Torah: Leviticus 6:8 [1 Heb]–8:36
PROPHETS: Jeremiah 7:21–8:3, 9:23–24
APOSTOLIC WRITINGS: Hebrews 9:11–28
These devotionals are designed to supplement, not replace, your Bible reading.
Torah 1 & 2
Command The Kohanim (Priests)!
The Kohen’s Offerings
The five types of offerings in Tzav are the same ones we read about in vaYikra (Leviticus 1:1–6:7). VaYikra was primarily concerned with instructing the worshiper, the one who brings the offering. Tzav, however, is primarily concerned with instructing the kohanim (priests), the ones who have to appropriately handle what is brought to God. Specifically, the kohanim have to deal with various elements that can be broken down into animal portions of blood, fat, and flesh, as well as portions of grain. Review each of the four offerings presented in today’s readings and identify what portions go to God at the altar (lit. “base of the altar”), what portions go to God on the fire (which is on the wood on the altar), and what portions go to the kohanim to eat:
Olah (“Ascent” or “Burnt” offering, 6:9; cf. 1:5–9)
Mincha (“Grain” offering, 6:15–17)
Chatat (“Sin” or “Purification” offering, 6:26; cf. 4:25–26; and, 6:30; cf. 4:16–19) and
Asham (“Guilt,” “Trespass” or “Reparation” offering, 7:2–7).
According to Numbers 18:8–10, why does the offerer receive no portion of any of these four offerings?
Read 1 Peter 2:9. What difference does it make for you that you are no longer a “common” worshiper but a “holy” priest in God’s economy? What privileges do you enjoy now that you didn’t before you gave your life to Jesus? Why not spend a few moments thanking Him for all the specific things He has done for you?!
Torah 3 & 4
The Kohen’s Thanksgiving
The priestly instructions for offering the Sh’lamim (“fellowship” or “peace” offerings) include details for offering a “todah” (thanksgiving offering to express thanks to God), which is a specific type of sh’lamim. In other words, a todah offering is really a peace fellowship offering given to God as an expression of thanks. Compare the instructions for this kind of offering with the instructions for eating God’s Passover in Exodus 12:1–11. What restriction do they each have in common and how does this inform the prescribed attitude regarding eating God’s Passover Lamb? (cf. John 1:30 and 1 Corinthians 5:7 with 1 Corinthians 11:28)?
Consecrating the Kohanim
Leviticus 8 describes the ordaining of Aaron and his sons to the office of kohanim(priests). The instructions for this ceremony were given in Exodus 29. Compare Leviticus 8:7–9 and 12 with Hebrews 8:1–2. What similarities exist between Aaron and Yeshua? What differences are there according to Hebrews 9:11?
torah 5 & 6
The Kohen’s Purification
The Kohen’s Consecration
Ordaining the kohanim involves offerings for “purification” (chatat, vv. 14–17, followed by olah, vv. 18–21) as well as “consecration” (vv. 22–25 is commonly called “ordination” offering).
Does the chatat (vv. 14–17) actually purify the kohanim OR is it the altar that gets purified on behalf of the kohanim (the altar representing God’s actual holy Presence among them)? Can God’s Presence be defiled or offended by the actions of His people? What are the consequences (cf. Acts 5:4–5)? What do you do that may offend God? What solution does 1 John 1:9 offer for new covenant priests who have become “consecrated” or made holy, through Messiah’s perfect one–time sacrifice – to stay “clean” or “purified”?
torah 7 &
The Kohen’s Elevation
The Command Completed!
Compare the covenant blood ritual ceremonies in Leviticus 8:23, 24, 30 and Exodus 24:5–8. In each case, who is being set apart? In each case who or what is being connected by blood? The command (Tzav) to set apart holy priests is now complete.
Now read Luke 22:20 and John 6:54 for application. How do you enter the new covenant according to these verses?
Jeremiah 7:21–8:3, 9:23–24
God called Jeremiah to preach to the southern community of Judah, which was about to be defeated by Babylon (just as the northern community of Israel had recently been defeated by Assyria, cf. Jeremiah 7:15). This defeat was coming because instead of trusting in God alone, the people were trusting in the Temple (7:14) and the thrice repeated incantation “the Temple of the LORD” (7:4) to ensure their protection and provision. Jeremiah cries out to them, “Go ahead... eat the Olah yourselves!” (7:21). Why is this anger-laced statement coming from the lips of a priest (1:1), so shocking? (cf. Leviticus 1:5–9).
How does delighting in God and trusting Him alone—not special places (Temples or Churches), nor special words (“the Temple of the LORD” or “...in Jesus’ name”), nor even wisdom, strength and riches (Jeremiah 9:23–24)—lead to a deeper intimacy with God which both glorifies Him (2 Corinthians 3:18) and satisfies us (Psalm 37:4)?
Face To Face
While many from previous generations of “Hebrews” had not trusted in God alone, the generation to whom this letter was written had begun to experience the fulfillment of God’s desire that all people would “know Him” and serve Him as holy “priest.” Priests are the only ones with direct access to God’s holy Presence. What kind of conscience characterizes a new covenant priest, and why is it so precious? (compare 9:14 with Acts 24:16 and 1 Peter 3:16)
How is God asking you to live out this “priestly status” to bring others into a “face to face” relationship with Him? How much time do you think is left? (Hebrews 9:28)
Rest. Fellowship. Discussion.