The Peace Offering: Leviticus 3:1-4

Leviticus 3:1‑4  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The next one of the offerings mentioned is the peace offering. As we have remarked before, each one of these offerings brings before us a different aspect of the work of Christ. The burnt offering is what the work of Christ is to God, fully glorifying Him about sin. The meat offering is Christ’s perfect humanity and shows us in type how every testing and trial He passed through as man only brought out a perfect evenness and fragrance which was a delight to the heart of God His Father, as well as being food for us as priests.
Communion and Fellowship
The peace offering in our chapter today could be called the communion offering. As soon as sin entered the world in the garden of Eden, communion or fellowship between God and man was broken, and it could only be restored in Christ, the One who has fully glorified God about the question of sin. He has brought those who are saved into a place of acceptance and favor where we can have “fellowship ... with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:33That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)). We have been brought into a nearer place, far nearer than that enjoyed by Adam before sin entered. We were once enemies but now have been “reconciled to God by the death of His Son” (Romans 5:1010For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10)). All our guilty fears are gone, and we can “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1111And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Romans 5:11)). Blessed portion!
The way of approach to God is thus typified in all the sacrifices of the Old Testament, for the only way sinful man could stand before a perfectly holy God was through the blood of a sacrifice. And now in the peace offering we have the ground of communion so beautifully typified, as well as the energy that maintains it.
Degrees of Communion
First of all we notice that the offering might be taken from among the herd, such as a bullock, or it might be from among the flock, such as a sheep or a goat. The bullock is a large animal; whereas the sheep or goats are smaller, showing us that the measure of communion is not the same with every believer, but communion is only through Christ. The more we are occupied with Him, the more we shall enjoy that blessed intimacy of communion with God in our souls. May our measure be thus increased!
Rejoicing With Him
When the offering was presented, the offerer put his hands upon the head of the animal, thus identifying himself with it. The animal was then killed and its blood sprinkled upon the altar round about. The only way of entrance into the presence of God is through the blood, for it is the blood that puts sin away.
If we connect what we have here with the law of the peace offering in Leviticus 7, we will learn many precious things, helping us to realize in fuller measure what a wonderful privilege it is to have the thoughts of God and to be in the enjoyment of Christ. We notice here that the fat upon the inwards of the animal was burned upon the altar, and it is called “the food” of the offering. God would teach us first of all of His portion in Christ, and our communion and enjoyment is because of this. How He delights to bring His people into His thoughts, enjoying that which He enjoys. If we love someone, we want him to enjoy what we enjoy, and it is wonderful to think that God our Father wants us to rejoice with Him and have His thoughts about His Son.
For Further Meditation
1. What does the peace offering represent?
2. Communion suggests that we share thoughts in common with someone. We used to be those that hated God and His Son. What are the various things that God has done to completely change that situation?
3. A simple way of viewing the meaning of the different offerings can be found in the chart The One Sacrifice and the One Offering Chart. It provides a clear and brief description along with verse references of the burnt, meal, peace, sin and trespass offerings.