The Grain Offering

Wendy Blight

Day: 5 | Plan: Leviticus-Hebrews

Today's Reading: Leviticus 2

Leviticus 2:4 (NIV) “If you bring a grain offering baked in an oven, it is to consist of the finest flour: either thick loaves made without yeast and with olive oil mixed in or thin loaves made without yeast and brushed with olive oil.”

The question continually before us in Leviticus is this: How can a sinful person come into the presence of a holy God? 

In Leviticus 1, it was through the burnt offering. Now, in Leviticus 2, it’s through the grain or meal offering. And each offering provides yet another glorious portrait of the last, perfect and final offering, Jesus.

God’s people offered the grain offering, a bloodless sacrifice, as an expression of thanksgiving for the forgiveness provided through the burnt offering. In their agrarian society, this offering is significant because it was the fruit of the offeror’s own labor, an outpouring of the work of his hands and heart.  

Three commands accompanied this offering, each foreshadowing Jesus. 

First, it was to be made of the finest flour. Grain was normally ground once for bread. But the law of the grain offering required it be crushed and pressed many times until it had a talcum powder-like consistency. 

This refining process symbolizes how Jesus’ body was broken for us. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:23-24, “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’” 

Second, the law required the grain offering be made without leaven (yeast). Yeast activates fermentation in bread and works in such a way as to change the nature of the bread. In Scripture leaven often symbolizes the evil, malice and corruption lurking in the human heart. (Luke 12:1, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8) Consequently, just as sin’s presence in our hearts corrupted its original nature, leaven’s presence in the bread changed its original nature, making it an unacceptable offering. 

Since the grain offering foreshadowed Jesus ... the Bread of Life (John 6:35) … it had to be pure and holy just as He is holy. This necessitated it be made without leaven.

Third, the law required that the grain offering be mixed or mingled with oil. Because oil was a precious commodity, including it as part of their offering increased the value of the sacrifice. 

In the oil, we again see a foreshadowing of Jesus. Oil symbolizes the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. By mixing and mingling the oil with the flour, the grain offering beautifully displayed how God’s Holy Spirit power filled and flooded Jesus’ body. That filling … that anointing …. empowered Jesus to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to set captives free and to conquer death!. 

Each and every offering brought the Israelites one step closer to the Holy God in whose image they were created. But the presence of sin hindered them from ever having a personal and intimate relationship with their Creator. 

But what a different story for us! Because of Jesus … the Bread of Life … and His death on the cross, the barrier is forever removed. His death guarantees full and complete forgiveness of sin. No more burnt offerings. No more grain offerings. We are now made right with God. Our sins washed away as far as the east is from the west. We can have fellowship with God anytime and anywhere we choose! Hallelujah!! Join me in praising God for that gift today. 

Prayer: Father, thank You for the lesson of the grain offering. Thank You that thousands of years ago You foreshadowed the gift of Jesus through the fine flour, the unleavened bread and the oil. Thank You that because of Jesus’ willingness to die for us on the cross, we are no longer bound by Levitical law. We are Your children, created in Your image. We can stand before You and worship You anytime, anywhere because of this great gift. For this I praise You and thank You today. In Jesus' name, amen.

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