June 6, 2021 – Leviticus 1 – 7
Lesson Date: June 6, 2021
Focal Scripture Passage: Leviticus 1:1-9; 2:1-3, 11; 3:1-5; 4:1-12; 6:1-7
AIM: To lead students to discover basic facts about the five major types of offerings God required the ancients Israelites to bring, and to thank God that they have access to Him through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
Before class: Read the notes on Leviticus 1 – 7 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Write the word “Leviticus” on the marker board or chalkboard. Have enough copies of the Old Testament Offerings handout sheet on hand for your anticipated attendance.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Tell the class what time you woke up this morning and briefly describe the things you did to get ready to come to church. Then ask: “What do you do on Sunday morning to get ready to come to church?” Most of us probably get out of bed, bathe, eat breakfast, get dressed, and then drive to church. These are common things to do in preparing to come to church. Ask: “How many of you brought an animal to sacrifice at church today?” (no one did). Ask: “Why don’t we have to bring animal sacrifices to worship God?” (the sacrifice of Jesus Christ gives us access to God so we can pray, confess our sins, and worship anytime we want).
Tell the class that was not the way it was in ancient times before Jesus Christ came to die on the cross. Tell the class in today’s lesson we are going to discover basic facts about the five major types of offerings God required the ancients Israelites to bring when they worshiped Him. The title of today’s lesson from Leviticus 1 – 7 is How to Approach God.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Review and Introduction to Leviticus.
- Remind the class that the book of Exodus described how God freed the Israelites from cruel bondage in Egypt, led them to Mount Sinai, gave them His laws, and led them to build a portable worship facility (the Tabernacle).
- In last week’s lesson (from Exodus 39 – 40), the people erected the Tabernacle and consecrated Aaron and his sons to serve as priests. The glory cloud of God’s presence came and rested upon the Tabernacle.
- The book of Leviticus contains instructions God gave Moses right after the Tabernacle was completed, in March of 1444 c. Since most of those instructions were directed toward the priests, who were members of the tribe of Levi, the book is called Leviticus.
- Give everyone a copy of the Old Testament Offerings handout sheet.
- Burnt Offerings.
- Ask a volunteer to read Leviticus 1:1-3.
- God spoke to Moses out of the Tabernacle and gave him instructions for the burnt offerings.
- Direct everyone’s attention to the row on the handout describing the burnt offering.
- Explain the following:
- Chapter 1 describes burnt offerings of cattle, sheep or goats, and even birds.
- We will study the verses about cattle because basically the same pattern was followed for the other animals.
- Ask: “According to verse 3, what two requirements did the animal have to meet?” (it had to be male and free from any blemishes or defects).
- Tell the students the person bringing the offering was to take it to the priests at the door of the Tabernacle courtyard.
- Read Leviticus 1:4-9.
- Explain the following:
- The person bringing the offering put his hand on the innocent animal’s head, symbolically transferring his sin to the animal.
- He then killed the animal and the priests took the animal’s blood and sprinkled it around the altar of burnt offering.
- Ask: “What did the priests do next?” (cut the animal into pieces and burned all of it except the skin on the altar).
- Ask: “How does verse 9 say God felt about such an offering?” (He said it was a sweet aroma, which meant He was pleased and satisfied with the offering).
- Stress the personal nature of this offering:
- The Israelite brought his animal to be offered.
- It was a perfect animal and therefore very valuable.
- The man put his hands on his animal’s head, symbolically transferring his sin to the innocent animal.
- He then killed his animal, after which it was burned up.
- He sacrificed his animal to atone for his
- Summarize: The Old Testament burnt offering, which was completely burned up in the fire, reminds us of Christ’s complete sacrifice for us.
- Meal Offerings.
- Read Leviticus 2:1-3.
- Explain that while the King James Bible uses the term “meat offering,” this offering actually consisted of fine flour or grain mixed with oil and seasoned with frankincense. That is why we call it the meal offering.
- Ask: “What did the priests do when someone brought a meal offering?” (they took a handful of it and burned it on the altar).
- Ask: “What happened to the rest of the meal offering?” (it belonged to the priests and was used for their food).
- The next few verses explain that the person bringing the meal offering also had the option to bring baked or fried cakes made from the fine flour.
- Ask a volunteer to read Leviticus 2:11.
- Ask: “What was never to be included in the meal offering?” (leaven, which is symbolic of sin).
- Summarize: The Old Testament meal offering, which never contained leaven, reminds us that Christ was completely sinless.
- Peace Offerings.
- Tell the students that chapter 3 describes peace offerings, which were voluntary offerings given out of gratitude or as part of a vow.
- Read Leviticus 3:1-5.
- Ask: “According to verse 1, what were the requirements for this animal?” (it could be either male or female, but it must be free from defects or blemishes).
