Henry Law was Dean of Gloucester from 1862 until his death in 1884. He is especially known for his work entitled "Christ is All: The Gospel in the Pentateuch", which surveys typologies of Christ in the first five books of the Old Testament. It was originally published in 1867. This is part three, dealing with the types in Leviticus.
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The Gospel in Leviticus
The Gospel in Leviticus, H. Law
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
Cover Design: based on an artwork by Toby Hudson - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 au, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27897824
The Burnt Offering.1
The Grain Offering.5
The Peace Offering.9
The Sin Offering. 13
The Guilt Offering. 17
The Accepted Offering. 21
The Strange Fire. 25
Clean And Unclean. 33
The Child-Birth. 37
The Plague Of Leprosy. 41
The Cleansing Of The Leper45
Holy Blood. 53
The Sabbath. 57
The Sheaf Of The First-Fruits. 61
The Drink Offering. 65
The Feast Of Pentecost69
The Feast Of Trumpets. 73
The Feast Of Tabernacles. 77
The Jubilee. 81
The Kinsman. 85
The Blessing And The Curse. 89
The Summary. 93
"Then he will burn it on top of the wood fire on the altar. It is a whole burnt offering made by fire, very pleasing to the Lord." Leviticus 1:17
Reader, you are invited here to take your stand within the tabernacle's court. A crowded and a busy scene appears. Many worshipers bring many offerings. All is activity. But all the active zeal has one great object—to honor God in God's appointed way.
Each offering in this court is a full page of Gospel-truth. Christ in His grace and work is the golden key to open every part. Leviticus is Calvary fore-shown. Calvary is Leviticus unfolded. The one casts forward the morning ray. The other pours down the mid-day blaze. But the early and the brighter beams stream from one Sun—Christ Jesus. The brazen altar is the herald of the cross. The cross re-echoes to the brazen altar's voice.
In a long train of ceremonial teaching the Burnt offering takes the lead. Let this, then, first be noticed.
An offerer comes. Mark what he brings. If his offering be from the herd, it must be an unblemished male. Lev. 1:3. It must be the choicest produce from his pastures—the primest flower from his fields. There must be strength in fullest vigor, and beauty without one alloy. Such are the properties required.
The meaning is distinct. Jesus is here. The victim chosen before worlds were framed is thus portrayed. Strength and perfection are main colors in His portrait. He is as strong as God can be. The shield of omnipotence is on His arm. Hence He is able to achieve the grandest of all victories—even to tread down Satan and his empire. Hence He is able to bear away the weightiest of all burdens—even the vast mass of all His people's sin!
Perfection finds embodiment in Him. His every aspect is beauty, without one flaw. All evil buffeted Him, but it left no stain. Sin could not touch Him, though He sojourned in its home. Earth saw in Him one sinless inhabitant. From the manger to the cross, He shone one ray of godlike purity.
O my soul, you need strong help. Repose on Jesus: His strength suffices, and it cannot fail. You need a perfect ransom and a perfect robe. Repose on Jesus; He gave to God a spotless life, a spotless soul, to be your price. He gives to you a spotless righteousness to be your clothing. Thus the unblemished male pictures the beauteous and the strong Redeemer.
We next approach the chambers of the offerer's heart. We read, "He shall offer it of his own voluntary will." Lev. 1:3. There is no compulsion. There is no reluctance. His step is willingness.
This is a picture of faith's happy actings. Its chariot-wheels move swiftly. It feels sin's miserable need. It knows the value of redeeming blood. So it flies, with rapid wing, to plead it at the mercy-seat. Formalists may frequent God's courts. Habit's cold chains may drag them. Self-righteousness may urge them to the heartless task. But faith is a willing grace.
