Leviticus
Introduction 1-3 Ingredients of the Grain Offering 4 The Grain Offering in the Oven 5-6 The Grain Offering on the Griddle 7 The Grain Offering in the Pan 8-10 The Priest and the Grain Offering 11-12 No Leaven, no Honey 13 Salt Must Be Added to the Grain Offering 14-16 The Grain Offering of the First Fruits
Introduction

The “grain offering” is the only non-blood offering of the five offerings. That is why there is no question of reconciliation here. However, it is mentioned in one breath with the burnt offering. The LORD continues to speak here without pause.

The grain offering speaks of the perfect life of the Lord Jesus. But the perfect life of the Lord Jesus can never take away sins. No human being can be saved by His holy life because it has no reconciling effect. Reconciliation can only happen through the blood. Therefore, a grain offering is always connected to a blood burnt offering. However, the atoning death of Christ could not have taken place without a life perfectly devoted to God prior to it.

Historically, the grain offering – a picture of the life of the Lord Jesus – precedes the burnt offering – a picture of the death of the Lord Jesus. The fact that the burnt offering is spoken of first and only then of the grain offering shows that it is impossible to understand anything about the life of the Lord Jesus without first seeing what His death means.

Just like the burnt offering, the grain offering is also “a soothing aroma to the LORD”. For there is a part that is brought on the altar and burned. Nothing may be eaten of the burnt offering: everything is for the LORD. But what is left of the grain offering is for the priests. They may eat it as something “most holy” (verses 3,103The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: a thing most holy, of the offerings to the LORD by fire.10The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: a thing most holy of the offerings to the LORD by fire.).

The manna may also be eaten by priests and also the common people can eat from that. The manna speaks of the Lord Jesus (Jn 6:5151I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”). The manna serves as food for the people on their journey through the wilderness. Spiritually, the manna shows that we may feed ourselves with the Lord Jesus to gain strength to continue our journey through this life. When we read about Him in the Gospels, we see how He went through life on earth. To hear Him speak and to see Him act for the glory of God gives us strength to do so.

But there is a difference between the manna and the grain offering. The grain offering does not represent the Lord Jesus in His way through this world, but speaks of what He is in Himself, speaks of the glory of His perfect humanity. To see that distinction, you must be a priest, that is to say, be used to live in God’s presence. Believers who are priests in practice enjoy the Lord Jesus, enjoy Him as He is, and offer this to God as a soothing aroma to Him.


Ingredients of the Grain Offering

1‘Now when anyone presents a grain offering as an offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour, and he shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it. 2He shall then bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests; and shall take from it his handful of its fine flour and of its oil with all of its frankincense. And the priest shall offer [it] up in smoke [as] its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD. 3The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: a thing most holy, of the offerings to the LORD by fire.

The grain offering has three components:

1. “Flour.” This comes from the wheat. That reminds us of John 12 (Jn 12:2424Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.). Wheat grows out of the earth. The Lord Jesus is “the fruit of the earth” (Isa 4:22In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth [will be] the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.; 53:22For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no [stately] form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
), because He is born as Man. The flour, that is the finest flour, speaks of the complete cleanliness – any dirt in it would immediately stand out – and the complete equality of the particles. The triple and unambiguous testimony of Scripture therefore reads: “In Him there is no sin” (1Jn 3:55You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.), “Him who knew no sin” (2Cor 5:2121He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.) and “who committed no sin” (1Pet 2:2222who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;).

His whole revelation is perfect at any time. He is perfect in showing love and grace, but also in holiness and righteousness. Everything with Him is perfect in His time. With us there is often unevenness, we have our outliers, even in that in which we are strong. Moses “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth” (Num 12:33(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.)), but yet once loses his patience and sins (Num 20:8-118“Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.”9So Moses took the rod from before the LORD, just as He had commanded him;10and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?”11Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.).

