is important.

Exodus 29:22-28 (ESV)

“You shall also take the fat from the ram and the fat tail and the fat that covers the entrails, and the long lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, and the right thigh (for it is a ram of ordination), and one loaf of bread and one cake of bread made with oil, and one wafer out of the basket of unleavened bread that is before the LORD. You shall put all these on the palms of Aaron and on the palms of his sons, and wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. Then you shall take them from their hands and burn them on the altar on top of the burnt offering, as a pleasing aroma before the LORD. It is a food offering to the LORD.

“You shall take the breast of the ram of Aaron's ordination and wave it for a wave offering before the LORD, and it shall be your portion. And you shall consecrate the breast of the wave offering that is waved and the thigh of the priests' portion that is contributed from the ram of ordination, from what was Aaron's and his sons'. It shall be for Aaron and his sons as a perpetual due from the people of Israel, for it is a contribution. It shall be a contribution from the people of Israel from their peace offerings, their contribution to the LORD.”

“Fat tail” is the fat that some sheep have on their hindquarters, which functions like a camel’s hump.

Previously, in this consecration of the priests, they completely burned up the bull as a sin offering and the first ram as a burnt offering. Then the second ram’s blood was put on their right ears, thumbs and big toes (the same sin offering used to cleanse a leper). Now, the fat is removed from the second ram (the ram of ordination) and burned in the manner of a peace offering. Then the priests eat of the breast and the thigh. This is declared as a perpetual due from the people of Israelfrom their peace offerings.

Then from the sacrifice of the peace offering he shall offer as a food offering to the LORD its fat; he shall remove the whole fat tail, cut off close to the backbone, and the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys. – Leviticus 3:9-10 (ESV)

This whole ceremony is filled with symbolism. The priests are symbolically taking on the people’s sin.

Just as burning the bull outside the camp set the standard for Jesus being crucified outside the city, so the priests eating part of the sacrifice sets the standard for future peace offerings.

We tend to forget the symbolism of crucifixion. Wearing a cross around your neck is like wearing an electric chair around your neck – only worse. Rome had capital punishment that was less severe than crucifixion – for lesser crimes. Crucifixion was for only the worst criminals.

To take the punishment for our sin, Jesus had to endure more than the ultimate pain and death.

He had to endure the ultimate humiliation. Only that could fully represent our sin.

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Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.