The eager offerer puts his hand upon the victim's head. Lev. 1:4. Do any ask the meaning of this rite? It graphically shows a transfer. Some load oppresses, which is thus cast on the victim. Some burden passes to another's person. Here is again the happy work of faith. It brings all guilt, and heaps it on the Savior's head. One sin retained is misery now, and hell at last. All must be pardoned by being brought to Christ. And He is waiting to receive. His office is to be this burden-bearer. His love constrains, and He cannot draw back.
Do any read this, who never have thus dealt with Christ? Sirs, where are your sins? They adhere tighter than your very skin. They have a millstone weight. They press to misery's unfathomable depths. But flee to Jesus. He can remove them all, and He alone.
Believer, where are your sins? On Jesus they are placed, and you are free. I ask again, Where are your sins? You answer, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." Ps. 103:12. You may rejoice and sing aloud, Christ is accepted as a substitute for me; I shall not be condemned. Thus with one hand faith casts away all misery, and with the other grasps all joy.
The victim, to which sins thus typically pass, must DIE. "He shall kill the young bull before the Lord." Lev. 1:5. Can Jesus, who in reality receives our guilt, not lay down life? It cannot be. The holy Word stands sure; "In the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die." Gen. 2:17. The sinner's surety, then, cannot be spared. He gives His life to pay the debt—to satisfy the wrath—to bear the curse—to expiate the guilt.
O my soul, "Christ died" is all your hope—your plea—your remedy—your life. "Christ died" opens your path to God. "Christ died" turns every frown into approving smiles. When the law thunders, and conscience quakes, and Satan accuses, interpose "Christ died," and fear no more. When the grave opens, whisper "Christ died," and sleep in peace. When the white throne is set, shout "Christ died," and take the crown of righteousness!
The victim's blood is SPRINKLED "round about upon the altar." Lev. 1:5. The blood is evidence that life is paid. This token then is profusely scattered. The priestly hands bedewed the altar with it. Thus Jesus enters with His own blood into the holy place. Heb. 9:12. He strews it round, and claims the purchased flock, the covenanted blessings—the full reward, the fruit of His completed work.
O my soul, you are bought, and cleansed, and comforted by blood. Your every blessing is a blood-bought gift. Let every prayer, and praise, and work, and service, be a blood-sprinkled offering.
The victim is next SKINNED. Lev. 1:6. The skin is torn away. The sacrificing priest received this, as his portion. It gave supplies of clothing. Is there no Gospel here?—say you, who joy in Jesus as "the Lord your righteousness." Yes, here is a picture of that heaven-pure robe, in which Christ decks each child of faith. His blood, indeed, removes all curse. But it is His obedience, which merits all glory. Because He died, we live. Because He lived, we reign.
The piercing knife divides the limbs. Members are torn from members, and all the parts, without, within, to which defilement usually adheres, are diligently washed. Lev. 1:9. The type of Jesus must be clean. No shadow of impurity may darken it. Again and again the truth resounds, that God's eye can only rest on perfect purity. How, then, shall the sinner stand, who ventures near apart from Christ? Reader, consider this at once! Oh! never rest until you know, that you are cleansed without by cleansing blood, and cleansed within by sanctifying grace.
The parts thus severed, and thus washed, are placed upon the altar. Consuming fire is brought. It preys on every limb. The raging flame devours, until this fuel is reduced to ashes. Lev. 1:9.
Let us now seek the truth, which echoes from this blazing fire. The garden and the cross unfold it. There Jesus presents Himself, laden with all the sins of all His chosen race. O my soul, have you a saving interest in Him? If it be so, He there appears, bearing the guilt of all your guilty life. The Sinless is accounted sinful, that the sinful may be spared as sinless.
What then occurs? Sin merits wrath. This wrath must fall. Justice must claim its due. Truth must be true. Holiness must show how evil is abhorred. The majesty and honor of God's empire cannot descend from their high throne. Sinner, be sure that sin cannot be spared. You must take woe, except this Surety take it for you.
What then occurs? See Jesus crushed to the earth beneath the load of anguish. Each bleeding pore proclaims, that more cannot be borne.
