Whats Up With All The Sacrifices?
Our Torah Portions for the last couple of weeks have come from the book of Leviticus. Adonai was instructing Moses on each of the sacrifices that were to be brought into the Tabernacle. He went into great detail on what each one meant and how it was to be carried out. Adonai is a very detailed God and every detail has a meaning. Today there seems to be a feeling that the sacrifices don’t mean anything to us so why go back and read about them? Don’t you know that God did not want sacrifices to begin with? Mercy is what he wanted! I beg to differ with you. I get very frustrated when I see someone pull one piece of scripture out of context and say “see I told you God didn’t want the sacrifices”. Are we reading the entire scriptures or picking what we want to read? Sorry got off on my soapbox there for a moment. Let’s get back to what I really wanted to discuss, the importance of the sacrifices and what they mean to us today. It is interesting to note that the sacrifices were carried out for another forty years after Messiah returned to Heaven, only stopping because the Temple had been physically destroyed. So I don’t feel that Yeshua’s actions replaced or did away with the sacrificial system.
There are five sacrifices discussed in the first nine chapters of Leviticus. It may surprise you to know that three of the five sacrifices were voluntary. Voluntary? That means they were not forced to bring them! These three were the Burnt Offering, (Hebrew Olah), The Grain Offering,(Hebrew Minchah) and the Peace Offering, (Hebrew Shelamim). The other two sacrifices are the Sin Offering (Hebrew chattat) and Guilt Offering (Hebrew asham). Let’s spend a little time discussing each one.