2. “Oil.” Oil is used for example for the ointment of priests and kings. It is a picture of the Holy Spirit (1Jn 2:2020But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.; 2Cor 1:2121Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God,; 1Jn 2:2727As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.). In connection with the grain offering it shows how much the whole life of the Lord Jesus is characterized by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thus is He begotten by the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:3535The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.). In His whole life as Man on earth He is guided by the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:3838[You know of] Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and [how] He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.); everything He says and does, He says and does in the power of the Holy Spirit. The oil ‘moistens’ the fine flour (Eze 46:1414Also you shall provide a grain offering with it morning by morning, a sixth of an ephah and a third of a hin of oil to moisten the fine flour, a grain offering to the LORD continually by a perpetual ordinance.). Therefore His Name is “a purified oil” (Song 1:33“Your oils have a pleasing fragrance,
Your name is [like] purified oil;
Therefore the maidens love you.
). He is perfect and truly Man, and that without ceasing to be the eternal God.

3. “Frankincense.” This is the pleasant fragrance that goes up from the offering to God. God has perfectly enjoyed the Man Christ Jesus in His life on earth until His death on the cross. Everything He does and says, until death on the cross, is a complete pleasure for God.

Although the smell of the incense is for God, the priest who brings this offering smells the smell of it. We can understand that, when we consider that a priest is someone who is somewhat aware of how great the satisfaction is God has found in His Son.

The grain offering in its general character is called “memorial” (verses 2,9,162He shall then bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests; and shall take from it his handful of its fine flour and of its oil with all of its frankincense. And the priest shall offer [it] up in smoke [as] its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.9The priest then shall take up from the grain offering its memorial portion, and shall offer [it] up in smoke on the altar [as] an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.16The priest shall offer up in smoke its memorial portion, part of its grits and its oil with all its incense as an offering by fire to the LORD.). There are also two psalms that David has specially written “for a memorial” (Psa 38:11A Psalm of David, for a memorial.
O LORD, rebuke me not in Your wrath,
And chasten me not in Your burning anger.
; 70:11For the choir director. [A Psalm] of David; for a memorial.
O God, [hasten] to deliver me;
O LORD, hasten to my help!
). The expression “memorial” determines that when we bring a grain offering, we remember the life of the Lord Jesus on earth and remind God of that as it were. God loves to look back at the life of His Son on earth and wants to hear about it from us.


The Grain Offering in the Oven

4‘Now when you bring an offering of a grain offering baked in an oven, [it shall be] unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers spread with oil.

Just like the burnt offering, the grain offering also has some forms in which it can be brought. And just as with the burnt offering, God begins here with the greatest grain offering and then the smaller forms:
1. the grain offering in the oven;
2. the grain offering on the griddle;
3. the grain offering in the pan.

These different forms indicate the degree of insight that someone has who brings a grain offering. This can be seen from the description, which is becoming less and less detailed. All species are exposed to the fire. Fire represents the testing holiness of God. Through the fire, the life of the Lord Jesus only produces a lovely fragrance for God.

The forms of suffering to which the Lord Jesus is exposed in His life are different. There are forms of suffering that even an unbeliever can recognize. Just think of the scourging by Pilate. This is represented in the grain offering in the pan, the third form of the grain offering. There are also forms that only they notice who live close to God and know His feelings about sin. We can think of the feelings of the Lord Jesus when seeing the iniquity and sin around Him.

The first grain offering to be described is the one “baked in an oven”. It consists of unleavened cakes mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil. Unleavened means without sin. That is the Lord Jesus. “Mixed with oil”, means that He was conceived by God the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:3535The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.) and through this He is the Son of God. His Godhead is completely interwoven with His Mankind. This mystery can only be fathomed by God (Mt 11:27a27All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal [Him].).

Everything in His life He does guided by the Holy Spirit. Thus He lives among people who only do their own will, without asking for God’s will. This also applies to the thirty years of His life of which we know almost nothing from the Gospels. There are just a few believers who think about what suffering that must have meant to Him.