But whence is the God-man's mighty agony? The fire of heaven's wrath has fallen on Him. Vengeance has seized its prey. He undergoes the every pang, which would have tortured His redeemed people, if they had tossed in hottest flames forever. The fire burns—the anger rages—until each sin has infinitely suffered what it infinitely earned. No fuel then remains. All is consumed. The fire dies. The wrath expires. Hark! Jesus utters the wondrous word, "It is finished!"
O my soul, in calm and holy reverence, survey this dreadful scene. It is your ransom. It is your escape. It is your rescue from eternal ruin. It is another draining hell's cup for you. This one Burnt offering receives all vengeance. The fire of justice, that died in Christ, cannot revive to injure you.
The Spirit seals the record with this approving seal—"It is a Burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord." Lev. 1:9. Here is witness worth ten thousand worlds. Here is the sweetest cordial, which the lips of faith can drink. The dying Jesus is heaven's "sweet savor." When the God-man victim burns upon the altar of the cross, each attribute is satisfied; no more, exults with ever-exulting joy; no more, is magnified to the highest heights; no more, is glorified until glory overflows.
Reader, the type blazes to win you to the saving cross. Whatever be your state or grade, be wise, and seek your richest pleasures here. The rite distinctly shows, that rich and poor alike need pardon, and alike must come. Sin has soiled all. All, then, must wash in expiating blood. The wealthy brought their victim from the herd. He, who had less of worldly wealth, offered his lamb or kid. The poorest inhabitant of the poorest hut gave the young pigeon or the turtle-dove. All placed upon the altar a burnt-sacrifice. A Savior is the one need of rich and poor. The richest is most poor, until Christ be found. The poorest is most rich, when once this pearl be clasped.
Such is the Gospel of the Burnt offering. Reader, leave it not without three solemn thoughts deep written in your heart.
1. Fire burns there. It burns to tell us what is sin's due. It frightfully portrays what all must bear, on whom that plague abides. Look at the consuming blaze and meditate on the tossings of the fiery lake—the flames, which cannot die—the gnawings of the ever-gnawing worm—the raging of relentless wrath—the agony, which tortures mind, and soul, and body. See in this sight God's utmost power put forth to inflict utmost pains through endless ages. See sin's sure doom. May the sight drive you rapidly to Christ!
2. Mark here God's wondrous grace. To save lost souls He gives the Son of His love to the fury of His wrath. He heaps all woe on Him, that no woe may remain for the redeemed. His frown is pitiless towards Him, that He may smile unceasingly on them. How dear must they be to His heart! He, who is the preciousness of heaven, descends to bear the worst of their vile doom. The Burnt offering sweetly cries, Abundant grace exceeds abundant sin.
3. What shall the ransomed render to salvation's Lord? The Burnt offering demands from them self offering. Let all heaven hear—let all earth take knowledge, that they give themselves, their souls, their bodies, their every faculty and gift, all influence, all means, their morning, midday, evening hours, to be a free-will sacrifice to free grace. Let the high altar of self-consecrating gratitude be raised. Let the whole life be one clear blaze of flaming love and ever-brightening service!
"When you bring a grain offering to the Lord, the offering must consist of choice flour. You are to pour olive oil on it and sprinkle it with incense." Leviticus 2:1
Faith gleans rich lessons in the tabernacle's court. Rapid variety marks the scene. But every change still shows a changeless object. The varied rites have one grand purpose. Their several parts have one mind—and that, the mind of God. Each has an end—to illustrate redemption. Each has an office—to unfold the Gospel. Each is a witness to life-giving truth. Scoffers are blind to Calvary's cross. It is no marvel, that they find no Savior here. But truly Scripture contains more of Christ than human eye has ever yet discerned.
Reader, pause now, and ponder the Grain offering. It holds the second place in the display of these Christ-teaching rites. May the great Spirit's rays so brightly shine upon it, that some new view of Jesus may appear!
