Tuesday: Mosaic Law: Ceremonial

Read Leviticus 1:1-9, 2:14-16, 5:11-13. To what are these laws referring? What was their purpose? What important truths were they meant to teach?

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Besides the civil laws in ancient Israel, there was also what is often called the ceremonial law. This law centered around the sanctuary and its services, all of which, of course, were designed to teach the children of Israel the plan of salvation and point them to the coming Messiah. In the texts for today, twice it is mentioned that through these services atonement would be made. In their own way, these laws were what has been deemed miniprophecies of Christ and His work of atonement for the sins of His people.

The ceremonial law was given by Christ. Even after it was no longer to be observed, Paul presented it before the Jews in its true position and value, showing its place in the plan of redemption and its relation to the work of Christ; and the great apostle pronounces this law glorious, worthy of its divine Originator. The solemn service of the sanctuary typified the grand truths that were to be revealed through successive generations. . . . Thus through age after age of darkness and apostasy faith was kept alive in the hearts of men until the time came for the advent of the promised Messiah.-Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 367.

Though instituted by Jesus, the ceremonial system was meant to function only as a type, a symbol of a future reality-the coming of Jesus and His death and High Priestly ministry. Once He completed His work on earth, this old system-along with its sacrifices and rituals and feasts-no longer was needed (see Heb. 9:9-12). Though we no longer keep the ceremonial law today, by studying it we can garner insights into the plan of salvation.

Central to the sanctuary service was the sacrifice of the animals, which pointed to the death of Jesus. Think what it means that our salvation could come only through His death in our behalf. What should this tell us about just how costly sin is?



Tuesday: Mosaic Law: Ceremonial — 31 Comments

    • I think that what Jesus did for us we can't understand until we know the purpose of the coming of Jesus.So if we understand Jesus' death when we come to thank what He did for us.

  1. here the peaple of israel had laws that helped them to be taught the plan of their salvation.and flected to the coming of Jesus.. I wan know the link of law(ten commands that are in exodus20:)with the salvation that Jesus gave us

    • What an excellent question!

      I believe Paul provides the link between Christ and the Law when he writes in Romans 8:3-4 that Christ did something for us that the Law could not do. He provided righteousness for us by meeting the requirements of the Law. As a result, there is "no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1-2)

      The law is the tutor to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24). The Law demonstrates that we are sinful and need a Savior. The Law holds up a standard of righteousness that we cannot meet in our humanity. Only when we are "in Christ Jesus" do we stand without condemnation before the Law, because His perfect obedience stands in the place of our imperfect obedience.

  2. God is so just in his dealings with his children. The poor brought what the can afford while the rich brought what the can (something more expensive). All animal sacrifices pointed to Jesus who will come to die for sinners and shed his blood for us so we would no more have to bring our animals.

  3. Sin is very expensive but I look at things this other way. The value and price of a metal is determined by the painstaking cost of its recovery. My value and your value is that of the blood of the son of God. Absolutely priceless.The death of Christ alone is adequate proof that Jesus cares and loves you and I. So we could imagine how much we disappoint God when we murmur and worry in the when things are difficult for us. He who spared not His Son for our sake has a "thousand ways of solving our problems of whivh we do not know a single one". Even if He says "No" to what we ask , it is because He knows what is best for us. "Just Trust and Obey, for there no other way." Amen.

  4. The lamb without blemish symbolises the spotless character of Christ.Transfering of sins from the sinner to the lamb shows how Christ though not a sinner accepted all our blame,shortcomings,filthyness so as to redeem us.WHAT A PERFECT SACRIFICE& REDEMPTIVE PLAN TO SAVE A WRETCH LIKE ME.

  5. for the lesson of tuesday,cattles'blood has no means for a sinner to get christ salvation,all sacrifices offered showed how christ a lamb of God who removed peaple's sins will come to be sacrified one and for all and yet we have that salvation .let accept Jesus as our salvation.

  6. Sin is not easily erased.it took an animal's blood to remove dots of sin which was pointing out to the blood of jesus christ which takes away the sin of every one who accepts Him as LORD and SAVIOR at the same time repents.

    • That was true, when the sinners offered up their sacrifices, sin was removed from the person to the animal then taken into the sanctuary. Those (sins) remained there until the day of atonement. It was at that time, once a year, the High Priest entered spotless to plea for our sins. Sins were then transferred to the scape goat and led away. When we sin now, today, our sins are written in the book of heaven. When my name appears before God, it is the time for me to be judged.

