THE RELIGIOUS LIFE OF THE ANCIENT JEW AS PRESENTED IN THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS
The Offerings And The Feasts Part 4 -TheMeat Offering (2)
Presentation Of The First Fruits
Lev 2:12-14, 23:1-21, Deut 26:1-11
In addition to the daily offering of food or meal as part of the morning and evening sacrifice there were special presentations of the fruit of the land at the time of harvest. These are generally known as the offering of the first fruits and come with their own particular lessons. It is important to understand that there were two harvests in Israel. The barley harvest occurred in April whereas the wheat harvest was cultivated in late May. These harvests coincided with two of the Jewish feasts and therefore the meal offerings formed a part of these spiritual festivals.
1: TheOffering Of The First Fruits At The Passover
Leviticus 23:4-14 ¨ A sheaf of the first fruits brought during the Passover, v10,11
It was to be presented on the first day after the Sabbath during the seven days of Passover, v11.
It was offered upon the altar with the burnt offering on this occasion, because it became a sweet savour,v12, 13.
The key to understanding the type is found in the day when this offering was presented, the first day of the week. There in the meat offering at the Passover we view the resurrection ofour Saviour. ¨ His resurrection was based upon the perfect life offered up upon the altar of God’s wrath at Calvary. ¨ His resurrection was the sweet savour, which arose to heaven after the atonement was purchased. ¨ In the New Testament Paul takes up the imagery of this offering and calls Christ’s resurrection the “first fruits of them that slept” (1Corinthians 15:20-23). His rising again is proof of a further harvest from the grave for the elect of God just as the first fruits of the field promise a further yield.
2: The Offering Of The First Fruits At Pentecost
Leviticus 23:15-21 This occurred seven complete Sabbaths or fifty days after the offering at the Passover, v15-16.
Two baked loaves were offered, v17. The cakes were baked with leavened bread,v17.
They were to be made from corn beaten out of the ears and dried in the fire, ch2:14.
Seven lambs, one bullock and two rams were offered along with these loaves as a burnt offering, v18.
One goat kid wasoffered for a sin offering, v19. Two lambs were offered for a peace offering, v19.
The meal offering itselfwas not to be burnt on the altar, ch2:12.
The key to understanding the type is found in the usage of leaven,which represents sin. On account of Christ’s resurrection God accepts the offering of our service despite the sinfulness of our natures. ¨ The feast of Pentecost marked out the beginning of the ministry and witness of the church. Two is the number of witness and as such it represents the labours of the church, Rev 11:3, Zech 4:3. The loaves were baked of a substance,which is a type of Christ, “The Bread Of Life”. Our service is possible because we are part of Christ’s body and therefore our labours must bring glory to him. Like this offering we cannotbe offered upon the altar because of the sin in our natures. We would beentirely destroyed. ¨ Without the sacrifice of Christ typified in the various sacrifices we would be unable to serve God in any capacity.
3: The Offering Of The First Fruits And Their Presentation
Deuteronomy 26:1-11, also read Deuteronomy 8.
Act of gratitude because the crops and the land in which they were harvested were a gift from God.
Gratitude expressed through sacrifice. Sacrifice was an act of faith that God would give more. The gratitude involved humble remembrance of the past. Gratitude is linked with Godly living, ch8:10-11. Lack of gratitude will cause pride,ch8:14 and 17. Pride the root of backsliding. Pride will bring about the chastening of the Lord, ch8:19,20.