God's wisdom terms it "The Grain offering;" and justly so, because its larger part supplied the priest with food. Its substance and its use are the chief points, which claim attention.
Its main material is FLOUR. Ver. 1. Is there no meaning in this choice? Mark, God's own mind selects it. His mind is the abode of wondrous thought. Examine flour. By what process is it formed? Earth yields the grain; repeated blows thresh it from the husks; the grinding mill reduces it to powder.
Reader, this thought glides easily to Christ. He stoops to be the poor offspring of poor earth. He, whom no heavens can hold, is born the woman's seed. And then what batterings assail Him! The earliest prophecy predicts His bruised heel. Hell spares no blow. Earth's fury lashes Him with ceaseless rage. The strokes of Justice crush Him to the dust of death.
O my soul, a suffering Jesus is your full salvation. A bruised God-man is your blessed hope. His wounds are your safe refuge. His stripes heal you. He was broken to make you whole. He was crushed to raise you up. He groaned to bring you ease. He died, that you may live.
The QUALITY of the flour is distinctly marked. It must be FINE. All coarseness must be sifted out. No impure speck may stain it.
Reader, see the lovely beauties of the Lord. His charms bring comfort to the anxious soul. Let but one flaw be found in Him, and salvation's pillar moulders into dust. Then cleansing would be needed for His own defects. No blood would then remain for others' guilt. But He comes forth in all the glory of pure sinlessness. Thus He can take the sinner's place, and pay the sinner's debt, and cast a spotless mantle round His church. Thus we are beauteous in His beauty; fair in His fairness; lovely in his loveliness; robed in His grace. The pure Grain offering sounds the Gospel-note, "He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Cor. 5:21.
OIL is added. Lev. 2:1. Its many properties are emblems of the Spirit's grace. Christ's very name imports, that all the Spirit was outpoured on Him. His life attests this truth. When He appeared in earthly frame, it was the Spirit's workmanship. Luke 1:35. When He ascended from the streams of Jordan, the Spirit, as a dove, descended on Him. Luke 3:22. When He approached His direst conflict with the power of hell, the Spirit led Him by the hand. Luke 4:1. When, on the altar of the cross, He gave His soul an offering for sin, the Spirit's might upheld Him. Heb. 9:14. When He burst the fetters of the grave, the quickening Spirit aided. 1 Peter 3:18. His lips dropped wisdom—His steps were goodness—His hand was boundless power—His heart was overflowing love. It must be so. The God-man was the Spirit's home. God gave not the Sprit by measure unto Him. John 3:34. The Grain offering was rich in oil. Jesus abounded with the Spirit's grace.
Believer, are you conformed to your anointed head? Are you the living temple of the Holy Spirit? "Be filled with the Spirit," is his trumpet-tongued command. Eph. 5:18. Can He thus speak and not be ready to dwell fully in you? Can He be ready, and will you exclude Him? Oh! grieve Him not—wrong not your needy soul. Admit Him in His every gift. He is no Christian, who is unlike Christ. He is unlike, in whom the Spirit works no likeness.
INCENSE is sprinkled on the mass. Lev. 2:1. Thus the Grain offering scatters fragrance round, and as the senses with delicious joy.
And is not Christ the incense of delight, in heaven, in earth? The precious merits of His work regale each attribute of God. He brings full honor to their every claim. No Christ-saved soul sits down in bliss, but to add glory to Jehovah's name, and to bring brightness to Jehovah's crown, and to deck justice, mercy, truth, in more resplendent rays.
He, also, is perfume to His people's hearts. Say, you who know Christ Jesus, is not His name "as perfume poured out?" Is He not your sachet of myrrh?—your "bouquet of flowers?" Song 1:13, 14. He blots out every sin. He bears away all curse. He heals all wounds. He dries all tears. He stills all conscience-fears. He shows God reconciled—hell vanquished—heaven won. In Him the past has lost its terror. In Him the present is hope's clear watchtower. In Him the future is an expanse of glory. Can there be incense more gladdening, than these refreshing truths? Reader, grasp Him, and refresh yourself in this garden of sweet joy.
