Keith Hunt - Law of the Offerings #3a - Page Seven   Restitution of All Things

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Law of the Offerings #3a

The Peace-Offering


                             by

                        Andrew Jukes




THE PEACE-OFFERING

We now come to the sacrifice of PEACE-OFFERINGS, the last offered
of all the typical offerings. Accordingly, we shall find it
revealing to us that aspect of Christ's offering, which is
generally the last apprehended by the believer. And I may add,
that as it was 'burnt upon the Burnt-offering," and was directly
consequent upon it, so it reveals, to us the consequences of
those aspects of Christ's offering which are pre-figured in the
Burnt and Meat-offerings.

We may examine it, FIRST, in its contrasts to the other
offerings, that is, as bringing out one definite and particular
aspect of Christ's offering; and then, SECONDLY, in its several
varieties, as shewing the different apprehensions enjoyed by
Christians of this aspect.,

I. And, first, IN ITS CONTRAST TO THE OTHER OFFERINGS, it may be
sufficient to enumerate two chief points (1) It was a
sweet-savour offering; and, (2.) The offerer, God, and the priest
were fed by it. In the former of these particulars, it differed
from the Sin-offerings; in the latter, it differed from all
others.

(1.) It was a "sweet-savour" offering (verses 5, 16). On the
import of this distinction, I need here say little, since we have
already more than once examined it. Suffice it to say that here,
as in the Burnt and Meat-offerings, we are presented with a view
of the offering, not as offered with any reference to sin, but
rather as shewing man giving to God that which is sweet and
pleasant to Him.

But the Burnt-offering and Meat-offering were both "sweet
savours." This particular, therefore, though distinguishing the
Peace-offering from the Sin-offerings, gives us nothing by which
we may distinguish it from the other sweet-savour offerings.     
I pass on, therefore, to the next particular, in which the
Peace-offering very distinctly differs from the Burnt and Meat-
offerings.

(2.) The second point in which the Peace-offering differed from
others was, that in it the offerer, the priest, and God, all fed
together. This was the case in no offering, but the
Peace-offering. In this they had something in common. Here each
had a part. They held communion in feeding on the same offering.
We have first the offerer's part; then God's part; then the
priest's part; and included in this last, though separately
mentioned, the part which was fed upon by the priest's children
(see chapter 7:31,32, and compare Numbers 18:9-11).
And what a view does this give of the efficacy of the offering!
How does it magnify "the unsearchable riches of Christ!" God,
man, and the priest, all fed together, all finding satisfaction
in the offering. God first has His part and is satisfied, for He
declares it to be very good, "It is an offering made by fire of a
sweet savour unto the Lord" (chap.3:5). Man (in Christ) as
offerer has his part, and is permitted to share this offering
with his friends (chap.7:16). And the priest, that is, Christ in
His official character, is satisfied also, and His children are
satisfied with Him (chap.7:31). What a picture is here presented
to us! The offerer feasts with God, with His priest, and with the
priest's children.

(i)In the Peace-offering the offerer feasts, in other words,
finds satisfaction, and feeds upon the same offering of which a
part has already satisfied God: for a part of the Peace-offering,
(as we shall see in the sequel) "the fat, the blood, the
inwards," before the offerer can touch his part, must have
already been consumed on the altar.

We get nothing like this either in the Burnt or Meat-offering. In
them we have the e offering satisfying God; all consumed by His
fire, and ascending to Him, as in the Burnt-offering; or shared,
as in the Meat-offering. with His priests. But in all this.
though God was satisfied, the offerer got no part of the
offering. The Burnt and Meat-offerings were 'as we have already
seen) the emblem of the perfect fulfilment of the law's
requirements. In them we see man (in Christ) offering to God that
which perfectly satisfies Him. God finds food in the offering,
and declares it to be very good. 

But in all this the offerer has nothing. The Peace-offering shews
us the offerer himself satisfied.
Now the offerer here, as elsewhere, is Christ; Christ in His
person standing "for us" (Eph.5:2). But the extent to which we
are interested in this, and the fact that, till we realize it,
the Peace-offering is unintelligible, require that I should dwell
here for a moment, before I proceed to details.