The “unleavened wafers spread with oil” represent the Lord Jesus when He is anointed with the Holy Spirit at the age of thirty. He Who is born of the Holy Spirit is anointed with the Spirit. That emphasizes His perfect Humanity. He does not want to do His service work on earth in His capacity as God, but as a perfect Man. Immediately after He is anointed, He is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, a temptation that lasts for forty days (Mk 1:9-139In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.10Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;11and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”12Immediately the Spirit *impelled Him [to go] out into the wilderness.13And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.).

Who can realize what that must have been for Him? There is much of that suffering in the Gospels that many read without noticing it and of which we only discover something if we, as priests, can penetrate deeper into the heart of God and the heart of the Lord Jesus. Such priests see the fire there and smell the pleasant scent it has produced for God.


The Grain Offering on the Griddle

5If your offering is a grain offering [made] on the griddle, [it shall be] of fine flour, unleavened, mixed with oil; 6you shall break it into bits and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering.

The grain offering “on the griddle” must be broken into bits. It is reminiscent of what the Lord Jesus experienced at the end of His life, when all friendship and love is broken to bits.

1. His disciples sleep while He has asked them to watch with Him (Mt 26:36-4336Then Jesus *came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and *said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”37And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed.38Then He *said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”39And He went a little beyond [them], and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”40And He *came to the disciples and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “So, you [men] could not keep watch with Me for one hour?41Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”42He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”43Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.).
2. Judas, whom He calls friend, betrays him (Mt 26:14-16,47-4914Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests15and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.16From then on he [began] looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.47While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, [who came] from the chief priests and elders of the people.48Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.”49Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.).
3. Peter denies him (Mt 26:69-7569Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”70But he denied [it] before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.”71When he had gone out to the gateway, another [servant-girl] saw him and *said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”72And again he denied [it] with an oath, “I do not know the man.”73A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are [one] of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.”74Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed.75And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.).
4. The people who first hailed Him, reject Him and cry: “Away with this man” (Lk 23:1818But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!”).

When we think of the Lord Jesus in this way and tell God how He is perfect in these circumstances, we bring a grain offering from the griddle. Everything that has been done to the Lord Jesus in this respect has touched Him deeply. At the same time, in all those bits, all those events, it appears how much the Holy Spirit (the oil) has led Him to go His way to the end – to the glory of God.


The Grain Offering in the Pan

7Now if your offering is a grain offering [made] in a pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil.

The grain offering “in the pan” is the smallest offering. To bring that, it does not take much insight into the life of the Lord Jesus. Even the word “unleavened” is missing here, which indicates in the application that the awareness of the Lord Jesus’ complete sinlessness is lacking. The absence of awareness does not mean that there may be ‘leaven’ in it and that God tolerates it. Verse 1111‘No grain offering, which you bring to the LORD, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the LORD. states that ‘no’ grain offering may be made with leaven.

In this grain offering a general feeling is expressed that every believer has when he thinks about how much the Lord Jesus must have suffered from the mockery and scourging. To tell God about that means to bring a grain offering to Him. This form of the grain offering is also “a soothing aroma to the LORD” (verse 99The priest then shall take up from the grain offering its memorial portion, and shall offer [it] up in smoke on the altar [as] an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.).


The Priest and the Grain Offering

8When you bring in the grain offering which is made of these things to the LORD, it shall be presented to the priest and he shall bring it to the altar. 9The priest then shall take up from the grain offering its memorial portion, and shall offer [it] up in smoke on the altar [as] an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD. 10The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: a thing most holy of the offerings to the LORD by fire.

He who comes with a grain offering gives it to the priest. The offeror and the priest are both a picture of the believer. The believer may have seen something of the glory of the Lord Jesus. That is what he wants to tell God, to offer Him. In the moment that he tells it to God, he is busy as a priest. Until that moment he is an offeror, then he is busy with the offering itself, with the ‘ingredients’ of it. Being busy with the offering is the preparation for the priestly service.

