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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 1

  1. Intro:
    1. “It took God only 1 night to get Israel out of Egypt, but it took 40 yrs to get Egypt out of Israel!”
      1. Exodus – Is. Redeemed & established as a kingdom of priests.
      2. Leviticus – How to fulfill their priestly call.
        1. They came out of the slavery of the world (Exodus) & into the sanctuary of God (Lev.).
        2. From Redemption to Service – From Deliverance to Dedication.
    2. The book of Hebrews is the key to unlocking the spiritual significance of Leviticus.
      1. How should we “who are not under the law “ view the material in Leviticus?
        1. Read - As “symbols” (Heb.9:9); “copies of the things in the heavens” (9:23); & “a shadow of the good things to come,” (10:1).
    3. Leviticus starts with 5 offerings – Only 1 is unbloody (grain) – 3 are for a sweet savor (sin & trespass is not)
      1. Each of these offerings point to Christ…like a 5 sided Diamond, highly refractive, beaming forth different colors off of Himself.
    4. Read – From end of Exodus into Leviticus…note the flow.

Verses 1-17

  1. THE BURNT OFFERING! (1-17)
    1. THE DIVINE ORIGIN OF THE SACRIFICE! (1)
      1. At Mount Sinai God gave the law to Moses.
      2. This law lets us know very clearly, the Holiness of God & His righteous demand upon sinful men.
      3. Is it only the law of God in the OT, & the Grace of God in the NT?
        1. Absolutely not! – Here we see the “ultimate Grace of God” in graciously revealing the way man may be restored.
        2. No one! - No one in any period! - No one! - Has ever been saved “but by Grace”!
    2. THE VOLUNTARY NATURE OF THE SACRIFICE! (2)
      1. When any of you” – not mandatory.
      2. The animal was involuntary, but Gods people are to be willing living sacrifices.
    3. THE VALUABLE NATURE OF THE SACRIFICE!
      1. It goes from “most costly” to “not as costly”.
      2. The animals presented as a rule were costly. – Atonement is not cheap!
      3. The normal sacrifice was “of the herd or flock”. Domesticated not wild animals.
    4. THE VARIETY OF THE SACRIFICE! (2-17)
      1. The sacrifice could be “of the herdof the flock – or, of the fowl”.
      2. (2-9) OF THE HERD!
      3. (10-13) OF THE FLOCK!
      4. (14-17) OF THE FOWL!
        1. For those not able to present more costly offerings.
        2. No one need allow poverty to keep him from making his offering to the Lord.
        3. No matter how poor or how little we think we have to give to Him – He will receive it & bless it.
        4. Important thing is we give our all to Him each day!
        5. Crop - A pouchlike enlargement of a bird's gullet in which food is partially digested or stored for regurgitation to nestlings. (Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996)
    5. THE RITUAL OF THE SACRIFICE!
      1. The “Offerer’s Part” 1-3 & the “Priests part” 4-6.
      2. [1] PRESENTATION (3) “at the door”
        1. Bring it to the door…thus acknowledging his sin.
        2. Without Blemish – our very best to the Lord – Mal.1:7,8
          1. This symbolizes the perfection that God demands.
      3. [2] IDENTIFICATION (4) “put his hand on the head”
        1. The sinners guilt is symbolically transferred to the victim, the substitute.
      4. [3] KILLING THE VICTIM (5) “he shall kill the bull before the Lord”
        1. “The wages of sin is death.” Rom.6:23
        2. He shall kill (the offerer) “Anyone can kill the animal (thus identifying w/their sin & guilt) but only the priest could engage in the act that signified the bestowal of pardon” (Andrew Bonar)
      5. [4] SPRINKLING THE BLOOD (5) “sprinkle the blood”
        1. Sprinkle – actually, “dash the blood round against the altar”.
        2. There is “life in the blood”. This symbolizes the life given in the death.
        3. This points to expiation = “to appease, to make satisfaction, to make atonement, to pay the price for, to suffer for.”
      6. [5] PREPARING THE ALTAR (7,8) “the wood & parts in order”
        1. The priests provided the wood & maintained the fire on the altar.
      7. [6] WASHING & BURNING (9) “wash & burn”
        1. In the symbol of the smoke rising upward God is seen as accepting w/pleasure the prescribed sacrifice, offered in faith.
        2. Fire = the action of God excepting the sacrifice.
    6. THE PURPOSE OF THE SACRIFICE! (4 & 9)
