CHRIST AS THE REALITY OF THE WAVE OFFERING
AND THE HEAVE OFFERING
According to Numbers 18, all the things offered by the people of Israel were referred to as wave offerings and heave offerings. These are not two kinds of offerings but one offering with two aspects: the wave aspect and the heave aspect. The word wave implies a back and forth movement, and the word heave means to lift up. The wave offering signifies the resurrected Christ, and the heave offering signifies the ascended Christ. Christ offered Himself in His death, and He became the resurrected and ascended One. Resurrection and ascension are always related to each other. The resurrected Christ is the ascended Christ.
Everything which we enjoy of Christ is something of resurrection and ascension. Whenever we have something of Christ to bring to the church meeting to express Christ, this is always something of resurrection and ascension. We may testify that Christ is our comfort or wisdom. He is our comfort and wisdom only by His resurrection and ascension. The resurrected and ascended Christ is our comfort and wisdom.
CHRIST AS THE REALITY OF
THE FIVE BASIC KINDS OF OFFERINGS
The Burnt Offering
Our experience of Christ can be classified into many items and can be typified by the five basic kinds of offerings: the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering. When we learn to live by Christ, to take Christ as our life, the indwelling Christ will enable us to live a life absolutely for God and not for ourselves. This is the real experience of Christ as the burnt offering (Lev. 1:1-17; Heb. 10:5-7). The indwelling Christ enables us not to live for ourselves in anything but to live for God in everything. Christ then becomes a living burnt offering within us as we live by Him, taking Him as our life.
When we have this experience of Christ, we can offer what we have in the church meeting. We may offer a praise by saying, “Lord, we praise You that You are the One living within us to enable us to live a consecrated and separated life.” Such a praise, giving of thanks, testimony, or message is the offering of Christ as the burnt offering. When we offer Him in such a way, He is exhibited, expressed, and exalted.
The Meal Offering
We can also experience Christ as the meal offering (Lev. 2:1-16). When we take Christ as our life, we will have a refined daily life in our behavior and conduct. We will be fine and pure in our humanity like the fine flour of the meal offering. This offering is composed of fine flour mingled with oil. It signifies how Christ lives in us so that we may have a proper, refined, and balanced human life. This is pleasant and sweet to God and man.
When we come to the meetings, we can give a testimony, a message, or some praise and thanksgiving that will be an offering of Christ as the meal offering for the enjoyment of God and man. We may say, “Lord, we were rough people, but thank You for becoming our meal offering. We can take You as our refined, even, balanced, and pure life. Thank You that we can be pleasant, not by ourselves but by You as our life.” We can offer this kind of praise if we have the experience, the surplus. If we live by Christ day by day, He will cause us to have a proper human living, to have the fine, sweet, proper human behavior.
The Peace Offering
Now we come to the experience of Christ as the peace offering (3:1-17; 7:11-21). The peace offering signifies Christ as the fellowship. When we have Christ in our living, this Christ who is practical to us will be our fellowship with God and others. When we can have fellowship with God by Christ, this is the peace with God. When we can have fellowship with man, this is the peace with man. The peace offering is Christ as our fellowship with God and man. When we have peace with a brother, that means we have fellowship with him. The more we experience Christ, the more fellowship we will have, and this fellowship is the peace. Then we can offer this experience of Christ to God in the church meetings through our thanksgiving, praise, testimony, or message. This is not doctrinal but practical. The peace offering is Christ Himself as the mutual enjoyment between us and God and between us and others. Thus, we enjoy Christ as our peace with fellowship.
The Sin Offering
We also need to enjoy Christ as our sin offering (4:1-35). We should never forget that we still have a sinful nature. Regardless of how much we live by Christ and enjoy Christ, we still have our flesh and our sinful nature, so we need Christ as our sin offering to deal with our sinful nature. Someone may pray, “Lord, we are still in our old nature. Forgive us. We thank You that You have died for us and have been made sin for us. We apply Your blood for our cleansing.” This is the offering of Christ as the sin offering.
The Trespass Offering
After the sin offering, there is the trespass offering (5:1-19), signifying how Christ deals with our sinful deeds. The sin offering deals with the sinful nature within. The trespass offering deals with the sinful deeds without. We need to confess our failures, mistakes, wrongdoings, and shortcomings and apply Christ as our trespass offering. The burnt offering, meal offering, and peace offering are the main items for our experience, whereas the sin offering and trespass offering are subsidiary.
Whenever we come together, regardless of the kind of meeting we have, we should come with the Christ experienced by us. Sometimes we offer Him to God as the burnt offering. At other times we may offer Him as the meal offering. In the Lord’s table meeting, we can offer Him as the peace offering for our fellowship with God and man in peace. At the same time, we cannot forget that we are still in the old, sinful nature and that we are sinful in our deeds. Then we can apply Him as our sin offering and trespass offering. In this way the surplus of Christ is offered to God and exhibited to the whole universe. Then our meetings will be enriched and strengthened because they are full of Christ. Such a church life is an exhibition of Christ, an expression of Christ.
Christ will be expressed through us not only in the building up of the church but also in the church life, in all the meetings of the church. Then we will bear a testimony of being united and built up in Christ to be an expression of Christ. Also, when Christ is offered to God in the church meetings in many aspects, the church meetings will be the expression of Christ.
Thus, with the church there are the building aspect and the life aspect. The life aspect depends on the meetings. In all the meetings we should have something of Christ to offer. This depends on our daily labor on Christ. If we daily labor on Christ, we will have something of Christ to bring to our church meetings to contribute to others and offer to God so that we can enjoy Christ with God for the exhibition and exaltation of Christ. Then Christ will be expressed as the rich content of the church life.
(Christ as the Content of the Church and the Church as the Expression of Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)