The Tabernacle and the Law – Part 2

Dancing in the Kingdom – Table of Contents

Part 1 – Shadows of the Kingdom, Chapter 6 – A Nation Emerges

Sacrifice and death

[Bible references: Genesis 4:4; 8:20; 36-39; Leviticus 1-7; Hebrews 7:27-28]

God also gave detailed instructions about how and when to conduct the rituals surrounding the tabernacle. Burnt offerings[1] had been offered before the tabernacle was built but now there were additional offerings to be made.[2] In the case of all the offerings, something had to die. The cost of sin was death, and it takes death to restore one’s relation with God. Moreover, the animals presented for sacrifice for the burnt offerings needed to be pure and without blemish or defect.

These “perfect” sacrifices were pointing to our ultimate need for a truly perfect sacrifice made on our behalf. The sacrifice would have to more than an animal with no visible blemishes. The sacrifice would have to be made by a perfect human whose identity would gradually prophetically be revealed … by a new “Adam” who would succeed where the first Adam failed.

Sacrificial death, though, can take a different form than we expect. In Psalm 51, David declares,

“For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:16-17 ESV)

and Micah declares.

“With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:6-8, ESV)

and later, the apostle Paul declares,

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable, and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2, ESV)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, ESV)

These passages indicate a sacrifice of dying to oneself, of laying one’s own interests aside for the sake of another … for the sake of Christ. A sacrifice not to “make things right” with God but because things are right.


[1] Hal, Doulos. The Fire Sacrifices and Offerings of Israel – The Burnt Offering” Impact Bible.org blogs 4 Apr 2020 blogs.bible.org/the-five-fire-sacrifices-and-offerings-of-israel-the-burnt-offering. Burnt offerings are sometimes called whole offerings (because none of the offering is put aside for eating) or ascent offerings.

[2] Tam, Stephen, “The Five Offerings in the Old Testament” “The Five Offerings in the Old Testament” Moses Tabernacle 2003-2018 www3.telus.net/public/kstam/en/tabernacle/details/offerings.htm; Bible.org “The Law of Burnt Offerings” bible.org/seriespage/2-law-burnt-offerings-leviticus-11-17

Reflect

How many people are willing to die for the sake of others?

Observe

Read Psalm 51; Romans 12:1-2. We do not have a temple to make animal sacrifices. What we do have is the opportunity to offer ourselves as a daily sacrifice. What is meant by a broken spirit?

Author: transcendenttouched

I have been teaching the Bible to children and adults for over twenty years. Most recently, including teaching Discipleship/Confirmation classes. I have also been involved in various church leadership roles for many of those years. Until recently, my writing endeavors have been confined mainly to poetry. I've written an anthology of my first 40 years of writing poetry in my book, Growing. I have also written an overview of the Bible called, God Reveals Himself.

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