What is the Burnt Offering [manuscript]

Life in the Presence of God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Title: What is the Burnt Offering?
Text: Leviticus 1:1-17, 6:8-13
Series: Life in God’s Presence
Leviticus 1:1 Worship begins with God’s Voice Calling.
Today, as you entered the church building, you were not stopped at the entrance nor were you asked to kill, flay, and sacrifice an animal so that you might enter without being killed.
Despite this wide gap between today and 3,500 years ago, there is tremendous relevance that we should consider. (v. 1) The passage shows us a call to worship. God calls out to Moses. This voice of God has been active throughout the Pentateuch. In Genesis, God’s speaks and creation happens. It is the voice of God from which Adam and Eve hid themselves in the Garden after they sinned. It is the voice of God that spoke to Moses from the burning bush. Here it is the voice of God that calls to Moses.
App: This is a good lesson for our personal and congregational worship. In our personal worship, we should expect that the Voice of God is central; and in our Congregational Worship, we should pause to hear the voice of God calling us to worship. We do this through scripture readings, singing…etc.
It also means that the call to worship is as important as the preaching of the Bible, since both are the voice of God. It also means that we should gladly enter into worship, not as if we are doing God a favor by showing up; but as ones who have been invited through unworthy.
How can we worship God without being burned up, killed, consummated, destroyed? How can we enter back into the Garden and live?
Goal: We must worship God acceptably through atonement.
Why needed?
Calling people to worship God acceptably through atonement is needed because:
·     some are neglecting the voice of God
·     some are dismissive of the qualifications of worship – unaware of danger
(1)  What is the Burnt Offering?
(2)  What is the purpose of the Burnt Offering?
(3)  What must I apply from the Burnt Offering?
What is the burnt offering? (Leviticus 1:1-9)
The Offering Communicated Value
First, (v. 2-3) this offering is a costly sacrifice.
What made it costly are several factors: male & without blemish (v. 3) [Ill: process of purchasing dog], death/blood (v. 5).
App: True worship of the holy God, always costs us something.   
Second, this offering was valuable because it offered participation in two ways
Opportunity to all to participate (v. 3, 10, 14) [Ill: Close down Carlo & Johnny’s or Grocery Store? Value of allowing broad participation…etc.] and personal, physical participation of the worshipper.  
The offering involved the will and body of the worshipper (v. 3). [Ill: the emotional weight. Story of the rich man & poor man…] The worshipper would not just get bloody, but he would feel the weight of the moment. What is the weight?  
App: You and I should learn that true worship is not when you are dragged against your will to the house of God. [Ill: saved versus following dragging, kicking and screaming…etc]  
The Rituals Communicated Realities
(v. 4-6) The reality behind the Hand-to-Head:
the weight of sin is seen in the ritual of pressing down upon the head of the animal. This was a form of identification. The worshipper is saying that the lamb is as he is. This then led to the bloody mess that would need to be made. Leviticus 17:11 says that “the life of the flesh is in the blood”. The cost of sin is death.  
True worship requires a recognition of the costliness of sin and the worthiness of God’s holiness. Strive to know God for who He is, and your desire will follow.
(v. 8) The Reality of Complete Burning:
The washing of the inwards was a message again of the need for cleanliness and purity before the Lord (v. 9). Gordan Wenham says, “The law is concerned that the clean and holy priest be kept from pollution. THEREFORE, the worshipper must undertake the messier tasks associated with sacrifice.”
(v. 8-9) The Reality behind the Smoke:
The process of burning was a type of transformation. The physical animal was burned, and the smoke ascended showing that it was going up to God. It is a sweet savor unto the Lord (v. 9). This is an anthropomorphism. As the smoke of the animal is transferred into the presence of the Lord, thus is the worshipper vicariously transferred into the presence of the Lord.   
Answer: The burnt offering is the daily sacrificial act of worship made so that the worshippers can live [be accepted] in the presence of God.
What then is the Purpose of this burnt offering? (v. 4)
The purpose of the burnt offering is two-fold. First, it is the only means whereby the would-be worshipper’s sinful nature can be atoned by faith in a substitute. [no particular sin mentioned] [Ill: Jim Hamilton Ill, buying ticket]
Answer: Second, the primary purpose of the burnt offering is ultimately acceptance before God.  
App: Culturally and Ecclesiastically.
Culturally. Our pursuit of acceptable identity.
Ecclesiastically. Consider how we have gotten this backwards today. Do we think of these two elements: faith in a substitute and acceptance with God? It may be helpful to consider the questions differently:
Is the worship designed to allow people to see God’s holiness and their own debilitating sinfulness so that they are called to faith in a Substitute? or is the worship designed around the attractiveness of the worshipper?
Is the worship about what God will accept or about what mankind will accept? Is the worship about what will be pleasing to god or what will be pleasing to mankind? We can play music for our pleasure in our cars, but we should not confuse whose pleasure we strive for in the congregation.  
What must I apply from the burnt offering?
(Leviticus 6:8-13) The Reality behind the Fire
the is never to go out, and it is the means whereby the sacrifice is consumed and made into smoke. Thus, it could be said that the fire manifests the holy judgment of God, the presence of God, and the purification of god. [see Schofield note]
Hebrews 10:6-10. Jesus makes clear that offers his body. He lived as a living sacrifice. He died as a literal substitutionary sacrifice. He models and makes possible being a living sacrifice.   
-      To the lost
-      to the saved I John 2:1-2.
First, worship is to be done with reverence for Who God is.
We should not confuse reverse with formalism. Reverence means that we revere, respect and stand in awe of God. The clothes we wear is not necessarily indicative of reverence. Hebrews 12:28
Second, we should willingly sacrifice for personal and congregational worship.
We sacrifice when family is coming in town, when we are saving for vacation; but we must see that it is not true worship if there is no sacrifice. II Samuel 24:24.
Third, we should see that the praise of God’s people are sacrifices offered to Him.
Hebrews 13:15. What kind of sacrifice did you offer to him when we sang hymns earlier?  
Fourth, we should worship through interpersonal sacrifice.
Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 4:18.
Fifthly, we should manifest that we completely belong to Jesus
baptism, Lord’s Table among covenant followers.   
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