- "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"
- "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:"
- "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."
- "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:"
- "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
- "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
- "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."
- "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden."
- "And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?"
- "And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."
- "And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"
- "And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."
- "And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat."
- "And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:"
- "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
- "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
- "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;"
- "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;"
- "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
- "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living."
- "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them."
- "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:"
- "Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken."
- "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."
The title of my message is The Sacrifices of the Poor.
I read a story yesterday about a little boy, ten or eleven years old, whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor had explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier. Her only chance for recovery was a blood transfusion from someone who had previously beaten the disease. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, the boy was the ideal donor.
"Would you give your blood to Mary?" the doctor asked. Johnny hesitated. His lower began to quiver. Then he smiled and said, "Sure, for my sister."
Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room -- Mary, pale and thin; -- Johnny, robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when they met, Johnny grinned. As the nurse put the needle into his arm, Johnny's smile faded. He watched the blood flow through the tube. When the ordeal was almost over the boy’s shaky voice broke the silence. "Doctor, when do I die?"
Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated, why his lip had quivered when he agreed to donate his blood. He'd thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life. In that brief moment, he had made a great, momentous, decision, and was willingly resolved to lay down his life for the sister he so dearly loved.
In actuality, though he thought it was necessary, Johnny did not have to die to save his sister. However, you and I have a condition far more serious than Mary's. And it required the blood of God’s own dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to cure us.
It is written, "Christ died the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. -- With his stripes we are healed!" The Lord of glory poured out his life’s blood unto death at Calvary as the Lamb of God, that he might redeem us from the curse of the law and give us eternal life. Christ died that we might live. Why? Because he loved us with an everlasting love; and "having loved his own which were in the world, he loved us to the end." Willingly, voluntarily, the Son of God laid down his life for the people he loved, his chosen bride, his church, his sister, his spouse, his beloved!
This morning I want us to look again at our Lord’s great sacrifice, asking God the Holy Spirit to make his work real and effectual to our hearts.
[Romans 5:6-11] "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
[2 Corinthians 5:21] "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
[Galatians 3:13-14] "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
You will find my text in Leviticus 1:10-17. In this chapter, the Lord God describes the sacrifices of burnt offerings by which sinners drew near to God in the typical, ceremonial worship of the legal dispensation. In the first nine verses of this chapter, The Lord God gave instructions concerning the burnt-offering sacrifice of bullocks. In verses 10-17 we read about the sacrifices of the flocks and the fowls. These sacrifices were the sacrifices of the poor.
Proposition: These burnt offerings, like all the sacrifices of the Old Testament, typified our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s one great, effectual, sin-atoning Sacrifice, by whose blood we have been redeemed.
Let’s read Leviticus 1:10-17 together.
[Leviticus 1:10-17] "And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish.  And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar.  And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:  But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.  And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD be of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons.  And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar:  And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, by the place of the ashes:  And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall not divide it asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD."
- First, in verses 10-13, the Holy Spirit describes the sacrifices of the flocks. These were sacrifices taken from the sheep or the goats.
[Leviticus 1:10-13] "And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish.  And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar.  And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:  But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD."
Note: The worship of God is not a spectator sport. The worshipper was actively involved in the sacrifice, picturing the believer’s faith in Christ and confession of guilt before God.
- The victims offered from the flocks must be either from the sheep or from the goats.
You cannot help noticing that there were many different sacrifices by which Christ and his redemptive work were portrayed in the Old Testament. In this one chapter bullocks, sheep, goats, turtledoves, and pigeons are all used as types of Christ. Why so many types? – No one type could ever accurately portray our Savior.
Yet, as John Gill pointed out, each of these sacrifices were very good and fit types and emblems of the sinner’s Substitute.
- The bullock, or young ox, portrayed both our Redeemer’s strength and labor.
- The sheep, like our Lord, is harmless, innocent, and patient.
- The goat is also a proper type of Christ. – Both because it is stronger than the sheep and because it is commonly looked upon as a dirty, unclean animal. -- Though our Lord had no sin upon him, he was thought to be a sinner and accused of horrid evils. – Indeed, he came here in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was made to be sin for us, having all the sins of God’s elect imputed to him.
- The turtledove and the dove (pigeon) beautifully portray our Savior’s meekness, humility, and grace, as well as the peace he brings to his people.
The offering from the flocks could be either a from the sheep or the goats. Those who wealthier in Israel offered sacrifices of bullocks, or oxen, unto the Lord for burnt-offerings. The princes in Israel all offered such sacrifices (Num. 7). Those who were poorer offered sheep or goats. And the poorest of the people offered turtledoves, or pigeons.
- God is no respecter of persons.
Even in the law, God took great care to show that he is no respecter of persons. The upper class, the middle class, and the poor, all have access to and acceptance with the Lord God through the merits of Christ. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, learned nor unlearned, rich nor poor; but Christ is all and in all.
The Savior of the world is equally within the reach of sinners among all people. Our great High Priest welcomes sinners under the broad, wide name, "Him that cometh unto me" (John 6:37). No sound is sweeter to the ears of our Aaron than the sound of a sinner, great or small, coming to God by him.
- These sacrifices of the flocks point to our Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God.
The lamb stands out in Scripture as the eminent sacrifice of the Old Testament age, and rightly so. The morning and evening sacrifice, the Passover sacrifice, the every day, every year picture presented to Israel was that which Isaiah declared. – "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter" (Isa. 53:7). All the priests of Israel proclaimed exactly the same thing that all the prophets of God proclaimed. Pointing in their ceremonies and sacrifices to the Lord Jesus Christ, they said, every morning, every evening, every year, -- "Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world!"
- The place of sacrifice for the lambs is distinctly described in verse eleven.
