240 – Numbers 28 – Think about the blood
As I’m sure you know, Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). What you may not know is that he also wrote Psalm ninety. With the exception of his Psalm, everything that Moses wrote contains information about “offerings” or “sacrifices”.
Numbers chapter 28 is about daily and sabbath offerings, and the two feasts Passover and the feast of weeks.
There are Burnt, Grain, and Fellowship offerings. There are Libation offerings which are drinks poured out, and Effusion offerings which can be defined as giving off something, a smell.
Additionally, the Torah (first five books of the Old Testament, the law) includes sin and guilt offerings which are called expiatory.
There are more ways to think about or categorize offerings, but I don’t want to get lost in the weeds.
Offerings show up in the word of God in the very first book of the Bible. Genesis chapter four describes Adam and Eve’s boys each bringing an offering before Yahweh. As an aside, it’s curious to me that Adam and Eve didn’t bring a sacrifice but their children did.
If you think about it, God performed the very first sacrifice on Adam and Eve’s behalf. How else do you think they got their animal skins?
We find ourselves in Numbers chapter twenty-eight, with a new generation of Israelites preparing to cross into the promised land. Yahweh tells Moses, “Command the Israelites…”, then gives them specific instructions about offerings and two of the feasts.
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
2 “Command the Israelites and say to them, ‘You will be careful to present my offering, my food of my offerings made by fire, of a fragrance of appeasement to me, at its appointed time.’
In the first fifteen verses, Yahweh tells them He expects three types of offerings; Daily, Sabbath, and first of the month. The details about how these sacrifices are to be made can be found in the book of Leviticus.
Yahweh required two daily sacrifices, one in the morning and one in the evening. Both included a male lamb blemish-free and in their first year of life, a grain offering, and a libation or drink offering.
On the sabbath day, and on the first day of the month they had to add additional sacrifices (vs 9-15).
In verses 16-25 Yahweh requires the Passover and Feast of Weeks observances.
I don’t think we, as modern-day believers, think about the amount of blood that was constantly being spilled in the wilderness tabernacle. Just thinking about the daily offerings required for between 1.5 and 2 million nomads wandering through the wilderness. Can you imagine all that blood, the smells, the gore? And yet Yahweh God required it! All of that was a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. He was our sacrificial lamb who died in our place.
Look at this passage in Leviticus that explains the steps for an offering.
1 Then Yahweh called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of assembly, saying,
2 “Speak to the Israelites, and say to them, ‘When a person from you presents an offering to Yahweh, you shall present your offering from domestic animals, from the cattle or from the flock.
3 If his offering is a burnt offering from the cattle, then he must present an unblemished male; he must present it at the door of the tent of assembly for his acceptance before Yahweh.
4 “ ‘He must lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering and it will be accepted for him in order to make atonement for him.
5 He must slaughter the young bull before Yahweh, then Aaron’s sons, the priests, will present the blood and sprinkle the blood all around the altar that is at the door of the tent of assembly.
Can you imagine yourself as an Old Testament Israelite? You would have to put your hand on the head of the animal, and you would have to slit its throat!
Do you think about the blood of Christ? Have you ever come to terms with it being you who place his hand on Christ and that fact that it was your sins that slaughtered Him on the cross?
Consider this New Testament passage.
11 But Christ has arrived as a high priest of the good things to come. Through the greater and more perfect tent not made by hands, that is, not of this creation,
12 and not by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered once for all into the most holy place, obtaining eternal redemption.
13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow sprinkled on those who are defiled sanctify them for the ritual purity of the flesh,
14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God?
Jesus the Christ was and is the innocent Lamb of God who shed His blood for us. He truly is worthy of all praise, worship, and adoration.
All Scripture quotations from Harris, W. Hall, III et al., eds. The Lexham English Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.