The Meal Offering: Leviticus 1:14-2:3

Leviticus 1:14‑2:3  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
If the burnt offering was turtledoves or young pigeons, there were two things which could not be accepted, and they were to be put upon the east side of the altar by the place of the ashes. Since the tabernacle faced toward the east and the presence of God was in the holy of holies, we can see that the east side would be, as it were, away from the presence of God. Now these two things which could not be accepted were the crop and the feathers. The crop is the undigested food which the bird has eaten, and the feathers would be the bird’s outward appearance which is pleasant to the eye. Both these things were set aside and could not be accepted in sacrifice. This would show us that anything we have read and know only in our heads, but have never “digested” and made our own in a practical way, is not acceptable to God in worship. Nor is anything we “put on” just for the eye of others pleasing to God at all. Oh, how much we often say and do for others to hear and see! Let us be careful to put all hypocrisy aside and not deceive ourselves or try to deceive others by putting on an appearance which is not real. Let us remember that “the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed” (1 Samuel 2:33Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. (1 Samuel 2:3)). He knows all, and He does not want “the crop” nor “the feathers,” no matter how many good things are in the crop or how pretty the feathers may be!
Perfect Humanity
We now come, in this second chapter, to the meat offering. It tells us of the perfect humanity of the Lord Jesus. The meat (meal) offering was of fine flour, and there is no mention of blood in connection with it, for it is not a question of making atonement here.
The Lord Jesus was perfect man as well as perfect God, and the great attack of the enemy is to deny the deity of Christ simply because He became a man. We will notice, therefore, that the meat offering is the only one of the offerings which is spoken of as most holy. You and I have fallen human natures, but the Lord Jesus’ humanity was holy. He could not sin, for there was nothing but perfection within, and no response whatever to the temptations from without. It is because we have fallen natures that we find a response within when temptation is presented to us, but this was never so with the blessed Lord Jesus.
Perfect Moral Grace
The reason the meat offering was of fine flour was because there was a perfect evenness of every moral grace in Christ. The nicest people we know always have some outstanding characteristic such as kindness, generosity, consideration for others, or the like, while they lack in other virtues, but every moral grace was equal and perfect in Christ. Then oil was poured upon it for Christ was anointed by the Spirit for His service (Matthew 3:16-1716And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:16‑17)). Then the frankincense which was put upon it would remind us of the voice from heaven saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The Lord Jesus’ life was always fragrant to God His Father.
Passing Every Test
Part of this meat offering was burned upon the altar as a sweet savor to God. It reminds us that every test the Lord Jesus passed through only brought out the perfection of His sinless humanity. The priest was then able to have his portion, and so we as believers have our portion in reading about Christ’s perfect life. It becomes our spiritual food.
For Further Meditation
1. What is the spiritual meaning of the “crop”? What is the spiritual meaning of the feathers? Why are these symbols very appropriate?
2. How can you show from the gospels the very consistent moral character of the Lord Jesus? For example, in what ways was He both gentle and faithful when the situations called for it?
3. A rather full and challenging meditation on this subject can be found in The Holy Humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ by W. Kelly.