I repeat, then, that in all the offerings, Christ, as offerer,
stands as our representative. Whether it be in the Sin-offering,
the Burnt-offering, the Meat-offering or the Peace-offering. He
is the man Christ Jesus "for us." He is for us without the camp,
for us put upon the altar, for us bearing our sins, for us
accepted and satisfied. And when we say He did this "for us," we
mean that He did it instead of us, nay, as us. Thus, when He was
judged, He was judged as us. When He kept the law, He kept it as
us. When He was accepted, He was accepted as us; and so when He
was satisfied, He was satisfied as us.
Now, the consequence of Christ's thus standing "for us" is, that
what is true of Him, is true of all who are in Him. Thus the
offerings, in shewing us Christ's position. in shewing Him, only
show us our own; nay, I may say, when they shew us Christ, they
show us the Church, for He stood "for us." "As He is, so are we
in this world" (1 John 4:17) - we are "accepted in the Beloved"
(Eph.1:6). I do not say that this is apprehended even by those
who are seen of God to stand in these blessings. 
I need not say how little "we apprehend of that for which we are
apprehended" (Phil.3:12). I simply state the fact, that in all
those relations which are typified by the various offerings,
Jesus in offering them as a man stood "for us;" He stood as us;
nay, He was us, if I may say so. When Christ offered, God saw us
offering; for Christ stood as offerer "for us." God looked upon
Christ as us. He sees us, therefore, as Christ before Him (See 1
Cor.12:12; "So also is Christ"). And just as truly as Christ
stood for us and as us, so as a consequence do we stand in Him to
Godward. What He did, we are reckoned to have done, for as us He
did it. So what He enjoys, we enjoy, for as us He enjoys it.

Now this last thought is the thought of the Peace-offering.
Christ is satisfied and fed by His offering. But in this He
stands for us; and therefore we are satisfied as soon as we thus
apprehend Him. The thought may be a little more complex than that
of the Sin and Burnt-offering; but it proceeds exactly on the
same principle. Just as the feeble believer in Christ, when he
sees Christ offering the Sin-offering, sees that God's wrath
against sin has been met, for Jesus standing instead of us as man
has borne it; - just as the same feeble saint, when He sees
Christ offering the Burnt and Meat-offering, sees that God and
His requirements have been satisfied, for Jesus standing for us
as man has satisfied them: - just so the same believer when he
sees Christ offering the Peace-offering, sees that man is
satisfied with the offering, for Jesus standing for us as man is
satisfied. And as our sense of acceptance depends on realizing
Him as accepted for us, so our sense of satisfaction and
communion with God depends on realizing Him in communion for us. 
Thus seeing the Peace-offering, and by it finding that Christ as
man is satisfied, is to those who know themselves "in Christ," to
find that they themselves are satisfied.

I fear that there are but too many saints who never realize this
aspect of the Offering, and therefore never fully experience that
satisfaction which the Offering has purchased for them. I do not
say that the blessing is not theirs; this and all else is theirs,
if they are "in Christ." But those things which are true for them
in Him, are not realized by them in their own experience.
Experience is, I again repeat, nothing more than our measure of
apprehension of that which is already true for us in Christ.     
Thank God, the sufficiency of His work does not depend upon our
apprehension of it. But our satisfaction depends much on our
apprehension. It is because we apprehend so little that we have
so little comfort.
And our strength particularly depends on our apprehension of that
view of Christ which the Peace-offering teaches; for strength is
sustained by food, and the Peace-offering shews man fed by the
sacrifice. Yet how little is this view of Christ apprehended!    
Am I asked the cause? It is because so few really know
acceptance. As long as it is at all a question with you whether
God has accepted you or not, your chief desire will be to know
God satisfied, far rather than to be satisfied yourself. As a
criminal whose reprieve has not yet come, you will not ask, Have
I bread for today? But, am I pardoned? Death stares you in the
face: you cannot think of food or raiment. But let the question
of acceptance be settled: let this be fully known; and then you
will find time to listen to the cravings of that new nature,
which needs to be sustained and nourished. What is to satisfy
this? Nothing but the precious meat of the altar. And this is
shewn as provided for us in Jesus, when we see Him, as our
representative, the offerer of the Peace-offering.

And here observe what the offerer feasts on. He feasts on the
meat of the altar: his food is the spotless offering which has
already satisfied the Lord.

