Life-Study of Leviticusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
My burden in this message is to fellowship with you concerning the practical experience and enjoyment of Christ as the offerings.
Christ today is the reality of the offerings. According to Hebrews 10:7-9, Christ came in the flesh to do the will of God, which was to replace the Old Testament offerings with Himself. Verse 9b says, “He takes away the first that He may establish the second.” The “first” denotes the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament, and the “second” denotes Christ as the unique sacrifice, the unique offering. In the Old Testament there were many offerings, but in the New Testament there is one, unique offering—the wonderful person of Christ.
The book of Hebrews reveals to us what a wonderful person Christ is. In chapter after chapter, Paul opens the veil to show us the marvelous, mysterious, all-inclusive person of Christ. In particular, Hebrews speaks of the priesthood of Christ. Christ is not only our Savior—He is also our High Priest. In chapter ten we see that this One has become the replacement of all the Old Testament offerings. He came to do God’s will (Heb. 10:7, 9). In the New Testament economy, God’s will is to replace the Old Testament offerings with Christ.
If we would know Christ’s person, we need to study the book of Hebrews. This wonderful person is not only the Son of God and not only the Triune God—He is the processed Triune God. Christ is also a man, for He is the processed Triune God mingled with humanity. Eventually, Christ passed through death and entered into resurrection. Furthermore, as a man He ascended to the third heaven where, as a processed God-man, He is sitting on the throne. In His incarnation He brought God to earth, and in His ascension He brought man to the heavens.
According to the book of Hebrews, Christ, the ascended God-man, is our High Priest. In the Old Testament, the duty of the high priest was to offer something to God, either a sacrifice or a gift, not only to make propitiation but also to please God. As sinners with a sinful nature and sinful deeds, we had a problem with God, and God had a problem with us. There was no peace between us and God. Something had to be done to appease the situation between us and God. Christ has appeased this situation by making propitiation for us. Moreover, Christ has done something to make God happy. God wanted to be happy with us, but our sins made Him unhappy with us. Before we were saved, God loved us, but He was not happy with us. Therefore, Christ offered Himself not only as a sacrifice for sin but also as a gift to please God and thereby make Him happy. As the unique offering, Christ has made propitiation for us, and He has made God happy.
One of the most difficult books in the Bible for us to understand is Leviticus. Paul was the first one to open up, to expound, this book. Throughout the centuries, Bible teachers, especially among the Brethren, have expounded Leviticus. The Brethren opened up the types. We today have received much help from the Bible teachers who preceded us, and we are standing on their shoulders.
All those who have the proper understanding of Leviticus see the connection between this book and the book of Hebrews. For over sixty years we have been studying Hebrews and how it is linked to Leviticus.
In his Bible Correspondence Course, C. I. Scofield said that in every chapter of Leviticus we can see Christ. When I first heard this, I did not understand it. I could see the offerings in Leviticus, but I could not see Christ. Eventually, I was helped by the Brethren to see that in Leviticus Christ is portrayed in the types. All the offerings are types, pictures, of Christ.
Although I was helped by the Brethren to see Christ in the types, I did not realize until some time later that the offerings are God’s food (Lev. 3:11, 16; 21:6, 8; Num. 28:2). Do you realize that God is hungry, that He needs food, that He needs to eat? To say that God is hungry and needs food is not according to our natural, human concept. When we speak of the offerings as sacrifices, our only thought may be that we have a problem with God and need the offerings for propitiation that our situation with God may be appeased. We may never have realized that, in reality, one of the main purposes of the offerings is that they are food for God and also for His serving ones.
In the books of Exodus and Leviticus we see that the priests, who served in and around the tabernacle, ate the priestly food. What was this priestly food? It was the different kinds of offerings, both of the animal life and of the vegetable life. The offerings are not only for propitiating our situation and not only for pleasing God and making Him happy. The offerings are also for satisfying God and for satisfying, strengthening, and energizing God’s serving ones.
We may talk much about serving God, but with what should we serve Him? We need to serve God with Christ as food. This food should not be merely of one form or course; rather, like a Chinese feast, it should be of many courses. Each of the offerings is a different course. The burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the trespass offering, the sin offering, the wave offering, the heave offering, the free will offering, the drink offering—all these offerings are Christ as different courses with which we may serve God.
Christ is God’s food, and He is also our food. Since Christ is our food, we need to eat Him. Some Christians, however, may be bothered when they hear us speak about eating Jesus. We would remind them of the Lord’s word in John 6:57. “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me shall also live because of Me.” As our food, Christ strengthens us and energizes us.
We serve God with Christ as our food. Apart from Christ we have nothing to offer to God, nothing with which to please and satisfy Him. Therefore, we should not come to God empty-handed but with hands full of Christ to present to God. The top portion of Christ as the offerings is God’s food for His enjoyment, and the remainder is our food for our enjoyment. From this we see that both God and His serving ones are satisfied with Christ and by Christ as food.
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