Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 5:1
In these messages we shall discuss peace as prophesied and developed in the Word of God. We shall first present Him who is our peace and the Prince of Peace. Then we shall see that this Prince of Peace can give peace to everyone who trusts in His blood. We shall see that there can be peace only where He is, and where He is not there can be no peace; and finally we shall look to the grand, consummated, glorious peace on earth when He shall come to rule and reign in righteousness.
The Meal Offering
The death of Christ alone, however, was not enough to bring about peace with God. Thus, before we have the peace offering, spoken of in the third chapter of Leviticus, we must stop first at the meat offering (meal offering) in Leviticus 2. The burnt offering did all in making payment for sin, but it provided no righteousness to make us presentable before God. Pardoned sinners can never stand before God. They must appear before Him not as forgiven sinners but as justified saints. There must not even be a remembrance of sin. God is so holy that even the memory of sin is enough to bar a man from His presence. For this reason we must have the meal offering before full peace is established. As the burnt offering represents Christ’s death, the meal offering represents His perfect life while here on earth. In this offering no blood is shed. It is bloodless. It was made of fine meal, without leaven or honey, baked with oil and frankincense.
Oil and Frankincense
Oil, as you know, is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, and frankincense is the symbol of that which is pleasing to God. The Lord Jesus Christ during His ministry on earth came in the power of the Holy Spirit. At the beginning of His ministry He came to John to be baptized. He who had been conceived by the Holy Ghost, now was to be filled with the Holy Ghost, and as He came up out of the waters of baptism, God poured on Him the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove and accepted the pleasing fragrance of His obedient act by calling from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:17. The Lord was then ready as a man to begin His work.
No Honey or Leaven
At His baptism Christ declared His willingness to do God’s will in providing a salvation for sinners. By His temptation in the wilderness He proved His ability to defeat Satan, and by His life He demonstrated that He was able to provide a perfect human righteousness which should be imputed to poor lost sinners on the basis of His atoning work on Calvary. Remembering that the meal offering represents the life of Christ, we see the significance of the prohibition of honey and leaven. Honey is symbolic of the sweets of life. The good things of the earth which we love and which God wants us to enjoy were never experienced by our great meal offering. He came “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” He never had a home of His own. Wearing a borrowed garment, He depended on the generosity of His friends for His sustenance. To pay His taxes He had to send Peter fishing. He could say, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” He was poor and needy—the extras of life and friends were never His portion. He was the offering without the sweeter things, the honey of life.
Then, too, there was no leaven in this offering. Leaven invariably stands for evil in the Scriptures. Never once is the word “leaven” used to imply good. It is a symbol of evil in doctrine or evil in practice. Jesus speaks of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees (doctrinal leaven). Paul speaks of the leaven of wickedness and malice (moral leaven). Neither of these were in the meal offering. Jesus Christ was the only perfect Man since the fall of Adam. The spies sent by the Pharisees to trap Him came back without evidence. No accusations could be found against Him, and they had to bribe false witnesses to indict Him. Even then, Pilate, speaking for humanity, had to say, “I find no fault in him.” He was the perfect meal offering.
O blessed offering, God’s only Son,
Who there for us salvation won,
No sin or guilt to call His own,
For others’ guilt He must atone.
No leaven in Him e’er was found
But previous meal and finely ground,
No honeyed pleasures were His lot,
But our dark sin He came to blot.
To Be Continued