|"The sacrifice Jesus represented pleased the Father."|
THE HOLY SPIRIT is water. He is cleansing.
The Holy Spirit is oil. He is the anointing of office, of sacrifice.
The Holy Spirit is fire. He is judgment.
In the Levitical sacrifice, the animal was flayed. This is a King James word taken from the Hebrew, meaning “to spread out in hostile array.” The pieces were cut into particular sections, depicting what would happen to Jesus Christ. We read this in the psalms, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”
The inward parts and the legs were then cleansed with water. Here, we see Jesus’ words to the Pharisees. “That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts…” Jesus’ death would cleanse men of sin, which the Levitical sacrifices could not do. In fact, Hebrews says God had no pleasure in them. Of course not, because He wanted mankind cleansed once and for all.
The legs were cleansed just as Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. Peter did not understand this and argued with Jesus, who corrected Him, saying the washing was about their servitude. The more responsibility you are given in the body of Christ, the more of a servant you are. That Jesus’ legs were not broken after His death depicts our servanthood as well. Jesus’ work is ongoing. It did not stop upon His death but grew in number. Now, we, the church, carry the gospel. We “go ye.”
Oil was poured on the sacrifice of grain when it was offered as thanksgiving but not when it was a sin offering. The praises of the people were filled with God’s Presence, representative of the oil, but He would have no part in uncleanness. He joined with thanksgiving. He cleansed sin. In the gospel of Mark, the first healing is Jesus casting an UNCLEAN spirit out of the sanctuary where the HOLY SPIRIT should have been. Jesus came to restore the Holy Spirit to our earthly sanctuary so that He would guide us, teach us, and fill our worship. He came to clean our sanctuary.
There is a second meaning of the word “flay.” It also means “to make a road.” Here, we hear the words of John, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” John the Baptizer came to make the road to Christ easy to find. Israel was lost in a sea of rules developed over hundreds of years, ignorant of who their Messiah would be. John made the way straight, so that any could open their eyes and see Him and find Him.
And John made it clear Jesus had come to bring the Holy Spirit as fire. Fire consumed the sacrifice, consumed the wood beneath it, representative of the cross, and each of the pieces of the animal laid out upon the altar, from the fat, which represents the wisdom and knowledge Jesus spoke as well as the perfection of His body prepared, to the head of the animal. Jesus is the Head of the church. But the sacrifice was brought willingly. A forced sacrifice is not a true sacrifice. Jesus laid down His life of His own volition in order to do the Father’s will. In the garden before His crucifixion, He wrestled with His flesh and made this declaration. “Not my will, but thine, be done.”
His body flayed and laid upon the wood of the altar, His heart without blemish brought to the Holy Place before God, was consumed by fire and with it all the sins and iniquities, the pains and sorrows of mankind. God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit to do it. He washed His inward parts and legs for the sacrificial offering. He then burnt everything in His fire. Judgment was passed, and the sacrifice Jesus presented pleased the Father.
Whether it was a bullock, representative of strength, or sheep (the Jews), or goats (the Gentiles), as God provided a sacrifice of these in the Old Covenant, Jesus became them all. He was the unleavened grain mixed with oil which was baked over the coals. He was the pair of birds, one sacrificed, one set free. He was the bodies burned outside the gate.
He was every part of the tabernacle – the altar, the sacrifice, the High Priest. The veil separating the Holiest of holies, the laver of washing, the lampstand, the shewbread, the table set. The blood poured out. The blood, the life of the flesh, was poured out to give life to the flesh. He was all parts of the sacrificial system and items but the salt, which is us, and the incense, our prayers. He could not have been sacrificed without us.
And the Spirit was what made Him ready for what He came to do. The Spirit remade Him into the firstfruits of the Resurrection. Our tithe is represented in Christ. Our baptism and Resurrection are representative of what the Spirit of God did at Calvary. And having died with Him we are baptized in Holy Spirit fire, as at Pentecost. We are endued with the power Christ had so that we can do the work He did.
There are no more Levitical sacrifices. Jesus fulfilled them. There need never be another animal flayed and cut into pieces and prepared for the altar because Jesus did, for good, what all of those represented, and created in us the temple of the Holy Spirit. He now lives in us, Savior, Christ, Holy Spirit, heavenly Father, King of Kings, and we sit beside Him in heavenly places for eternity.
(2) Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.
(3) If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.
(4) And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.
(5) And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
(6) And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces.
(7) And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire:
(8) And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:
(9) But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
Suzanne D. Williams, Author