No one but the priest may make the offering. He is appointed by God. “And no one takes the honor to himself, but [receives it] when he is called by God, even as Aaron was” (Heb 5:44And no one takes the honor to himself, but [receives it] when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.). It is the arrogance of the roman catholic church that it does appoint priests. Every change that people make in matters regulated and determined by God brings with it a curse (cf. Dan 7:25-2625He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.26But the court will sit [for judgment], and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.).


No Leaven, no Honey

11‘No grain offering, which you bring to the LORD, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the LORD. 12As an offering of first fruits you shall bring them to the LORD, but they shall not ascend for a soothing aroma on the altar.

The grain offering shall not contain leaven or honey, while the salt (verse 1313Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.) shall not be lacking. When we express our thoughts about the Lord Jesus to God, we can unfortunately make false statements about Him. If we assume that the Lord Jesus could have sinned, even though He did not do it, it is leaven. Scripture unambiguously shows that the Lord Jesus could not sin.

We also nowhere find in Scripture, the idea that the Father left the Lord Jesus on the cross. We read the opposite in John 16 (Jn 16:3232Behold, an hour is coming, and has [already] come, for you to be scattered, each to his own [home], and to leave Me alone; and [yet] I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.). The Man Jesus Christ is forsaken by God in the hours of darkness. It is also leaven to suppose that the Lord Jesus is under the wrath of God during His life on earth. On the contrary, He always does what the Father pleases, also on earth.

Honey is used in every pastry, as we now use sugar. But it may not be used in the grain offering. Honey in itself is good, it gives new energy (1Sam 14:2727But Jonathan had not heard when his father put the people under oath; therefore, he put out the end of the staff that [was] in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened.; Pro 24:1313My son, eat honey, for it is good,
Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;
). It speaks of the pleasant sweetness of the natural things of life. We can think of the family relationship, the relationship between husband and wife and between parents and children. The natural feelings we have are not wrong. It is even wrong if they are lacking (2Tim 3:1-41But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,).

The Lord Jesus compares the kingdom of heavens to leaven, “which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened” (Mt 13:3333He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”). We see the three measures of flour in the grain offering, a picture of the perfect Humanity of Christ. The woman represents the false church. This shows in pictures that the truth about Christ is corrupted by the false church.

The grain offering speaks of the completely devoted life of the Lord Jesus to God. In this dedication, ‘honey’ does not play a role. The Lord Jesus loves His mother Mary. At the cross we see how great His love and care for her is. But as soon as she interferes in His obedient fulfilment of the will of His Father, He must say: “Woman, what does that have to do with us? (Jn 2:44And Jesus *said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”; Lk 2:4949And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s [house]?”; Mk 3:33-3533Answering them, He *said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?”34Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He *said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!35For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”). Natural bonds have no place in the ministry of the Lord Jesus.

The Lord does not despise natural feelings. He has given them Himself to man. But they cannot have a place in the work He does. They are not allowed to do the same with us if we want to do a work for the Lord. They may hinder a real choice for the Lord Jesus, or the decision to do a work for Him (Mt 10:3737“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.; Lk 14:2626“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.). When we think about His suffering, it is not right that we do so with our natural feelings. We see such feelings in the women of Jerusalem, about whom the Lord gives a warning (Lk 23:27-2827And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him.28But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.).

If there is any of these ingredients in the grain offering, the offering should be treated as an offering of first fruits. This offering may not come on the altar. That is because there is leaven in it. This is discussed in more detail in Leviticus 23 (Lev 23:1717You shall bring in from your dwelling places two [loaves] of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths [of an ephah]; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the LORD.). There we see that this offering speaks of the church. In the members of the church sin is still present (1Jn 1:88If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.), although it is ripped from its power.

