I. TAKING CARE OF THE SACRIFICES
Verses 3 through 9 speak of taking care of the sacrifices. To take care of the sacrifices is to take care of Christ and treasure Him as our sacrifices to God.
A. Sacrifices to Be Offered to God Only at the Entrance of the Tent of Meeting before Jehovah, and Their Blood to Be Shed on the Altar
According to verses 3 through 6, the sacrifices were to be offered to God only at the entrance of the tent of meeting before Jehovah, and their blood was to be shed on the altar. This signifies that our taking of the Lord Jesus as our sacrifices offered to God and our participating in His redeeming blood must be at the entrance of God’s dwelling place (the church) on earth and must be through the cross.
B. A Sacrifice as a Peace Offering to Jehovah
Verse 5b speaks of a sacrifice of a peace offering to Jehovah. This signifies Christ as our peace with God that we may enjoy Him with man and with God in fellowship and joy, as in our enjoying of Christ in the breaking of bread for the remembrance of Him (1 Cor. 10:16).
Leviticus 16 refers to the sin offering, the trespass offering, the burnt offering, and the meal offering, but there is no mention of the peace offering. We have the peace offering in chapter seventeen. The peace offering is the result of the four other main offerings. In other words, chapter seventeen is the result of chapter sixteen. Thus, the sacrifices in 17:5 refer to the result of the sin offering, trespass offering, burnt offering, and meal offering.
1. Dashing the Blood on the Altar
“The priest shall dash the blood on the altar of Jehovah at the entrance of the tent of meeting” (v. 6a). This signifies that Christ’s blood was shed on the cross.
2. Offering Up the Fat in Smoke for a Satisfying Fragrance to Jehovah
The priest also was to “offer up the fat in smoke for a satisfying fragrance to Jehovah” (v. 6b). The fat here typifies Christ’s excellencies. The satisfying fragrance is a fragrance that satisfies God. Offering up the fat in smoke for a satisfying fragrance to Jehovah signifies that Christ’s excellencies are offered up to God through God’s holy fire for a fragrance to satisfy God.
3. No Longer Offering Sacrifices to the Goat Demons, to Which They Prostituted Themselves
“They shall no longer sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat demons, to which they prostitute themselves. This shall be a perpetual statute to them throughout their generations” (v. 7). This signifies no longer having fellowship with demons so as to commit spiritual fornication (1 Cor. 10:20-21).
The Hebrew for “goat demons” may also be translated “goat idols.” The word “prostitute” here indicates that for an Israelite to abuse the sacrifices by offering them in the place of his choice was to make himself a prostitute. This is a matter of spiritual prostitution, of spiritual fornication.
If we are narrow-minded in saying that the church is the place where Christ should be applied, then God Himself is narrow-minded in this matter, for we are simply following Him. Only God’s choice is the right choice. His requirement is that the sacrifices be offered only at the place of His dwelling. Concerning this, we must be as holy as He is and as narrow as He is. God is our pattern, and we must follow Him. Otherwise, instead of being a pure virgin presented to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2), we shall conduct ourselves like the great prostitute in Revelation 17. Leviticus 17 indicates in the matter of the sacrifices God is narrow-minded, and we must be the same, even if it causes us to bear the Lord’s reproach (Heb. 13:13).
(Life-Study of Leviticus, Chapter 48, by Witness Lee)