- Tell the class that the rest of the chapter reveals that cattle, sheep, or goats could be brought as peace offerings.
- Explain the following:
- Just like the burnt offering, the person bringing the offering put his hand on the animal’s head, killed it, and the priests sprinkled its blood around the altar of burnt offering.
- Unlike the burnt offering, however, only certain parts of the animal were burned on the altar.
- Chapters 7 and 19 reveal that the priests received part of the meat from the animal, while the one bringing the offering received the rest.
- This is the only one of the five offerings in which the person bringing the offering got to eat some of the meat. That’s because this was a voluntary offering that was not brought to atone for sin.
- Summarize: The Old Testament peace offering reminds us that Christ’s perfect sacrifice gives us peace with God.
- Sin Offerings.
- Ask a volunteer to read Leviticus 4:1-2.
- Tell the class chapter 4 is about the sin offerings. In verse 2 God says two important things about the sin offering.
- Ask: “What type of sin were these offerings for?” (those done in ignorance: accidentally or unintentionally).
- Tell the students that there was no sacrifice for intentional sin.
- Ask: “What were these sins against?” (any of the commandments of the Lord).
- Explain that chapter 4 contains instructions for the sin offerings for:
- A priest (verses 3-12).
- The whole congregation (verses 13-21).
- A ruler (verses 22-26).
- A common person (verses 27-35).
- We will only study the offering for the sin of a priest.
- Read Leviticus 4:3-12.
- Explain the following:
- Like the other offerings, the priest was to bring a young bull without blemish or defect. He was to lay his hand on the animal’s head, symbolically transferring his sin to the innocent animal, after which he was to kill it.
- Unlike the previous offerings, however, the priest accepting the offering was to take its blood inside the Tabernacle structure, into the Holy Place.
- While inside he was to sprinkle the blood seven times toward the veil (behind which sat the Ark of the Covenant) and put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of incense just outside the veil.
- He was then to come out of the Tabernacle and pour the rest of the blood out at the base of the altar of burnt offering.
- The animal’s fat and internal organs were then to be burned on the altar.
- Ask: “According to verses 11-12, what was done with the rest of the animal (its skin and meat)?” (it was burned outside the camp).
- Summarize: The Old Testament sin offering reminds us that Jesus Christ, the perfect and final sin offering, bore our sins outside the city and His blood paid the price for our sin.
- Trespass Offerings.
- Tell the students that chapters 5 and 6 tell about the trespass offerings. While the sin offering was to atone for unintentional sin against one of God’s commandments, the trespass offering was to pay for wrongs done to other persons.
- Ask a volunteer to read Leviticus 6:1-5.
- Ask: “According to verse 4, what must the person who sinned do?” (restore whatever he had taken deceitfully).
- Tell the class it is important to note that the sinner can never be right with God until he has first corrected the wrong done to his neighbor (Matt. 5:23-24).
- Ask: “What does verse 5 say he must also do?” (restore one-fifth more than he had taken).
- Read Leviticus 6:6-7.
- Explain that the one who wronged his neighbor must also bring an animal sacrifice to the Lord, but only after making restitution to his neighbor.
- Summarize: The Old Testament trespass offering reminds us that Jesus Christ has forgiven all our trespasses.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention to their Old Testament Offerings handout. Tell them we have learned about the five types of Old Testament offerings through which the ancient Israelites could approach God. Explain that the handout summarizes the key point for each offering, but there is much more about them in the Bible. Stress the fact that the Old Testament sacrificial system was quite complex. Ask: “Do you think you could remember all the details of these offerings? Would you like to return to an animal sacrifice system like this?” (no to both questions).
Remind the students that the ancient Israelites had to carry out these sacrifices exactly as God required or their sacrifice would not be accepted: it would not be a sweet aroma to God and therefore they could not approach God. Hold up the handout sheet and stress the fact that all of this was required to approach God. The sheet describes the Old Testament Offerings.
Ask everyone to turn his or her handout sheet over. On the back they will find a table describing the one and only New Testament Offering. Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross supersedes all the animal and grain sacrifices God required of the ancient Israelites.
Remind the class of the simple routine we follow to get ready to come to church. The fact that Jesus Christ offered Himself as the final and perfect sacrifice for sin means we can have direct access to God. Read Ephesians 2:13, 18. Christ’s sacrifice for our sin made the Old Testament sacrificial system unnecessary and provides us direct “access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
Ask: “How does it make you feel to realize that Christ’s perfect sacrifice makes us right with God and gives us access to the Father, in contrast to the complicated system God gave the ancient Israelites?” (grateful and humble).
Tell the students that we ought to thank God for giving us access to Him through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Lead a closing prayer of thanksgiving.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Ephesians 2:18. Tell them to thank God every day this week that we don’t have to bring animal sacrifices in order to approach God.
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