Vayikra – “And He Called”

This week’s Parasha is called Vayikra, which means “and he called”.  It Covers Leviticus chapter 1 through chapter 6:7. In these chapters, we will be covering five sacrifices that El Gabor, Mighty God,  required of the Jewish people.

The first sacrifice is the burnt offering, followed by a grain offering, peace offering, sin offering, and a guilt offering. We will start with the burnt offering, which emphasized prayers of petition or peace. This was a costly sacrifice as the whole animal was to be burned up with nothing left; except for the skin, which the priest himself was to keep.  The burnt offering was a male without defect, such as cattle, sheep, goats, and even birds, as long as they were not birds of prey.  Scripture tells us that it was a pleasing aroma to the Lord.  We all know that there is nothing like a barbecue to make you feel real hungry.  In this case, however, you are not allowed to eat any of it. Priests were to bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar at the entrance of the tent of meeting.

When anyone brings a grain offering to the LORD, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it 2 and take it to Aaron’s sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.

The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the LORD. The grain offering was without leaven, a symbol of sin in the word of God. While the text in this scripture does not explain the reason for the grain offering, other grain offerings were usually in thanksgiving to the Lord for all that He had done for his people.

In chapter 3 we cover the peace offering. The peace offering was for fellowship with the Lord by having a communion meal. The peace offering could be cattle or sheep.  The blood was poured on the altar sides and the priest was given a portion of this as well as the one who brought that offering. In this offering, the priests brought the offerers petition and praise to El Elyon, God Most High, that He was the one worthy of this most high honor.

Chapter 4 brings us the laws for the sin offering.  This offering was for atonement of committed sins.  Offerings consisted of cattle, sheep, goats and birds; because they represented Christ’s chastity, meekness, and gentleness, and that purity of mind which becomes every worshipper of God. Hence birds of prey, and those of a coarser kind, were not to be offered.

The blood was smeared on the altar and sprinkled inside the tent. This was the way the Israelis could make amends for one’s broken relationship with the Lord caused by either unintentionally violating one of the Lord’s commandments or by failing to do something that one was required to do.  This was required by the Jewish nation including the leaders and the priest. This is a reminder for all of us in leadership that more is required of us look at Moses, he made the one recorded mistake and he was not allowed into the promised land at that time , he would get there during the transfiguration with Elijah when they meet Messiah.

Chapter 5 covers the laws for the guilt offering, which, like the sin offering, was an atonement for a committed sin.   However, before this offering could be made, the offender must make reparation to the damaged party +20% for sin against their neighbor.  Following this, the offender may bring the offering asking for God’s forgiveness.

Some applications to consider;

The animals that were sacrificed were to be without blemish, the best of the herd, and worthy of the sacrifice; just as Yeshua, the Messiah, was without blemish and most worthy of the sacrifice he made once and for all.

The burnt sacrifice is called “olah” in Hebrew. Two types of animals were used for the burnt offering. Animals from the herd of cattle and of the flock are sheep. Wild animals that were animals of prey were excluded.  Carnivorous animals were forbidden in all sacrifice.  Animals that live by slaying other animals could never reveal Messiah Yeshua, who came to give his life as a ransom for the many. The sacrificed animals also needed to be domesticated animals, not animals that came as a result of a hunt. Only those that were valuable and dear to the owner could be offered because it prefigures Jesus.  We should also note that the priest would put his hand on top of the head of the animal be to be sacrificed. We see a correlation in the early church when the leaders placed their hands on Paul and Barnabas when they were designated to go out in their place as a representative, just as we do today when we send out missionaries.

With regard to the sin sacrifice, there was an atonement, which means to cover not remove, for it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin ( Hebrews 10:4). Only the Lamb of God removes sin and that is our Lord Yeshua, the Messiah.

When we see the sacrifices, all of them lead us to Messiah Yeshua.  God sees only our Messiah as the only one who could truly satisfy him for your sins and mine.  Brothers and Sisters, I hope you see that only Messiah Yeshua can fill those shoes.   I’m sure for some of us on any given day we still believe that we can bring our best fruits to the Lord and it might not make us look as sinful as we are, but I promise you that God will not accept that from us in lieu of our sin. We are never worthy enough, Only the sacrifice that Messiah Yeshua brings is acceptable. The Father only accepts what Yeshua has done for you and me and he counts the righteousness of Yeshua as our righteousness. Brothers and Sisters Trust God today, tomorrow, and always and you will live eternally with EL Gibor Mighty God.