    • I just wanted to reiterate Hebrews 10:4 clearly--and I think you agree with me:

      " For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."

  7. [Moderator's Note: Please use full names when commenting. Thank you.]

    Christ paid the altermate price for sin one which no money in the world can buy, and its only him that could have pay that price, nobody or notthing else could. This show how highly he places us on his agenda. Thank God for his sacrifice.

  8. Ceremonial laws were reflecting what was going to do for us,I don't think that they were the to save us but when we study them we see what did for us.

  9. A picture is worth a thousand words. Through object lessons the Lord taught Israel, the very important lesson of salvation. Salvation came from the spotless, and flawless lamb of God. They were to offer the required offerings for their sin. I am so happy that we do not have to offer these things, because Jesus gave His life at Calvary. So as the ceremonial law has passed away, the moral law continues to remind us of our love to God and to man. The perfect ''Ten Commandments'', God's law which will last forever.

  10. What did the ceremonial law point to? Christ. God the Father, God the Son, and Holy Ghost got together and planned salvation, open to everyone who believes in the Son of God. Hebrews says it, Christ being made perfect became the author of eternal salvation, provided to all who obey Him. Hebrews 5:9. We know that bestowed faith, grace, surrender, repentence, confesion, and steadfastness play a vital role in our salvation.

  11. If blood had to be shed for the forgiveness of sin Why in Lev 5:11-13 was a grain (flour) offering acceptabel. And if the flour offering was acceptable then why was Cains offering of the fruits not acceptable as an offering?

    • I'm not so sure the main problem was the offering.
      Put another way, I think the type of offering was a secondary issue.

      God asked Cain:

      "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

      And God was right. Cain had a bad heart that he cherished. This is what was the real problem with his worship. (It has been mentioned that this is possibly why he did not bring a sin offering.) This eventually lead to his brother's death; but God warned him beforehand.

      From one Bible commentary (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary):

      "Cain, in unbelieving self-righteousness, presented merely a thank offering, not like Abel feeling his need of the propitiatory sacrifice appointed on account of sin. God "had respect (first) unto Abel, and (then) to his offering" (Ge 4:4). Faith causes the believer's person to be accepted, and then his offering. Even an animal sacrifice, though of God's appointment, would not have been accepted, had it not been offered in faith."

      Saul, on the other hand, offered plenty bulls and sheep and goats...

      • I think the answer is as simple as this, God did not accept the offering of Cain because fruits are not flour. Though Cain offered the best of his harvest, his offering was not accepted because it was not what God requires. What I mean is, we cannot worship God in any way we wanted to even in the best way we know, like Cain did. We need to follow the will of God. Like Sunday worship, Keeping Sunday looks good but Sunday is not the Sabbath.

        "Not all who say Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but only those who do the will of God".

        • Brother Judan,
          I'm not sure that we can say that "fruit of the ground" must refer to fruits like apples and grapes. There are other uses that refer to grain.

          Consider this from Leviticus 2:

          "If you offer a grain offering of firstfruits to the Lord, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits fresh ears, roasted with fire, crushed new grain. And you shall put oil on it and lay frankincense on it; it is a grain offering."

          These were legitimate offerings (but only in their place):

          Exodus 34:26
          "The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk."

          There are many other examples.

          This brings up the crux of the matter: God is not arbitrary.
          The sacrifices were not arbitrary.
          Sabbath is not an arbitrary day that God just happens to like.

          The original charge in heaven was that God was arbitrary. We need not appear to support this as God's followers.

  12. I think there is a difference between the ability of Cain to offer an animal sacrifice and the inability of the poor person to offer an animal sacrifice. God is just and fair. I don't think God would have had the conversation He did with Cain if Cain couldn't have provided an animal sacrifice. Cain had it his mind he was going to do it his way not God's way. The poor person couldn't supply an animal sacrifice but God provided the true price for remission of sins through Jesus. The whole sacrificial system pointed to Jesus as the only way one can be redeemed. Jesus shed His blood for all.

    • Again, I don't think God's exchange with Cain was about sheep or grain.

      Isaiah 1: 11 - 14 says --

      ""I am sick of your sacrifices," says the LORD. "Don't bring me any more burnt offerings! I don't want the fat from your rams or other animals. I don't want to see the blood from your offerings of bulls and rams and goats.
      Why do you keep parading through my courts with your worthless sacrifices? The incense you bring me is a stench in my nostrils!
      Your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath day, and your special days for fasting -- even your most pious meetings -- are all sinful and false. I want nothing more to do with them. I hate all your festivals and sacrifices. I cannot stand the sight of them!"