We see that with the offering of the first fruits also a sin offering is brought. This is not the case with the sheave of the first fruits (Lev 23:1010“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.), which speaks of the Lord Jesus. But isn’t it a beautiful thought that we too can offer ourselves to God? And even though we are not like the Lord Jesus completely a pleasant fragrance for God, it is an offering that is pleasant for Him (Rom 12:11Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, [which is] your spiritual service of worship.).


Salt Must Be Added to the Grain Offering

13Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.

In this verse the salt is mentioned three times. Salt speaks of sustainability, because it repels corruption. We read elsewhere about a salt covenant (2Chr 13:55Do you not know that the LORD God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?). This is a covenant that does not dilute, but that withstands time and loses none of its strength. This certainly applies to Christ and His sacrifice. The Lord Jesus calls His followers for having salt in themselves” (Mk 9:5050Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty [again]? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”). They should be the preserving element in the world (Mt 5:13a13“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty [again]? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.).

The salt as an addition to every grain offering (“all your offerings”) means that the offering of the Lord Jesus keeps its value forever. The pleasure and the pleasant smell of the offering are not short-lived, transient, but permanent, eternal in nature. It is “the salt of the covenant of your God”, that is to say, that all the promises of God are preserved and that He will fulfil the obligations He has voluntarily assumed upon Himself. Christ is the guarantee for this.


The Grain Offering of the First Fruits

14‘Also if you bring a grain offering of early ripened things to the LORD, you shall bring fresh heads of grain roasted in the fire, grits of new growth, for the grain offering of your early ripened things. 15You shall then put oil on it and lay incense on it; it is a grain offering. 16The priest shall offer up in smoke its memorial portion, part of its grits and its oil with all its incense as an offering by fire to the LORD.

In these verses we have another special form of the grain offering. Here it is not flour, finely ground, but an offering of early ripened things: these are first fruits. Unlike the first fruits of verse 1212As an offering of first fruits you shall bring them to the LORD, but they shall not ascend for a soothing aroma on the altar., they do come on the altar.

The difference between the two forms of first fruits can be seen in Leviticus 23 (Lev 23:10,15-1710“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.15‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths.16You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD.17You shall bring in from your dwelling places two [loaves] of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths [of an ephah]; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the LORD.. The first mentioned first fruits (Lev 23:15-1715‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths.16You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD.17You shall bring in from your dwelling places two [loaves] of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths [of an ephah]; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the LORD.) are a picture of the Lord Jesus. He is the sheaf of the first fruits (1Cor 15:2020But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.). In the other first fruits leaven is present. It is in the two breads for a wave offering – in which the effect of the leaven, because it is baked, has been brought to a standstill – which represent the church. The first mentioned offering (Lev 23:1010“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.) is a mandatory offering in the annual cycle of sacrifices. The offering in the verses here before us is a voluntary offering that may always be brought.

When we speak of ‘first fruits’ we also think of others. A first fruit is a first fruit of a large harvest. The life of the Lord Jesus on earth is also “a first fruit” in the sense that God sees a Man Who is the first Man ever completely devoted to Him. Through His work on the cross He has opened the way for a large mass of people who, like Him, can walk dedicated to God. He is our Model, our Example (Phil 2:55Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,). To bring such sacrifice to God means that we realize that we shall walk as He has walked (cf. 1Jn 2:66the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.).

The fresh heads of grain represent the Lord Jesus in the power of His life. The roasted fresh heads of grain represent that He is exposed to the fire of God’s testing and investigating holiness. This is not about His work on the cross, but about His walk. When He bears His cross and is on His way to Golgotha, He says: “For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry? (Lk 23:3131For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”). With “the tree is green” He means Himself in His youthful power.

We listen to something like this when, in Psalms, with a view to His death, He says to God: “O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days” (Psa 102:24a24I say, “O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days,
Your years are throughout all generations.
). As Man, He is in the power of His life when it is asked of Him to surrender His life to death. He gave Himself completely, but as Man He could not desire to be taken out of the midst of life.


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