Read Leviticus 3
The Fellowship Offering
3 “‘If your offering is a fellowship offering, and you offer an animal from the herd, whether male or female, you are to present before the Lord an animal without defect. 2 You are to lay your hand on the head of your offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash the blood against the sides of the altar. 3 From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the Lord: the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, 4 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. 5 Then Aaron’s sons are to burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering that is lying on the burning wood; it is a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
6 “‘If you offer an animal from the flock as a fellowship offering to the Lord, you are to offer a male or female without defect. 7 If you offer a lamb, you are to present it before the Lord, 8 lay your hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. 9 From the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the Lord: its fat, the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, 10 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. 11 The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering presented to the Lord.
12 “‘If your offering is a goat, you are to present it before the Lord, 13 lay your hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the tent of meeting. Then Aaron’s sons shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. 14 From what you offer you are to present this food offering to the Lord: the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, 15 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys. 16 The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the Lord’s.
17 “‘This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.’”
Another day, another set of instructions regarding sacrifices to God. As we have read in the previous two chapters, God has a very specific set of guidelines and expectations for the Israelites to follow. This offering (known as a “peace” or “fellowship” offering, depending on your translation of scripture) was meant to symbolize the importance of the personal relationship between God and the individual sinner. This type of offering was voluntary and was meant to celebrate a restored fellowship (or peace) between God and man. As we read this passage, this should serve as a reminder to us that fellowship with God is not something that we should ever take for granted but instead is something that we should celebrate and express our gratitude for daily!
As we dive into the specifics of the sacrifice, there are a couple of important things for us to take note of. First, the sacrificed animal was to be “without defect” (v. 1, v. 6). Other translations might say “without blemish.” The point was simple: God wanted the sacrificed animal in the peace offering to be spotless; God wanted the best that the person had to offer. Later on in the passage, there are instructions about what to do with the specific parts of the animals (specifically the fat and the blood). The final verse in this chapter makes it clear: the fat and the blood are God’s. But why? Pastor and commentator David Guzik of the Enduring Word commentary describes it this way:
“There was a spiritual significance to this command relevant to the peace offering. We enjoy peace with God by giving Him the best and our energy (represented by the fat), and by giving Him our lives (represented by the blood).”
As followers of Jesus, there are several reminders in this passage that we should keep in mind as we go about our days. First, this passage is a reminder of what 1 Peter 1:19 tells us: Jesus was the ultimate, perfect sacrifice. His willingness to be the sacrificial lamb on our behalf two thousand years ago allows us to have fellowship with God today. Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
It also reminds us that each and every day, we are to give God the very best that we have. We want to do all things in our lives to the glory of God (Colossians 3:17) and live as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1) in a way that helps everyone follow Jesus. We want to show others what peace with God looks like. We want to show others what it’s like to find fellowship with the God who created everything around us. As we go about our days today, let’s be people that celebrate the goodness of God.
- What details stuck out to you in today’s reading? Why?
- Do you take the time to celebrate the fact that you have fellowship or peace with God? If not, what is a way you can celebrate that today?
- How can you show the people around you today what it looks like to have peace with God?
Did You Know?
There are parallels between this offering and when we take communion. Dr. Thomas Constable, a retired DTS professor, made this note:
“There are several similarities between this offering and the Lord’s Supper: Both celebrations commemorate a covenant, both involve rededication to God, and both feature blood.”
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