No LEAVEN and no HONEY may be added. Lev. 2:11. The leaven is quick to change and taint the meal. It rapidly pervades. It casts a savor into every part. Hence, leaven is evil's emblem. For sin admitted will run wildly through the heart. Its course pollutes. Its touch leaves all impure.
Honey is most luscious to the palate. But is it harmless? No, it soon proves a sickening and fermenting pest. Its sweetness tempts. But bitterness ensues. Here is a symbol of sin's flattering bait. It shows enticements in its front. It seems to call to rich delights. It promises a honied feast. But ah! the juice is gall. The dregs are wormwood. Sin's smiles end in hell-pains.
No such admixtures may defile this type. To paint the sun, we use our brightest tints. To show forth Christ, we must have pure and purifying signs.
But SALT must be infused. Lev. 2:13. Its properties repel corruption and defy decay. Where it is sprinkled freshness lives. At its approach time drops its spoiling hand. Again behold the Lord. His essence and His work are purity's bright blaze. He soars above defilement, high as the heavens excel the earth. He washes, and His saints are cleansed. He breathes within them, and corruptions cease.
Believer, you too are called to be this vile earth's salt. Mat. 5:13. When you go forth may purity walk hand in hand! When your lips speak may purity's best seed be dropped! May your whole life be counter-active of sin's taint! May many an error die when you are near!
Salt, also, portrays the perpetuity of grace.
Believer, you know that Jesus loves you. You read it in His cross. You see it in the Word—that mirror of His heart. You hear it in His Spirit's call. Know, that this love is as eternal as Himself. The covenant of salt precedes the birth—survives the death, of time.
The Grain offering is thus significantly formed. Its USE is next distinctly shown. The offerer is to "Bring this offering to one of Aaron's sons, and he will take a handful of the flour mixed with olive oil, together with all the incense, and burn this token portion on the altar fire. It is an offering made by fire, very pleasing to the Lord." Lev. 2:2. A part is cast upon the altar's hearth. The fire enwraps it in devouring folds. It is the prey of the consuming blaze.
Faith knows full well the Gospel of this act. It sees wrath falling on the spotless and anointed victim. The burning grain exhibits Jesus in the furnace of acute anguish. What awe, what peace, live in this wondrous sight!
What AWE! Here is full evidence of sin's deserts. Sin rouses the just vengeance of our righteous God. It is an outrage to His honor, to His nature, and His name. It must have torment. An adamantine chain unites it to excruciating woe. If it escapes, God's majesty is wronged. The God-man in the garden and on the cross shows how God's anger deals with this foul foe.
What PEACE! Jesus consents to suffer all. Each vial is outpoured on Him. The fire finds its prey, and spares not. Believer, see the Grain offering on the altar, and let your every fear subside. Gaze, and let tranquil peace lull every anxious thought. Wrath ends in Jesus. It takes its dues from Him. It leaves Him not until all is paid. Its sting then dies. No penal woe remains for you. Justice forbids, that punishment should twice be asked. You may look calmly on the fiery lake. A suffering Christ has quenched its flames for you. Happy believer, your sins, though many, have endured their death. Happy believer, where are hell's pains for you? Your Surety has exhausted all.
The Grain offering had further use. "The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: it is a most holy part of the offerings made to the Lord by fire." Lev. 2:3.
Here is another view of Christ. It shows most tender and providing love. The Gospel truth is bread of life to hungry souls. They, who serve Christ, sit down at a rich table. A feast is spread to nourish and to regale. Christ gives Himself—heaven's richest produce—as substantial food. He is the bread of life. His flesh is food indeed: His blood is drink indeed. The Spirit is ever calling to the banquet-house, "Eat O friends," "Eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." Faith hears, faith hastens, faith partakes, and thrives, and feasts again, and gains recruited energies for new work.
