Eph 2:14, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall.”
By analogy, the Levitical Peace Offering spoke to the peace that Jesus Christ would bring to God and Man through His Cross. There are several important analogies through typology that are seen in the Levitical Peace Offering related to what Christ would accomplish upon the Cross.
It was a voluntary sacrifice, except on a few very special occasions. This represents both Christ’s voluntary sacrifice of Himself, plus our volitional responsibility to accept what Christ has accomplished for us. This voluntary sacrifice was done in Thanksgiving to God for all that He has provided.
It was the third offering mandated by the Law. It followed the Burnt and Meal Offerings. The Burnt Offering spoke of God’s propitiation of the sacrifice and the Meal Offering spoke of the perfect sacrifice, i.e., the body of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Father was satisfied with the sacrifice of the body of His Son, Jesus Christ, and now we have “Peace” with God.
The Peace Offering was used to show the worshiper’s devotion and commitment to the Lord. Likewise, if we do not accept Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, we have no peace with God, or the Jews, or within the mentality of our souls.
The Peace Offering also spoke of praise freely offered to God, that is, thanks and deep appreciation to the Lord for who He is, as well as the great things He had done for Israel. It expressed gratefulness for the well-being His blessings had provided. Thus, it was a means of rejoicing in the peace that comes from God and celebrating the wonderful fellowship with God He had graciously provided His people through His Covenant.
An important part of the “Peace Offering” celebration was a “fellowship meal” where the worshiper, after offering certain parts to God and the allotment for the Levitical Priests, was to eat the remaining portions of the sacrificial animal with other family members, in the presence of God. Thus, some called this a “fellowship offering.” This was the only offering from which the worshiper could eat a portion of the sacrifice. It clearly speaks of our partaking of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, John 6:53-56 in the New Covenant of the Church, Luke 22:17-20.
For this offering, any animal without defect from the herd or flock was used, as well as a variety of breads both unleavened and leavened. The spotless animal and unleavened bread spoke of Jesus as our Lord, who was without spot of blemish, 1 Peter 1:19, a perfect sacrifice.
1 Peter 1:18-19 (KJV), “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
The leavened cakes spoke of sinful man, as Jesus took on our sins, so that we could have peace with God in sinless perfection.
When offering the animal, the offeror was to place his hand on the head of the animal and then slay it at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, Lev 3:2, 7, 12, which signified transfer of sin from the offeror to the animal, which is a picture of Christ taking on our sins and being sacrificed for us upon the Cross.
Slaying the offering at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting speaks to the foot of the Cross and Christ’s sacrifice there upon that gives us entrance into our relationship with God, i.e., peace with God.
The blood from this offering was “sprinkled” around the Brazen Altar, Lev 3:2, 8, 13, which spoke of its application of atonement to all the people.
It was to be a “burnt offering,” Lev 3:5a, 11, 16, offered up in smoke as a “soothing aroma” to the Lord, Lev 3:5b, 16, which spoke of God’s propitiation with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
All of this directly correlates to the Communion Supper and the “love feasts” the early church would eat together, cf. 1 Cor 11; Jude 1:12, along with the communion to give thanks to God while fellowshipping with each other, Jew and Gentile together, and with the Father, signifying Peace!
In Lev 7:11-21, 29-34, there is further definition of what the Peace Offering entailed.
Lev 7:11-14, “Now this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be presented to the LORD. 12If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil. 13With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread. 14And of this he shall present one of every offering as a contribution to the LORD; it shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings.”
“Peace Offering,” ZEVACH SHELAMIN, זֶבַח שֶׁלֶם, consisted of the sacrifice of a bull, cow, lamb, or goat that had no defect, that spoke to the perfection of the body of Jesus Christ. And as noted above, with the burnt offering, the individual laid a hand on the animal and killed it. The priests, in turn, sprinkled the blood around the altar. Only certain parts of the internal organs were burned. The priest received the breast and the right thigh, Lev 7:28-36, but the offeror was given much of the meat to have a meal of celebration, Lev 7:11-21. As part of the sacrifice, various kinds of bread were offered, and ultimately kept by the priest. The idea of thanksgiving was associated with the peace offering. It often accompanied other sacrifices, in celebration of events such as the dedication of the Temple, 1 Kings 8:63, or spiritual renewal, 2 Chron. 29:31-36.
There were three kinds of Peace Offerings that could be offered:
- Those confessing thanksgiving, vs. 12, (Celebrating Peace with God.)
- Vows, vs. 16, given after a prayer has been answered, in which the person had promised this response. (Peace in One Body as promised by God.)
- Freewill offerings, vs. 16, purely a spontaneous expression of appreciation, love and joy toward the Lord. (Peace in the mentality of your soul.)
In regard to the number of things offered in the Peace Offering, the principle was and is that true worship always involves a cost. Believers should never receive from God without giving back to Him. God does not give so that believers can hoard their resources.
In addition, the fat of the offering given to God represented the best a worshiper could offer, as we should always give to God our highest and best, and the blood was accepted as a substitute for the worshiper’s life.
So, as you can see, every aspect of the Peace Offerings, as well as the other Levitical Offerings, spoke volumes as to who and what God is, what Christ would do for us upon the Cross, how the Father was satisfied with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the application to our royal priesthood, and the application of Christ’s efficacious work towards all of mankind.