      1. Acceptance & Atonement (4); & Consecration (9)
      2. To Be Accepted! – “Acceptance” The sacrifice is offered because sin has brought estrangement(alienation) between God & the offer’er.
      3. To Be Atoned for! – “Atonement” – covering (now he’s sheltered from the penalty)
      4. To Be Consecrated! – “Consecration” (to devote entirely) (9,13,17)
        1. “Burn all” - The Burnt offering (olah) lit. “that which goes up”.
        2. It was also called the “whole burnt offering”.
        3. Example of “all”- A little girl (Brittany) brought me a gift last week.
        4. Put your all on the altar & hold back nothing!
        5. ALL…except for the skin (hide) (7:8)
          1. This is the “only” Sacrifice entirely consumed. {The Epidermis Exception!}
          2. It’s amazing then the emphasis we put on skin when God says, “you can have it!”
          3. Wars are fought over its color. – Individuals die daily because of the amount of color pigment in their skin. – We spend Billions annually on skin products to lighten, darken, or moisten our skin.
          4. So that is the only thing given to the priest (7:8). The Skin or Hide.
        6. Q: Is God compartmentalized in your life? Or does He fill every niche?
        7. Q: Is He an add on, or is He everything?
        8. Q: Can you name one area of your life where He is left out? {family, worship, sexuality, treatment of the poor, friends you hang around}
      5. To Be Pleasing!
        1. Sweet Aroma (9,13,17) – The offering is given from a heart of love!
        2. If you seek to please Him He will except it!
          1. 1 Pet.2:5 “you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
        3. See Gen.8:20,21 – God is Spirit, God doesn’t have a body, but physical terms are used to depict Gods actions & responses.
        4. Eph.5:2 “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
    7. THE PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SACRIFICE!
      1. Christ as the Burnt Offering:
      2. “This means his entire surrender, even to death, to do the fathers will.” (W.H.Griffith Thomas)
      3. Jn.10:17 "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.”
      4. Rom.5:19 “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.”
      5. Eph.5:1,2 “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
      6. The Believer as the Burnt Offering:
      7. “This means that everything we are & have belongs to God, to be used for his glory.” (W.H.Griffith Thomas)
        1. Complete dedication!
        2. It’s putting your all on the altar daily!
        3. It’s putting your all on the altar at the beginning of each day, every night, & having a perpetual flame (see 6:8-13).
      8. What scriptures teach this?
      9. Rom.12:1,2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” 2 W.H.Griffith Thomas 3 W.H.Griffith Thomas
      10. 1 Thes.5:23 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
      11. Lk.11:36 "If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light."
      12. Ps.119:2 “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!”
      13. 1 Pet.2:5 “you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
      14. Read the words to the Hymn “I Surrender All”!

        All to Jesus, I surrender;
        All to Him I freely give;
        I will ever love and trust Him,
        In His presence daily live.

        I surrender all,
        I surrender all,
        All to Thee, my blessèd Savior,
        I surrender all.


        All to Jesus I surrender;
        Humbly at His feet I bow,
        Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
        Take me, Jesus, take me now.

        All to Jesus, I surrender;
        Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
        Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
        Truly know that Thou art mine.

        All to Jesus, I surrender; Lord,
        I give myself to Thee;
        Fill me with Thy love and power;
        Let Thy blessing fall on me.

        All to Jesus I surrender;
        Now I feel the sacred flame.
        O the joy of full salvation!
        Glory, glory, to His Name!

        (Spurgeon) “My numerous sins transferr’d to him,
        Shall never more be found,
        Lost in his blood’s atoning stream,
        Where every crime is drown’d!”
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Leviticus 1". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/leviticus-1.html. 2017.