Poor worldlings snatch at miscalled pleasure's husk. They eat, and fret, and pine, and perish.
In preparing the Grain offering account was made of varying grades of outward circumstance. Diverse utensils were enjoined to meet diversity of rank and state. The rich must use their best. The poor must humbly bring from their more humble hearths. But rich and poor alike must offer. Lev. 2:4, 5, 7.
One Christ is the one plea at heaven's gate. The rich man's riches open not the door. The poor man's poverty has no moving voice. Hear this, you RICH. Earthly pelf is little now, and nothing to buy pardon. But Christ enriches in present and in endless time. His treasure is ennobling gain, enduring joy, a crown of life, a throne of glory. Bring this Grain offering, and you are rich indeed.
You POOR, draw near. Especial welcomes beckon you. Your toil-worn hands may clasp the cross. Your lowly huts may entertain the Lord of lords. Without Him poverty is hard indeed. But He can make you kings and priests to God. By His side, work is light. In His arms rest is sweet. In His love, life has few frowns. In His faith, death sweetly smiles. Bring this Grain offering, and you are no more poor.
Spirit of God, great Teacher of the Church, blessings be Yours, for thus revealing Christ.
"If someone's offering is a peace offering, and he offers an animal from the herd, whether male or female, he is to present before the Lord an animal without defect." Leviticus 3:1
"On earth peace!" Thus angels' lips announce the Savior's birth. "On earth peace!" It comes, it lives, it thrives with Christ. "On earth peace!" Such is the olive-branch, which these brief lines would wave. "On earth peace!" Great Spirit, plant this happy inhabitant in each reader's heart!
God strives in every way to bring poor sinners to His peaceful sway. Before the worlds, eternal councils planned the way of peace. When enmity began, grace hastened to reveal it. A stream of prophecy rolled the news onward. And here a graphic ordinance portrays it. A model stands to show the parts and working of the reconciling scheme.
Some anxious soul sighs for felt peace with God. What shall be done? God smooths the way. His voice declares, let the sin-appeasing victim be now brought. Peace rightly sought shall surely be obtained.
Now mark this VICTIM. It may be male or female. It may be taken from larger cattle, or from sheep or goats. Lev. 3:1, 6, 12. This is permission of unusual breadth. The prince—the peasant—from richest pastures, or bare mountain's brow, may readily obtain the expiating means. The purport is both gracious and distinct. Where is the man, who would have peace with God? No barrier keeps him back. No distant search is needed. The appointed offering touches his threshold. The soul at every moment may find Christ. The hand may grasp Him at each turn. He is the nearest object to the rich man's hall. He sits beside each Lazarus at the gate. He is ever present—ever willing. No sinner pines in wretchedness, because the Peace offering is beyond his reach. Behold Me—take Me—is the burden of the Gospel-cry.
But from whatever flock the male or female came, one test must prove it. It must be without defect, free from fault. A blameless type proclaims the blameless Lord. He is the essence of pure excellence. He was made flesh without corruption's taint. His walk on earth was as holy as His throne in heaven. If but one speck had soiled Him, it would have turned God's smile into a frown. To have bought favor for Himself would then have cost His all. But now His hands are sinless; therefore they can take our sins. He needs no payment for Himself; and so can buy our peace.
Such are the marks of the Peace offering. God next directs the offerer to "lay his hand on the head of his offering." Lev. 3:2. This act denotes the transfer of all guilt. The burdened one thus rolls off his load. The lightened shoulder thus receives relief.
This is the happiest exercise of faith. It knows, that Christ is called, and comes, and dies, to take His people's guilt. It sees Him ever ready to receive the weight. With rapid step it ventures near. With eager hand it casts off misery. The unburdened conscience grasps deliverance.
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