THE DIFFERENT APPRECIATIONS OF THE MEAL OFFERING
Leviticus 2 also reveals the different appreciations of Christ as the meal offering. We have already seen this with the burnt offering. There was the bullock, the sheep or goat, and the turtledove or young pigeon. The meal offering also has three kinds or degrees of appreciation. “And if thou bring an oblation of a meal offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. And if thy oblation be a meal offering baked in a pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil. And if thy oblation be a meal offering baked in the frying pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil” (Lev. 2:4-5, 7).
In the burnt offering, the degree of appreciation differs in size, but in the appreciation of Jesus as the meal offering, there are the different degrees of sufferings. The oven signifies one kind of suffering; the pan signifies another kind of suffering; and the frying pan signifies still another kind of suffering.
When we put something into the oven, the suffering is within. It is a hidden suffering, a deeper kind of suffering. In the four Gospels, some of the sufferings of the Lord Jesus are just like the sufferings in the oven. They are so hidden that only He knows; others do not. For instance, when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was praying, but even His disciples who were with Him did not know the extent of His suffering. He was really in a kind of oven. This is the deepest appreciation of the suffering Jesus. His suffering was inward, without any sympathy from others. He was put into an oven. Whether we present Christ as one suffering in the oven or in the pan depends upon our apprehension and experience. Our appreciation comes out of our apprehension and experience of Jesus.
The cakes and wafers which were baked in the oven were more definite in form. Every cake and every wafer is in a certain form. Our experience and appreciation of Jesus in this deeper way have something more of a definite form. The Hebrew word “cakes” which is used here means perforated cakes or pierced cakes. This is a cake that is perforated and full of holes. As we read the four Gospels, we see that Jesus was perfect, but He was not whole. He was perfect, but He was perforated and pierced through. I am afraid that with many of us there is not even one hole. We are not perfect, yet we are so whole. To be perfect is right, but we should not keep ourselves so whole. In the church life, the more holes we have the better. We should not keep ourselves so whole that we are not broken, perforated, and pierced through. The life of Jesus in the Gospels was one of piercing after piercing. This is why it is easy for us to feed upon Him. It is so easy to eat the perforated and pierced cakes.
The Hebrew word “wafers” means cakes that are very, very thin. Probably they were hollow, because the root of this word means “empty.” It is so thin and so hollow; therefore, it is easy for people to eat. Yet His inward suffering in this way has a definite form. This is the deepest appreciation of Jesus as the meal offering. Some who bring Christ to the tent of meeting as the meal offering must have this deepest appreciation of His suffering.
The second appreciation of the meal offering is the fine flour mingled with oil and baked in a pan. A pan is more open than the oven. This signifies the open sufferings which are easier for others to realize. There is some form, for it is divided into portions, yet it is not so much in form as the cakes and wafers in the oven.
The third appreciation is the fine flour mingled with oil and baked in a frying pan. The suffering is more shallow, and there is almost no definite form. This is the lowest appreciation of Jesus as the meal offering. When we were first saved, most of us had this kind of appreciation of Jesus. But as we feed upon the Lord’s humanity and grow, we should have at least a little appreciation of Jesus as the cakes and wafers baked in the oven. Our appreciation and experience of the Lord’s humanity must become deeper and deeper, higher and higher, and much more definite in form.
(Christ as the Reality, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)