[Leviticus 1:11] "And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar."
There is a distinction made here which was not made regarding the sacrifices from the herds. The sacrifice from the flocks must be killed "on the north side of the altar." Reckon why? Let’s see if we can find out. Look at Psalm 48:1-3.
[Psalms 48:1-3] "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.  Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.  God is known in her palaces for a refuge."
The Lord Jesus Christ, our sin offering, was killed by the priests of Israel in Jerusalem, in Mount Zion which was on "the sides of the north." Specifically, our Savior was crucified on Mount Calvary, which was on the northwest side of Jerusalem, at precisely the spot were the morning sacrifice had been slaughtered every day for hundreds of years!
Do you not simply stand in awe and utter amazement, when you realize how precise the Scriptures are in prophecy and in type? Any man who denounces the Book of God as a myth, a book of religious fables, and denies its infallibility, inerrancy, and inspiration reveals nothing by is words other than the insolence, rebellion and enmity of his heart against God, by which he prefers willful ignorance to the acknowledgement of the Almighty.
Unlike the bullock (v. 6), there was no requirement that the sheep and goats be flayed. The flaying of the bullock portrayed the helplessness of the sinner stripped and naked, without a covering, before the holy Lord God. But the sheep and goat are naturally helpless, defenseless animals. Therefore, our attention is here fixed on the utter slaughter of the victim by the knife, hewing the slain animal in pieces, making it ready for the fire.
Thus, when the Lord God cried, "Awake, O sword, against one that is my fellow, smite and slay the shepherd" (Zech. 13:7), our Savior, the Lamb of God, was pieced to his very soul, smitten indeed of God, when the Almighty poured out the fire of his holy wrath upon our Surety’s head.
- Both the worshipper and the priests performed the ceremonial ritual of sacrificing the burnt-offering with great reverence, carefully observing the order God prescribed (vv. 12-13).
[Leviticus 1:12-13] "And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:  But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD."
The same honor was given to the sacrifices of the poor as was given to the sacrifices of the rich, because the only thing that gave either sacrifice significance and importance was the great Antitype they represented, the Lamb of God.
The sacrificial laws were very simple and crystal clear. But we must not allow ourselves to be taken up with the ceremony. It is not the ceremony that made atonement, but the sacrifice. Understand what I am saying. – It is not the meekness and humility of Christ that saves us, but the meek and humble Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. -- It is not the righteousness of Christ that saves us, but Christ who is our righteousness. – It is not substitution that that saves us, but Christ our Substitute. – It is not the sovereignty of Christ that saves us, but Christ our sovereign God. Understand me. – We do not separate the work of Christ from the person of Christ. But the work of Christ is not the object of our faith. Christ is! – The work of Christ is not our Savior. Christ is!
- In verses 14-17 the Holy Spirit describes the offerings of the fowls, the sacrifices of turtledoves and young pigeons, young doves, unto the Lord.
[Leviticus 1:14-17] "And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD be of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons.  And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar:  And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, by the place of the ashes:  And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall not divide it asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD."
I will have to come back to this to do it justice without wearing you; but let me just give you the highlights of what is revealed here.
- The dove was a beautiful type of our Savior.
[Song of Songs 2:12] "The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."
[Song of Songs 5:12] "His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set."
- Meekness and Humility
- Chastity and Purity
- Tenderness and Peace
It was the dove that brought the olive branch back to Noah in the ark, declaring that wrath was done, judgment was over, the storm had ended. And it is the voice of Christ in the gospel that comes in the springtime of grace declaring peace to guilty sinners upon the ground of justice satisfied!
- Turtledoves and pigeons were bountiful in the land of Israel, so bountiful that any man, no matter how poor, could easily lay hold on one and bring it to God.
The doves were free for the taking. What a picture! The Lord Jesus Christ is a bountiful, plenteous Redeemer, with whom is plenteous redemption! He is such a large, bountiful Savior that any poor sinner in all the world may lay hold on him and bring God Almighty the very Sacrifice he requires.
If you have nothing to offer God, he bids you come and buy without money and without price. Like the dove in Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ is free for the taking!
- The turtledove was slaughtered violently.
The priest wrung off its neck, squeezed out its blood The man cut it into pieces. And the priest burned it with fire. Thus, the Lord of glory was slaughtered under the violence of God’s holy, unmitigated wrath, when he was made to be sin for us! – Christ was slain by our hands and slain by the purpose and justice of God.
- The sacrificing sinner plucked off its crop with its feathers, and cast it all upon by the place of ashes out of God’s sight (v. 16).
- The crop refers to the entrails, the waste, the dung, the filth of the animal. – Our sins!
- The feathers are the dove’s covering. – Our righteousnesses!
- Both have been forever cast away! – The Lord God has cast away our sins. – We have cast away our righteousness!
- One more thing – Like the bullock and the lamb, the sacrifice of the dove was a sweet-smelling savor unto God, a sacrifice accepted.
That is Christ!
Application: The great sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ is the glorious theme of Scripture from beginning to end. He is the one in whom alone and by whom alone sinners have hope. From the dawn of time to the end of time, all who trust God trust him who is the Seed of the woman, by whose death upon the cursed tree, God Almighty is just and the Justifier of all who believe.
- Adam and Eve worshipped God through a blood sacrifice in the Garden.
- Abraham offered these very same sacrifices unto the Lord (Gen. 15:9-10).
- Abraham spoke of our Lord Jesus Christ as both God and the Lamb by whose sacrifice God would deliver his chosen from the sentence of death.
Now, I pray that God the Holy Spirit will grant you grace to lay hold on Christ, the Lamb of God. He is a Lamb slain. He is a turtledove near at hand. He is free for the taking. Bring this Sacrifice to God, and you will find acceptance with him forever!