Now this offering represents "the body of Jesus" (Heb.10:5-10),
including His walk, His thoughts, His strength, His affections.
These, as we saw in the Burnt-offering; were the things He
sacrificed; and because they were unblemished, they were
accepted. As a sweet savour they satisfied God. But they give
satisfaction, too, because they are unblemished, to the offerer. 
Christ finds His meat in His own offering. He "is satisfied with
the travail of His soul" (Isa.53:11).
Jesus as offerer stands "for us;" and by His feeding on the
offering, He shews how man is satisfied. Would to God His people
might learn here what, as respects atonement, will alone satisfy
them. Out of God's presence man seeks food in many things. He may
try the "riotous living of the far country:" yea, in his hour    
of need he may come to, "the husks which the swine eat" (Luke
15:15,16).
In seeking God's presence too, not a few have yet to learn what
alone can give peace and satisfaction in that presence. Some of
those who are longing to feast with God, are seeking satisfaction
in their frames or feelings.  Others are trying their own
righteousness their experiences, their walk, their service. Are
these things the unblemished meat of the altar? Is it by these
things Christ has satisfied God? Are our experiences, our frames,
our feelings, the things on which, as respects atonement, Christ
and God have fellowship? If not, they cannot be the meat upon
which we as needing atonement, are to feed with God. If Christ as
man could not have communion with God through anything save a
spotless offering, so neither can any of His members: if they are
fed at all, they must be fed as He is. Oh, let us be wise and see
our calling, nor seek satisfaction save in Jesus! He is the only
perfect One; out of Him there is nothing fit for the altar,
nothing suited therefore to feed our souls. When Christ feeds
with God on that which is blemished; when He makes a
Peace-offering of the unclean; then, nor till then, let us seek
our food in the unclean, the torn, the blemished. But while we
see that even He, as far as atonement is concerned, can only be
fed with His own perfect unblemished offering, let us as in Him
reject all others, and feed and be satisfied in Him.

How important is the lesson taught here; how unanswerably does it
express this truth, that, as respects atonement at least, the
Christian has nothing to feed on with God, but that which Christ
Himself feeds on with Him: that however right our experiences or
attainments or walk or service may be in their place, they are
not the offering for atonement, nor can they ever be the ground
of peace. And indeed, for a Christian to seek his food in these
things, is as though an Israelite were to take his garments to
feed on. In truth the man who seeks satisfaction in his own
attainments just does this: what should be his raiment,
he makes his meat.  The garments of the Israelite are the
appointed symbol of a man's deportment and manifested
character (Ps.73:6; 109:18; Isa.52:1; 59:17; 61:3; Zech.3:3;
Col.3:8,12; Rev.3:4; 16:15, etc.). So the New Testament
interprets the type: "The fine linen is the righteousness of
saints" (Rev.19:8). This garment might be easily defiled. But let
us suppose it clean: are garments to be fed on? The type answers
at once: it is the meat of the altar, the sweet savour alone,
which satisfies. 
 
Our prayers, our love, our service, these things, like the
leavened cake at Pentecost, though accepted for the sake of what
accompanies them, are one and all in themselves blemished. In
one sense indeed, our services are a "sweet savour" (Phil.4:18)
but it is only in the same sense that our persons are
"righteous." In either case the works and persons are accounted
to be what in themselves they are not, in virtue of that perfect
Work and Person, in whom and through whom they are offered. Just
as the sinner, though in himself vile, is accounted righteous in
Him through whom we have received the atonement; so are His
offerings, though leavened, accounted sweet in the savour of that
through which they are offered. The sinner accepted in Christ
becomes indeed himself, in spirit; both an offerer and offering;
yet even then his "spiritual sacrifices," whether of work or
worship, are only "acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" ((1
Pet.2:5). Like "the leavened cake" already referred to, our works
or worship, because imperfect, could never be accepted, did they
not come before God with the sweet savour, and as the consequence
of another and a perfect offering. Were they offered to make
atonement they would be rejected. They are only accepted because
atonement has been already made. To make atonement, there must be
perfection in the offering: God will not be satisfied with ought
less than a perfect sacrifice.  If we wish to be fed and
satisfied with Him, it must be in and through that "One offering"
which has already satisfied His holiness.

But this leads us to the next particular in the Peace-offering;
namely, that: 
(ii)The offerer feasts with God.  

