Chapter 8 The Peace Offering

A sacrifice of peace offering (Leviticus 3:1).

Peace is what mankind has ever sought; but peace lives, and can be found, only in the Lord Jesus Christ. Peace was announced by His coming. Declared the angels at His birth, “On earth peace.” Sin brought in enmity, but the scheme by which peace could be replanted in the heart of man was modeled in the ancient peace offering.

The Mark of the Offering

The offering could be a male or female and taken from cattle, sheep, or goats (Leviticus 3:1, 6, 12). This made the offering possible to all classes and so readily at hand. No man would have to search very far for such an offering. And so readily obtainable is our blessed Saviour—always at hand. He is never beyond the reach of any.

The offering, since it was a model of Christ, was to be free from fault. Any fault would have debarred Christ our Lord from.being an acceptable offering to a holy God. Only a sinless offering could make a sufficient sacrifice for sins for others. Had there been sin in the Lord Jesus Himself, then He would have been forced to make sacrifice for Himself.

The offerer then placed his hands on his offering and thus portrayed the transfer of guilt. Thus the burden of it no longer rested upon the offerer but upon the offering.

The appointed offering was then slain (3:2). Death is the God-appointed desert of sin, but now through grace we see how it falls on Christ our Lord, as here in the model. This was the price of peace—the only means by which peace could be purchased.

The Division of the Offering

The offering was divided into three parts. First, there was a part for God. This was the best and choicest. It was placed on the altar and was consumed by fire (3:3-5). Thus the first part is brought to God, and in the fire’s consuming of it we see again the wrath of God against the sin of man. Justice in God demands this display of wrath, or else God’s holy character would be forfeited. The honor of His character could only be maintained by the God-Man slain. Only the Lord Jesus could meet the demand of God’s justice and man’s sins.

Secondly, provision is made for those who minister and serve. The Lord is never debtor to any man; they who leave all for Him in order to do Him service, have the needs of their own souls fully met. Their food is the same as that which satisfies God. Let all who serve as ministering brethren, or missionaries at home or abroad, or elders or deacons in the local church, know that their spiritual strength for service is through Christ as their peace offering. They cannot labor unless they feed on the Lord. This alone can produce the energy which will never flag, and gird the loins with sufficient strength for every demanding duty.

Thirdly, the offerer takes his portion. The essence of true faith lies in the partaking of our Lord—the inward receiving of Him. It is not mental knowledge—light in the head, the outward handling of truth—which brings peace. It is feeding by faith upon Christ as our offering of peace.

Here warning is given by the Lord that the unclean may not partake (Leviticus 7:20). Impurity will never lead to peace with God, most holy. God has provided means for the cleansing away of all sin, but neglect of such means cannot bring about such a gracious end. They who sit down without a wedding garment are cast out (Matthew 22:13). “There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked” (Isaiah 48:22).

The Motive of the Offerer

The offerer was first prompted by a sense of gratitude. His debts had been large, but now have been paid. His substitute has paid to the full. This then prompted another exercise— the offerer vowed and made pledge to live for God (Leviticus 7:12, 16). These two resolutions were fair flowers which now began to bloom in the life of the offerer after peace had been made.

The heart of those who have experienced such peace should ever be full, and ever flowing forth in ceaseless praise. Who could count the number of God’s mercies? Who could withhold his songs of praise? But should not gratitude lead to dedication, and to a purposeful resolve of heart to devote one’s life to the service of such a Saviour?

But none can praise, and none can serve, until peace is made with God. Such praise can rise, and such service can be given, only where peace abounds. These great exercises of the soul were to be done without delay. “It shall be eaten the same day that he offereth his sacrifice.” No remnant left to the third day was to be touched (7:17). There was to be no delay, no vacillation, no lingering, no reluctance. So with us today. The Lord Jesus has spread the feast. He bids us sit down with instant joy. It is ours to partake without a moment’s hesitation. The feast is set “to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Oh, the peace forever flowing
From God’s thoughts of His own Son!
Oh, the peace of simply knowing
On the cross that all was done.

Peace with God! the blood in Heaven
Speaks of pardon now to me:
Peace with God! the Lord is risen!
Righteousness now counts me free.

Peace with God is Christ in glory;
God is just and God is love;
Jesus died to tell the story,
Foes to bring to God above.