Sermon Summary
Leviticus 3 – Peace Offering

Scripture: Leviticus 3:1–5

Offering in Hebrew is korban, it is something that draws us closer to God. All your participation in making this worship happen is your offering to God.

We have learnt from the first two that these offerings are not only the ceremonial process that people followed in the Old Testament but foreshadow the character and ministry of Jesus Christ. They teach us who Jesus Christ is, and what He has done. All of those offerings focus on the cross of Jesus Christ.

The burnt offering is Jesus’ sacrifice for atonement of our sins.
The grain offering is the life that Jesus lived on earth, which we need to learn from and follow as an example.

Let us think about the third offering in Leviticus, the Peace Offering. The peace offering is very similar to the burnt offering but there are some important differences.

Leviticus 3:1 (NKJ) `When his offering is a sacrifice of a peace offering, if he offers it of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD.

Herd refers to cattle, and cows. The peace offering in Hebrew is שְׁלָמִים: Shlamim. It comes from the word “shalom” which means peace, reward, or award. It also means whole, something that overflows, something that is sufficient, something that overcomes, something that goes on and does not wear out eternally. It is like the Garden of Eden’s delightfulness, plenty, sufficient. The Hebraic Semitic understanding is, that peace comes when we receive such blessing of God that does not run out, that is eternally sufficient. Something that comes as a result of overcoming. Also, the word derives from shelem, meaning thanksgiving.

This overcoming is for the purpose of fulfilling God’s will and providence. It is not a mandatory sacrifice, but a sacrifice that is given out of one’s desire for the fullness of God’s will, presence, and purpose in their life. As a way of conveying to God this commitment, he gives this offering.

Leviticus 3 as with other offerings, seems to repeat the process for different kinds of sacrifice animals: from the heard (verses 1-5), from the flock (verses 6-11), or a goat (verses 12-16). The process is mostly very similar with just different sacrifice animals, but there are some differences found here and there. So, today, we will focus on those different parts.

1. Male or female animal

The peace offering is also very similar to the burnt offering, but female animals are allowed in the peace offering.
Burnt offering is specifically related to the sacrifice and atoning work of Jesus Christ, hence it needed to be a male.
But peace offering is a little different. It is an offering given by those who have received atonement through the burnt offering (Jesus’ blood) for reconciliation and peace with God.

The peace offering is given in addition to the burnt offering. Burnt offering has to become the basis and foundation. Without having given the burnt offering you cannot give the peace offering. Without receiving salvation through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we cannot make peace with God.

2. Laying hands without confession of sin (Leviticus 3:2)

Those who give peace offerings are the ones who have already received atonement, salvation, and redemption through Jesus Christ. The worshipper is to lay his hand on the offering, but unlike the process of the burnt offering, there is no process of confessing my sins and transferring my sins to the animal. That laying of my hand on the animal is giving all of myself to God through that peace offering animal. This is about my life which results from receiving salvation.

3. Fat on kidneys and liver (Leviticus 3:3-5 )

The portions that are given to the Lord are different from the burnt offering. They are to burn the fat by fire, the fat on the entrails, kidney, and liver.

Fat is considered the best, the most favoured. The Hebraic understanding is that fat is the best, the lubricant of your life, the prosperity, the most favoured, and flavoured.

Kidneys and the liver are considered the weightiest organs in your body, according to the Hebraic understanding. It is heavy and weighty in your life. It connotes the centre of your heart, your love, your essence, your very self. For Hebrew speakers, they say “I give you my liver” instead of “I give you my heart.” It connotes the centre of my heart.

Also, the kidneys and liver do the work of filtering out toxins and poisons in your body. So, offering these by fire to God signifies:

(1) My most valuable and cherished thing, from the centre of my heart.

Something that weighs the most in my life, I lift up to God. We are giving thanks to God, reciprocating what He has given to us.

(2) By giving the kidneys and liver, we are receiving God’s grace to take away all the spiritual poison of the serpent and sin that leads us to death.