      Remember the "sweet aroma" from today's reference texts?

  13. Sometimes I think its a blessing to live on this side of the cros because I would shiver to kill an animal, but then it might have been a more severe warning to stop sinning. If things are too easy I might be tempted to brush sin aside and make silly excuses. If I can have a deeper comprehension of Gods love and what He did for me I will be happy to be on this side of the cross.

  14. How do we know which laws were ceremonial and which not?

    Are the clean/unclean rules part of the ceremonial law? (I don't mean foods, but rather people eg. menstruation, childbirth etc.)

    If not, what category do they fall under? What about the two-fibres rule?

  15. In your last paragraph you include the feasts in the laws that were done away with. If you truly believe that, why do you keep the Sabbath? Leviticus 23:1-3 lists it as the first feast. They are "My feasts" - the LORD is speaking. They are not "the feasts of the Jews".

  16. Andrew and Phyllis We have to remember that the Israelites were under a Theocracy (a form of government in which a deity is officially recognized as the civil Ruler and official policy is governed by officials regarded as divinely guided, or is pursuant to the doctrine of a particular religion or religious group.) I do believe that under the theocracy God couldn't let sin go unpunished on the spot as and example of His demand for honor and respect, other wise the lack of respect for authority would become rampant spreading from one to one million like a plague. I don't believe that there is any evidence in the Bible that He punished sin always in the manner He did Cain, Uzsah, Kora, Dathon...Ananius and Saphira. I do believe in Genesis God commanded Cain and Able to provide a Lamb. Cain was in direct disobedience to Gods command. Yes Andrew disobedience is a product of the attitude of the heart. As far as grain offering Leviticus tells us that it was specifically corn. And it was not an example of Christ death as the Lamb was. God said IF you offer meat for you tithe to Me, use corn as the meat, and proceeded to tell them how to cook it. I don't care if it is fresh, toasted, or dried. Give me Corn as TITHE (your first fruits.) Arron, the other priest and family eat this meat(CORNBREAD) offering.

  17. The Clean and Unclean meat rules were health laws. Much of instruction in Leviticus were guidelines for better living, such as corn instead of meat is better for you, Leviticus 2 implies this. Manna instead of quail is better for you. Fruits, nuts, grains, beans, and vegetables in as natural form as possible, are better for you. It is not a sin to eat clean meat. The Cornbread offering was not a ceremonial law in the sense that it depicted Christ sacrifice for our sins. Oblation of meat offering(food) means a gift offering to God, which according to Leviticus 2, God turned it into a ‘Tithe’.
    God was only sick of their sacrifices because of their turning away from Him. If they had not turned away from Him, He was pleased with their sacrifices.
    We please God by remaining close to His side. And if we do turn away from Him, we have an advocate before the Father, if we decide to turn back to Him. 1John 2:1.
    Val, explain to me what the Sabbath has to do with the Lord's Feasts. Remember you are quoting from the Old Testament that was a Theocracy. Just because the Lord said the Sabbath is Mine, does not mean it is one of His feasts. The Lord said you are mine, does that mean that you are one of the TEN COMMANDMENTS? No, absolutely not. The Sabbath is the FOURTH commandment of the TEN COMMANDMENTS, which were NOT nailed to the Cross. The way I understand it the ceremonial laws were nailed to the Cross. If you want to observe feasts there is no sin in that. But it is not necessary after the Cross. What is necessary is observance of the Seventh-day-Sabbath and the other nine of the TEN COMMANDMENTS. I do believe that the guidelines for better living in the Old Testament were not nailed to the cross. The ceremony of those guidelines was nailed to the cross.

  18. One more word before I move onto this week’s lesson. The rulers of the synagogue hit Christ with Leviticus 23:1-3. Luke gives an account of it in Luke 13:14-16. It would behoove all to read Luke 13:14-16 in context with Leviticus 23:1-3.
    I had a wonderful Seventh-day-Sabbath today.

  19. I was telling a friend about exodus 11, tell she said that the law of Moses is no longer in use. Please help me to let her understand which laws are not in use and which ones still stands. Thank you.

    • Each one of us needs to "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Pet. 3:15 NKJV) which is something one cannot do by relying on someone else to do it for him. Often we don't want to expend any energy in doing study for ourselves and in the long run I believe that is not good.


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