245 – Numbers – Offerings
Offerings are mentioned in each of the first five books of the Bible. It is interesting to note that offerings predate the law Yahweh handed down to the Israelites through His servant Moses. The first offering to Yahweh made by a human was made by Cain in Genesis 4:3. The astute reader may have noticed the phrase “made by a human” I used in the previous sentence and may well know why I used it. I submit the very first offering was made by God to God when He clothed man and woman for the first time using animal skins.
The offerings were a very important and central practice in the lives of Israel for thousands of years, because Yahweh made them so. As Numbers chapters 28 and 29 summarize for us there were daily, sabbath (end of the week), monthly, and special offerings the nation was commanded by Yahweh to observe.
It wasn’t just the Old Testament Hebrew that practiced offerings. The New Testament Hebrew did too up until 70 AD when their temple was destroyed by the Romans.
Though we may know about and understand the meaning of the offerings (animal sacrifices) we cannot comprehend the full weight of their significance and bearing on life because we have never engaged in them. Ironically, if you mention offering to a modern-day believer their initial thoughts are most often about money – tithes and offerings.
Jesus is the central element of the offerings. This is why all of life was to pivot around the offerings. Jesus Christ should have been for them, and should certainly be for us today, the very foundation of our lives. Jesus should be the center of all we do. Every relationship we have should be based on our relationship with Jesus.
John the Baptizer recognized this truth just as Jesus was beginning His earthly ministry.
John 1:29 (NKJV)
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
The Old Testament offerings did not take away sin, they simply delayed God’s judgment in that they pointed to the future work Jesus performed on the cross.
Notice that these two verses in Revelation clearly state that the Lamb (Jesus) is in the midst or middle of the throne.
Revelation 5:6 (NKJV)
6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
Revelation 7:17 (NKJV)
17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Jesus is most definitely the central figure in heaven as declared by the book of Revelation. As a matter of fact, notice that Revelation 1:1 informs us the entire book is about Jesus Christ!
Revelation 1:1 (NKJV)
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
I would argue, the entire Bible is about Jesus Christ – He is its central figure.
So, why consider the Old Testament offerings? Because they are a type of Christ. I believe knowing something about the Old Testament sacrificial system gives us glimpses into various aspects of Jesus Christ we may otherwise miss.
Jesus paid our sin penalty by becoming the sacrificial Lamb of God upon the cross. Jesus was the only sacrifice that was truly without blemish or spot. The sacrifice of His life did not merely prolong the Father’s wrath, it completely satisfied it.
If you haven’t done so, receive God’s free gift of Jesus Christ by faith.
God is worthy of all Praise, Worship, and Adoration.