Last week’s reading covered many details on several types of offerings.
- Burnt offerings
- Communion offerings
- Sin offerings
- Guilt offerings
- Grain offerings
- Wave offerings
- Sacred portions
- Installation sacrifice
I will focus on communion offerings, otherwise known as peace offerings.
Communion offerings could be voluntarily offered at any time as “an expression of thanksgiving,” to praise God or to concert a vow (Lev. 7:12, 16).
The consumption of the offering was shared between the person presenting it, the priests and Jehovah.
The person presenting the offering would offer unleavened bread along with the ceremonial sacrifice of a healthy animal.
Neither the animal’s blood nor fat were for human consumption; the blood was sprinkled around the altar and the fat was burnt, Jehovah symbolically consuming the aroma (Lev. 3:2-5; 7:25-27).
The person presenting the offering could bring leavened bread, but this was not to be presented on the altar, as leaven represents sin and corruption (Lev. 2:11; 7:13).
The leavened bread was for the people’s enjoyment, not God’s.
Tradition states that the person presenting the offering ate the meal in the courtyard of the tabernacle (Insight, vol. II, “Offerings,” par. 9).
The flesh of the animal sacrificed had to be eaten on the same day it was slaughtered (Lev. 7:15).
Otherwise the flesh would begin to corrupt and the people who partook in the communion meal would then be ceremonially unclean, a sin punishable by death (Lev. 7:20).
Today we do not have these types of ceremonies in which we can ‘share a meal’ with Jehovah.
It must have been a very spiritual experience.
We can, however, thank and praise God any day, any time, through words and actions that reflect our faith in the ultimate sacrifice of Christ Jesus, which can be likened to an aroma that is pleasing to God.