The reason why God has given us His most precious and cherished (only begotten) Son to us is to take out the serpent’s poison and save us from death and curse, like an antidote. Jesus frees us from death and the curse.

4. Blood sprinkled around the altar (same) (Leviticus 3:6-8 )

Vv. 1-5 is about the Peace Offering given from the herd (cow), and verse 6 is when the offering is given from the flock (lamb, sheep, ram).
One thing we need to remember is that the blood is sprinkled around (sabib) the altar just like the burnt offering. All around (sabib) means that the blood of Jesus needs to be sprinkled in every aspect of our life. We need His grace sabib sabib in all parts of our life.

We may be afraid of giving everything. But the peace and joy that comes when we give the whole of ourselves is irreplaceable by anything. Only those who have experience will know. The thing is, we cannot give all of ourselves as offering with our own willingness. It happens when His grace comes upon us.

5. The fat tail close to the backbone (Leviticus 3:9-11)

We can think about these two differences (herd vs. flock): fat tail close to the backbone & “offering as food to the Lord”. God is Spirit and does not need to eat like us.

6. As food

So, what does it mean to offer food to the Lord?
Food in Hebrew = lahem (bread, daily food). Remember Bethlehem: house of bread.
This food (peace offering) depicts preparing a table for the Lord. Who gets to sit at that table and share that food? Only family can share food on the table. This means we are becoming God’s family. God will prepare the table for His children.

The peace offering is about God’s invitation to restore disconnected fellowship and reconciliation with enemies. With enmity, you cannot eat with a person.

Adam was able to fellowship with God, walk, eat, and talk with God in the Garden of Eden. Through sin, that fellowship was broken. Through the cross, we are family again with the Lord. God now wants to have a meal with us, that is the peace offering.

This privilege is given to those who have received atonement through the burnt offering. From the name of this offering (שְׁלָמִים “Shlamim”), it is an offering based on thanksgiving. The greatest reason for thanksgiving is the salvation of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (NKJ) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

We have become a new creature through the atoning grace of the Lamb. God’s ultimate purpose in making us a new creature is stated in v. 18, “…and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”
The greatest ministry is the ministry of “reconciliation; making peace.”

Then, what is reconciliation (making peace)? (2 Corinthians 5:19 )

The Word has the power to reconcile and give us peace. It’s not like the false peace that this world gives. It’s true peace because it solves the problem of sin. That’s why He has committed to us the Word of reconciliation.
The returning Lord’s name is Melchizedek. King of Shalom. King of peace. Until we attain this peace, and let the Word of reconciliation take root in our lives, we cannot welcome our Lord.

The tail is given to God and the rest is given to the priests to take. (Leviticus 3:11)
Who are the priests today?

Jesus makes His believers into royal priests. Why? Because He has given us that ministry, the Word. Priests are like the bridge to bring the ministry to others. They are the ones who can partake on the Father’s table, God’s children.


let us think about what it means to be on His table, as God’s children.

In the Bible, everything God does is fundamentally for His children.
Because Adam is His child, God is working until now to restore His children. The prodigal son was given the signet ring, robe and welcome from his Father, because of his Father. God saved Israel in Exodus 4:22 because Israel is His son.

This covenant of God is only given to His children. The proof of sonship was the covenant.
God’s children were given the covenant, and those who had the covenant of God were His children.
God said that He will remember His covenanted people. When we say that we are covenanted (received God’s covenant), that means He is our Father.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, what does God say to His children who have the covenant?
“Wherever you go, I will be with you and save you.”
Genesis 28:15 to Jacob when he was in trouble fleeing.

“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
(Ref: Exodus 6:7, Jeremiah 30:22, Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 28:20)

We might be going through difficulties, downs and slumps in life, but again and again, God says, I know what you are going through. Remember I am with you and will keep you wherever you are, I will bring you back and restore you. Why? Because we are His children. Jesus came to be with His people, as Immanuel.


Pastor Samuel Kim