philistines.
Honey typifies that which is pleasant to nature, such as natural affection, links of friendship, and the like. Nature has its place, but not in the things of the Lord. To be " without natural affection " (2 Tim. 3:33Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (2 Timothy 3:3)) is a sign of the last and perilous times. When the relationships of life are flouted, and men and women live only to gratify their selfish desires and lusts, surely the last days have arrived.
But when it comes to the things of the Lord, Scripture announces a great truth, " Henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more " (2 Cor. 5:1616Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. (2 Corinthians 5:16)).
A Scriptural illustration comes to hand. When Moses cried for volunteers to avenge the dishonor put upon the LORD'S name in the matter of the worship of the golden calf, the sons of Levi responded. Moses said, " Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor " (Ex. 32:2727And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. (Exodus 32:27)). Here we have an example where the claims of the LORD stood before the claims of nature. Honey had not to assert itself at a time of stress in the presence of apostasy, when men had to stand for God and His honor.
Or take a simple illustration. A father and son are both in the same assembly. Outside the assembly they are father and son; inside the assembly they are brothers IN CHRIST. Human arrangements and natural links must not obtrude in the things of God.
On the other hand " the Salt of the Covenant " had not to be lacking from the Offering. There should be that element present, that would neutralize what would make for moral putrefaction, even the active purifying effect of the grace of God working in our hearts through the Word, and the practical application of the death of Christ applied to our hearts and consciences. The activities of that grace may not always be agreeable to us, but the effect is according to God's Covenant of blessing towards His own. " No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby " (Heb. 12:1111Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Hebrews 12:11)),
Green Ears Dried by Fire
The Meat Offering could take the form of Firstfruits unto the LORD, green ears dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears, with oil and frankincense laid upon it. This all refers typically to Christ. There can be no spiritual harvest save through Christ. We recall the well-known Scripture, " Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit " (John 12:2424Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24)). Again, " Now is Christ risen from the dead and become the Firstfruits of them that slept " (1 Cor. 15:2020But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (1 Corinthians 15:20)).
How do the green ears set forth Christ? Notice that the ears were green, vet they were full ears, that is they were mature. Does this not remind us of the prophet's wonderful lament, " I said, 0 my God, take Me not away in the midst of My days " (Ps. 102:24). At about the age of thirty-three our Lord's life was cut off. And yet though He was, as to His manhood, but a young man (as men reckon), He was marked by full maturity. Though green the ears were full ears, Only three-and-a-half years covered His public ministry, and yet how profound a mark He has made on the world's history.
Further these green ears, full ears of corn, were dried by fire. Does this not bring before us most touchingly, that the perfect life of our Lord was laid down at the cross? Oil poured upon the dried and beaten-out ears, with oil and frankincense put upon the Offering, signify that our Lord's life, laid down in death, was fragrant and delightful to the heart of God (frankincense). We get the Meat Offering as well as the Burnt Offering alluded to in Ephesians 5.2, where we read, " Walk in love as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an Offering and a Sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor." This memorial was burned upon the altar, " an offering made by fire unto the LORD."