The Levitical offerings

2. The burnt offering

(Lev 1 NIV) The LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting. He said, [2] “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any of you brings an offering to the LORD, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock. [3] “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to offer a male without defect. He must present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD. [4] He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. [5] He is to slaughter the young bull before the LORD, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. [6] He is to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. [7] The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. [8] Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the burning wood that is on the altar. [9] He is to wash the inner parts and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. [10] “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the flock, from either the sheep or the goats, he is to offer a male without defect. [11] He is to slaughter it at the north side of the altar before the LORD, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle its blood against the altar on all sides. [12] He is to cut it into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, including the head and the fat, on the burning wood that is on the altar. [13] He is to wash the inner parts and the legs with water, and the priest is to bring all of it and burn it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. [14] “‘If the offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, he is to offer a dove or a young pigeon. [15] The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off the head and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. [16] He is to remove the crop with its contents and throw it to the east side of the altar, where the ashes are. [17] He shall tear it open by the wings, not severing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is on the fire on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.


The offering could be from cattle, sheep, goats or fowl. These particular animals were chosen and as with many things spoken of in the Bible they are symbolic. This symbolic language is used many times to show a spiritual, moral or ethical truth.

e.g. The sun, moon and stars are for signs; Flesh life is likened to grass; Life like a flower withers and fades away; The Lamb of God; Like a peacock = proud; The Book of Daniel & Revelation is full of animal symbolism.

Why then choose the particular animals of Leviticus. They are all tame, easily led, ritually clean and herbiferous.

They are not like the leopard (blood sucker) the bear (cruel); No peacock (pride) No serpent.

The animals chosen had to be types of the Lord Jesus and with His nature.


v.3 A voluntary offering

A love offering.

Jesus offered Himself

(note the burnt offering came first the trespass last ) We take the reverse order.

(Lev 19:5 NIV) “‘When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the LORD, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf.

(Psa 40:6-8 NIV) Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. [7] Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll. [8] I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

(Mat 26:42 NIV) He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

SIN is selfwill. Jesus acknowledged His Father’s will. Satan apposed it.

(John 10:17 NIV) The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.

(Heb 10:5 NIV) Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;

v.3. A Male Adam sinned. Eve was not the prime cause.

(1 Cor 15:22 NIV) For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive

v.3 Without blemish. The best only was to be given, not the second best. The name was involved.

(Mal. 1:8 NIV) When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty.

(Mal 1:13-14 NIV) And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,” says the LORD Almighty. “When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the LORD. [14] “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.

God gave his best. The sinless one. Jesus.

(Eph 5:27 NIV) and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

(1 Pet 1:19 NIV) but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Note here that some wait till they are half dead before they give themselves to the Lord.

(Rom 12:1 NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing

to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

(Rev 19:13 KJV) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

v.3. At the door. The door was the point of separation from the outside world. Jesus cried out “My God,my God why hast thou forsaken me.” A separation for our sake.

The church must be separated also, but from the worldly system of things.

(2 Cor 6:17 NIV) “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

v.4. The hand on the head.

They had made a freewill offering then blood was necessary. The hand on head identified the person with the offering. They became one with the animal in the sacrifice.

Substitution..The sacrifice died in their stead. The animal was accepted for him.

In the church the laying on of hands involves similar meanings We identify with one another.

The doctrine of laying on of hands for sickness, ordaining of ministries, receiving of gifts and imbuement of the Holy Spirit.

(Heb 6:1-2 NIV) Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

v.4 Accepted on his behalf as an atonement.

Faith was shown

(Eph 1:6 KJV) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Faith is necessary to please God

v.5. Blood. A life for a life.

Blood is God’s way of dealing with the problem. A shadow or typical symbol of future things.

(Rom 5:6-9 KJV) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. [7] For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. [8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. [9] Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

v.5 killed before the Lord.

The priests sprinkle blood on the altar and round about.

(Heb 11:28 NIV) By faith he (Moses)kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

Jesus’ sweat as great drops of blood.

Crown of thorns, His blood sprinkled onto the ground.

(Heb 12:24 NIV) to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

v.6 Skin the offering, i.e. remove the outer covering and reveal what was inside. The animal was not willing but the offerer. Jesus’ 39 stripes … As a lamb to the slaughter he opened not his mouth. Jesus the offerer and the offering … both willing.
v.6 Cut up … put fire. these were the duties of the priest.

Heb 4:12 NIV) For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Legs. Inward parts Exposed and checked for blemishes. Within and without.

(Psa 51:5-6 NIV) Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. [6] Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Jesus had no blemish He was the same inside and out.

v.8 Parts placed: The head … the place of mind, thought, will. Jesus yielded his mind, will to the Father.He had the mind of God but he yielded.

(1 Cor 2:16 NIV) “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Fat, kidneys, the purifier
Legs, the walk. To be washed with water.
He is our purifier, of thoughts, motives, words, of our inside selves. We are to be washed by the water of the Word of God.

(Eph 5:26 NIV) to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.

Placed on wood … fire. Jesus on wooden cross. God’s fire upon sin. The Holy Spirit and fire.
v.9 burn all. The priests had no part.

(Rom 12:1 NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

vv.10-14 Same treatment as the bullock Dove has no gall—a symbol of peace. No bitterness, tender love. An aspect of Jesus and the church.


v11. They are to slaughter the animal on the north side.

(Job 26:7 NIV) He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.

(Isa 14:13 KJV) For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

(Psa 48:2 KJV) Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

Satan wanted the north side … God’s side of the altar.


Signify the finished work. Outside the camp.

(Heb 13:13 KJV) Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.


The only part used: clothing for the priest. Similar to the clothing for Adam and Eve. The covering for the church is found in the robe of righteousness and the garment of salvation.

(Isa 61:3 KJV) To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.