Leviticus 6:8-7:10, Priestly Sacrifices
This section specifically deals with the priests (“Aaron and his sons”) regarding the burnt offerings (vv. 8-13), grain offerings (vv. 14-18), the grain offering related to their ordination (vv. 19-23), sin offerings (vv. 24-30), and guilt offerings (7:1-10).
These burnt offerings are not the same as the ones mentioned in ch. 1; they are the daily perpetual offerings mentioned in Ex. 29:38, 39 and are to burn continually (repeated several times in vv. 8-13). Many reasons have been offered as to why this was to be done. One commentator, as good as any, said that this reminded them “of their need for continuous worship of the Lord, and assured them of his constant vigilance on their behalf.” (TOTC) Matthew Henry says that though we aren’t always sacrificing like the Israelites, “yet we must keep the fire of holy love always burning; and thus we must pray always.”
The grain offering (vv. 14-18) differs little from Lev. 2:1-16 except it has in view the priests. No one else was permitted to eat the rest of the grain offering. Also, since the priests were set apart and the offering is holy — all who touch this offering (restricted to the priests) became holy (v. 18).
When the priest is ordained, he offers a grain offering and will continue to do so throughout his tenure (vv. 19-23). Unlike the grain offering of the people in which the priests ate the remaining portion, here, the entire grain offering is consumed: “The whole of it shall be burned.” (v. 22)
The sin offering sacrifices were commanded in ch. 4 and this passage (vv. 24-30) focuses on the priests’ duties. Also, from v. 29 we learn that “the officiating priest distributes the sin offering to his fellow priests. He could hardly eat all of it himself; thus, he is permitted to give it to other priests.” (Currid, 86)
The guilt offering of 7:1-10 goes into specific details for the priest’s sake. Like the sin offering, only the priests can eat this — not even their families could eat of it.
These were the special privileges and responsibilities of the priests — not everyone could do this. Yet, they were not exempt from God’s strict holy requirements. With their privilege came holy responsibilities, the kind the ordinary Israelites did not have to follow. At times tedious and very particular, they were always reminded as to how exact and perfect God is. That same holy God requires perfect obedience to His will and none of us can offer that except His Son Jesus Christ who was a perfect sacrifice for all our sins and imperfections. His once for all sacrifice replaced for all times these continuous sacrifices the priests had to offer. Through His once for all sacrifice, God accepts us and we can have fellowship with him.
Lastly, and quickly, constant and frequent sacrifices were offered (of various kinds) — shouldn’t we be constant and vigilant in our holy responsibilities to the Lord with sacrifices of praise and constant prayer? Yes, much more since Christ has fully purchased our salvation for us. It is our reasonable sacrifice.