The offerings of the law almost require a threefold approach.
First, they provide a way for the Israelites to make and keep a right relationship with God. Second, they are a type of Jesus Christ and a description of His sacrifice for us. Third, they are a pattern for our own approach to God.
The Order of the Five Offerings in Leviticus 1-5. They mark a progression of closeness to God with the first offering mentioned being the closest to God and the last one being the first step in approaching God. This seemingly backwards approach is not unusual in the Bible. God usually begins from His perspective, not ours. He describes the furniture of the most holy place first and then proceeds to the holy place and the courtyard. He creates heaven and then earth (Genesis 1:1). He lists the three-part nature of man as spirit first, then soul, then body (1Thesalonians 5:23).
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
First, consider the order of the offerings as they point to the sacrifice of Christ.
1. Burnt Offering
Christ surrendered Himself entirely to God being fully consumed in His commitment.
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
2. Meat Offering
Christ gave Himself as a living sacrifice continually doing the will of the Father.
"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
3. Peace Offering
Christ made peace with God on the behalf of man.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
4. Sin Offering
Christ atoned for our fallen sin nature on the cross and satisfied the wrath of God.
10 Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
5. Trespass Offering
Christ paid for our individual sins in His death on the cross.
But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.
However, when we come to God, we must do so in reverse order. Notice the following table with the offerings given in reverse order and their symbology explained.
1. Trespass Offering
We realize the guilt of our sins and our need for forgiveness of these sins in Jesus Christ. [Forgiveness of committed sins]
1 John 2:2
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
2. Sin Offering
We need a power that can even conquer our sin nature or else we will lose our salvation as soon as we gain it. [payment for the sin nature]
2 Corinthians 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
3. Peace Offering
We find that through the cross of Christ He opened the way for true fellowship with God. [fellowship or communion]
1 John 1:3
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
4. Meat Offering
Through His obedient life, Christ shows us the way to be a living sacrifice for God. [Living sacrifice]
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.
5. Burnt Offering
We find the greatest blessing in being fully consumed in our commitment to God. [entire surrender]
But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.