The third element is frankincense. In typology frankincense signifies resurrection. The sweet savor of frankincense signifies the fragrance of Christ’s resurrection. How sweet Christ is in His resurrection!
The fourth element of the meal offering is salt. In typology salt signifies the death, or the cross, of Christ. Salt seasons, kills germs, and preserves. This is the effect of the cross of Christ.
NO LEAVEN OR HONEY IN THE MEAL OFFERING
The meal offering is to have neither leaven nor honey. Leaven signifies sin and other negative things. In the Gospels the Lord Jesus speaks of the leaven of the Pharisees, the leaven of the Sadducees, and the leaven of Herod (Matt. 16:6, 11-12; Luke 12:1; Mark 8:15).
Honey signifies the natural human life. It signifies our natural life not in its bad aspect but in its good aspect. We should not think that people are always bad, for sometimes they are very good. But this natural goodness is honey. Hatred is leaven, but natural love is honey. Likewise, pride is leaven, but natural humility is honey.
Honey seems to be different from leaven. However, after a period of time honey can ferment, and this fermentation will issue in leaven. This indicates that whether we are good or bad, the result will eventually be the same. This is the reason Genesis 2 speaks of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We may be either good or bad, but in either case the result will be leaven.
We may use divorce as an illustration of the fermentation of honey. With a marriage that ends in divorce, a certain kind of honey—natural love—has fermented and issued in leaven. From this illustration we see that the issue of both hatred, which is leaven, and natural love, which is honey, is the same. The negative things are leaven, and the good aspects of the natural life signified by honey eventually ferment and become leaven.
The life Christ lived on earth was a life without leaven and without honey, and we should live the same kind of life today. We need to have the four positive elements—fine flour, oil, frankincense, and salt—but not the two negative elements—leaven and honey. If this is our situation, we will be a proper meal offering, an offering composed of humanity oiled with divinity in resurrection through Christ’s death and without leaven and honey. This kind of life is food to satisfy God and also to nourish us as God’s serving ones.
THE PORTRAIT IN THE FOUR GOSPELS OF CHRIST’S HUMAN LIVING ON EARTH
In the four Gospels we have a portrait of Christ’s human living on earth. He was God in eternity, but through incarnation He became a real man, and He lived on earth as a man.
The Spirit in Christ’s Human Living
Christ’s humanity has much to do with the Spirit of God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18, 20). From the time of conception, that is, from the very beginning of His manhood, His humanity was wrapped up with the Holy Spirit. Apart from the Holy Spirit, Jesus could not have been conceived and born. The Lord’s conception and birth were altogether of the Holy Spirit. His humanity was mingled with the Holy Spirit. Christ’s human living was based on this mingling.
When the Lord Jesus came forth to minister for God, He was baptized. “As Jesus was baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form as a dove upon Him” (Luke 3:21b-22a). The fact that the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, which is known for its gentleness, indicates that the Spirit of God is a person and not merely a power, channel, or instrument. The Holy Spirit as a person came upon the Lord Jesus. This means that just as oil was poured upon the fine flour, the Holy Spirit was poured upon the Lord Jesus. On the one hand, in His humanity He was mingled with the Holy Spirit; on the other hand, the Holy Spirit was poured upon Him and anointed Him.
The first part of Luke 4:1 speaks of “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit.” He was full of the Spirit, thoroughly oiled with the Spirit, because He was mingled with the Spirit and because the Spirit had been poured upon Him. He thus behaved and worked in the Spirit. Everything He did in His ministry was done in the Spirit—in the essential Spirit and also in the economical Spirit. He is a man mingled with the Spirit and with the Spirit poured upon Him.
(Life-Study of Leviticus, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)