Man (in Christ) and God find common food. The offering is shared
between them. The thought here is not, as in the Burnt-offering,
merely that God finds satisfaction in the offering. It includes
this, but it goes further. It shews communion; for God and man
share together.

I would that this aspect of the Offering were more familiar to
the minds of Christians: how would it raise their thoughts of the
value of the Offering, and of the place, which, through the
Offering, man is called to! We should not, we could not, truly
realize the joy and satisfaction God finds in the Offering,
without obtaining more exalted views of its wondrous preciousness
and efficacy. We could not behold man sharing with God in that
which God declares to be most precious to Him, without being led
to afar deeper apprehension of man's high and blessed destiny. 

(And the destiny of mankind, if they will accept God's calling to
salvation, is greater that what our human mind can understand in
its fullness. But the Lord tells us what He desires for us, what
He wants us to finally become. For the truth of that see my study
called "A Christian's Destiny" - Keith Hunt)

But are these our thoughts of the Offering? Do we, when we think
of it, think of the joy God finds in it; or do we thus habitually
realize the place into which it puts man as sharer with God?
Alas to how many are such thoughts strangers; and the reason is,
because as yet they have not seen the Peace-offering. If only
they may be delivered from wrath! If only they may hope for
acceptance! This is all many saints hope for, this is
practically all they expect. But is this all that the Offering
has purchased? Is this all that Christ enjoys?  Is His place bare
acceptance? Is His portion only pardon? Is He not, as man, God's
heir and first-born, the One in whom His soul delights, the
One with whom God holds unbroken fellowship, to whom He reveals
all His mind? And does Jesus hold this alone? Are we not, in
Him, called to the same communion? Are we not in all His
fellow-heirs, His joy, His bride, His members? The Peace-offering
answers the question when it shews us man feasting with Jehovah;
when it tells us that Christ's place is our placed, and that in
Him we are called to share with God.

And how clearly does this portion of the type give the answer to
the question, What is communion? 

Communion is simply sharing; to have communion, therefore, we
must have something to share; and to have communion with a holy
God, we must have something which we can share with Him. We
cannot share nothing, and He will not share with us in the
unclean. Our attainments, therefore, cannot yield communion, nor
our works, for the best have sin in them. But, thank God, there
is a perfect offering, the offering of our blessed Lord; and if
we would have communion with God, the only way is to share that
offering.

And this at once gives us the key to the cause of our general and
acknowledged lack of communion. Of intercourse we have
enough, perhaps too much. Of communion, how very little!     
The reason is, so little of Christ's Offering is apprehended,
that when believers meet they have scarce anything of Him to
share. And the same is true of our approaches to God, for
there may be intercourse with God without communion. How often
when we approach God do we speak to Him only about our feelings,
our experiences, our sins, our trials. All this is right; we
cannot be without these, and we are right to tell them to our
Father. But after all, this of itself is not communion, nor
will speaking of these things ever yield it to us. Let us
come before God to be filled with Christ, to be taken up with
Him, His life, His ways, His sweetness; let the confession
of our failure and nothingness in ourselves be made the plea that
we may be filled with Him; and our intercourse will be soon
changed to communion, for in Him we shall have something we can
share. 

May the Lord lead us more into His presence, there to be
taught what we possess in Jesus; and then, when we meet our
brethren or our Father, we shall feast together on what there is
in Him.

                             ................

Again, let me add, or say what Juke has just said in different
words. The Eternal Father in heaven wants to share with you, have
communion with you for all eternity, in a way that most
Christians do not come close to understanding. Yes, He wants you
to humble yourself, to REPENT of sins, to acknowledge you are a
sinner, to accept His Son Christ Jesus as YOUR personal Savior.
Yes, He wants you to WALK with Him, to serve him, to live by His
every word (Mat.4:4). Yes, He wants you to "count the cost" - and
to realize it may cost you some things in this physical life, if
you are going to follow in the footsteps of His Son. BUT, if you
are willing to accept the calling of God, then what He is fully
and eventually going to share with you.....well it is all in my
study called "A Christian's Destiny" - and believe me it is mind-
bending, mind-blowing, something far beyond what most Christians
have ever contemplated. You need to understand the truth of the
matter on what can be YOUR destiny, and as you do, you will
understand the Peace-Offering as never before - Keith Hunt

TO BE CONTINUED


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