Grace & Truth Chapel
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"Christ Seen in the Offerings (Part 3 of 3)" (posted October 2, 2005)

Once, at the end of the ages, He [Christ] has appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
   - Hebrews 9:26

Connecting the offerings with the gospels
The four gospels connect in a very wonderful way with the four blood offerings [described in Leviticus]. Matthew sets forth the trespass offering aspect of the work of Christ, meeting the sinner at the moment of his need when he first realized his indebtedness to God. It is noticeable throughout what a large place the thought of sin occupies in that book as a debt and as an offense to the orderliness of the divine government.

In Mark's Gospel the aspect of sin as uncleanness and defilement is more emphasized, and so we have the sin offering view of the cross. Then in Luke we have the peace offering as the basis of communion between God and man. In chapters 14, 15, and 16 we are shown the way that God in infinite grace has come out to guilty man to bring him into fellowship with Himself, and yet how many there are who refuse that mercy and so can never know peace with God.

In John's Gospel our Lord Jesus Christ is seen as the burnt offering, offering Himself without spot unto God, a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savor, and that is why in John there is no mention made of the awful cry of anguish, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me!" This really belongs to the trespass and sin offering aspects of His work; but it does not come in where His death is seen as that which fully glorifies God in the world where He has been so dishonored.

The meal offering [or grain offering, which did not involve blood] is seen in all the four Gospels where we have the person of Christ presented in various ways: as the Messiah of Israel in Matthew; the suffering Servant of Jehovah in Mark; the perfect Man in Luke; and the Son of God become flesh in John.

How to enjoy spiritual growth
It is as we meditate upon all these precious things that we really enjoy communion with the Father. At one time in my early Christian life, I had an idea that communion consisted in very pious feelings and frames of mind, and in order to have these emotions I would read every devotional book I could find, and would often jot down in a diary my thoughts when I had, what seemed to me, a distinct sense of piety that was very delightful and solemn.

I realize now that I thought communion consisted in having God find delight in my pious feelings. But that is not it at all. Communion with God is when my soul enters into His thoughts concerning His Son.

The God of the universe has been finding His delight in His blessed Son throughout all the ages of eternity, and now He says, as it were, "I want to take you into fellowship with Me in My thoughts about My Son. I want to tell you about Him. I want you to understand better the delight that I find in Him and to see more fully what His work and devotion mean to Me."

It was from the excellent glory that the voice of God came saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (2 Peter 1:17). And so from the inner tabernacle where the glory of God abode above the mercy-seat, the voice of Jehovah called unto Moses saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock--of the herd and of the flock'" (Leviticus 1:2).

Notice there is not a word here about man's sinfulness. This is addressed to those who are already in covenant relation with God, and whose hearts are overflowing with gratitude for what He has done for them, and who now voluntarily desire to bring to God something which He can approve of; and everything that they bring speaks of Christ.

Henry A. Ironside

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