Messiah 201
Messiah in the Temple Offerings
R' Richard Pustelniak
January 2, 2001

Preliminary Information
Purpose of This Study
The Korban Olah
The Korban Minchah
The Zevach Shelamim
The Chatat
The Asham

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Warning: The truths contained in this teaching are not for the faint of heart, or the lukewarm! You can be sure that haSatan (the adversary) will do all he can to keep you from understanding and applying the concepts and truths contained herein, but it is our prayer that every one who receives these notes will carefully consider and apply the contents to their lives.

bible icon...Messiah came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to G_d, cleanse your conscience from deeds resulting in death [separation from the Divine] to serve the living G_d? (Heb 9:11-14, emendations added)
I. Introduction

We have been taught, and it is true, that, when Messiah laid down on that wood, and yielded up His life, suspended between Heaven and Earth, He "fulfilled" all of the offerings in the temple. In other words, the temple offerings "pre-figured" the offering made, on our behalf, by our Messiah King.

The understanding, that all of the temple offerings are fulfilled in "the cross" (Messiah's offering), gives rise to several questions:

  • Specifically, "what" was fulfilled?
  • "How" was it fulfilled?
  • What does the cross then mean to, and for, me?

In order to discover what the cross means to, and for us, we must discover what the temple offerings meant to, and for, us.

During this series, we shall address these questions, albeit at a rather elementary level. This is because each of the offerings we will examine are worthy of a series of their own. However, those series will come later, at a 300 level of study. For now, we shall look at the system of offerings, and we will look at each of the offerings provided for by that system. We shall look closely enough to obtain a functional grasp of those offerings, and hence, an understanding of how to apply them to our lives today.

In order to facilitate our understanding of the temple offerings, and Messiah's role in them, one should study and assimilate the teachings in the prerequisite series, Messiah 101 - The Foundational Principles of Messiah, which is a study of the principles listed in Hebrews 5:12-6:3. The study at hand is intended as a 200 level study, an amplification of the Messiah 101 topic, The Laying on of Hands (S'michat Yadayim). This is a similar idea to that shown in the first two chapters of Scripture, where Genesis 2 elaborates on the creation of man in Genesis 1.

We will begin by a brief review of the effective essentials of the preceding series, as well as the specific topic we will amplify here.

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II. Preliminary Information

II-A. The Importance of Context

The Scriptures, from cover to cover, are written by divinely inspired Jewish men, and are our Creator's verbatim communication to us. To correctly interpret, and understand, the Scriptures, one must examine them from a Jewish context and mind set. Much has been lost, through the centuries, due to the failure to do so. We will attempt a bit of restoration here.

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II-B. Korban (Offering or Sacrifice)

korban ( ), usually translated "offering," or "sacrifice," but which actually means "that which has been brought near"

bible iconTherefore if you bring your offering to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and make your offering. (Matt 5:23,24, emphasis added)
bible iconHe said to them, "{All too} well you reject the commandment of G_d, that you may keep your tradition. For Moshe said, 'Honor your father and your mother;' and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me {is} korban (that is, a gift {to G_d}),"' then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of G_d of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do." (Mk 7:9-13, emphasis and emendation added)

root : The original sense is to "approach" or "bring {near}"

l'hakriv korban ( ), literally meaning, "to bring the sacrifice near." This phrase communicates, quite well, the concept of sacrifice, as it was performed in the ancient temple. The word sacrifice, itself, derives from the Latin, sacer (holy) + facere (to make). A korban is essentially, that which has been made holy by having been brought into G_d's presence in the sanctuary.

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II-C. S'michat Yadayim (The Laying on of the Hands)

s'michát yadáyim ( ), literally meaning "leaning the hands upon," from samách ( ), meaning "to lean upon," "lie hard," or "establish"; yad ( ), meaning "{open} hand," with suffix, ...ayim ( ), meaning "a pair." In the context of this study, to lay one's hands upon someone or some thing, is to effectively transfer one's weight to what is leaned upon. Halachah (Jewish interpretation and application of law), requires one performing the rite of s'michah, to lean on the object (person or animal) with both hands, with all of his force. One no longer supports himself, but is reliant upon a new or other support.

Essentially, the act of s'michát yadáyim symbolizes a transference from the one performing the leaning, to the subject leaned upon. In formal settings, as seen in the Scriptures, what is transferred is "identity." What this means is that the one leaning is identifying with the one being leaned upon. Likewise, the one being leaned upon is identifying with the one leaning.

Once the identification has been accomplished, dealing with one of the parties is to deal with the other, and vice-versa. The relationship so established is very similar to the power of attorney, bestowed at law. Depending upon the relationship established, and the scope of the authority granted, one party is the "agent" of the other. In the context of Scripture, and our relationship with Messiah, the relationship is one of "mutual" agency.

bible iconI have been crucified with Messiah; it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of G_d, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal 2:20, emendation added)

As we shall see, the concept of s'michat yadayim is the key that unlocks the meanings of the temple offerings, showing them as gifts given by the Holy One, rather than gifts given to Him.

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II-D. Reshit D'var Mashiach (The Foundational Principles of Messiah)

The following lists the foundational principles, the understanding of which are required to adequately grasp the concepts symbolized by the various korbanot (offerings) we will examine in this series:

  1. T'shuvah Mima'asei Mavet (Repentance from Deeds that Lead to Death)

    Our Creator is perfect and holy. This holiness is His primary characteristic and cannot be violated, contaminated, or compromised. That which is not holy, and not perfect, cannot abide the intimate presence of the Holy One. Since His holiness cannot be violated, any potential source of contamination that enters His presence is simply consumed in the fire of that inviolate holiness.

    It is not possible for a self-aware, intelligent entity, possessing free will, but lacking omniscience, to fail to make the occasional imperfect choice. This results in the loss of perfection and holiness, regardless of magnitude. The Holy One knew this and designed a system, whereby perfection and holiness could be restored to those He created to love.

    A very common way to forfeit perfection and holiness is by failing to recognize that our Creator endowed us with drives and desires that should only be satisfied within His specified boundaries. When we take matters into our own hands, we embark on a journey away from Him, and set events and consequences in motion that could eternally separate us from Him. We must come to terms with the truth, and agree with the Holy One, that our ways are not His ways, and that our ways have separated us from Him. We must then purpose to turn around and return to Him.

  2. Emunah b'El_him (Faith Toward G_d)

    Turning away from our own ways requires, by definition, a turning toward different ways, the ways prescribed by our loving Creator. This involves walking with Him, and learning what His ways are, as well as how to live in accordance with them.

  3. Torat haT'vilot (Instruction About Ceremonial Immersions)

    Ritual immersion is a ceremony, that, in general, symbolizes the transition from one state of being, or relationship, to another. For our purposes, ceremonial immersion marks a transition in the sands of time, where living our lives our way gives way to a newness of life, as we walk in the ways of our Creator.
    bible icon...[D]o you not know that as many of us as were immersed into Messiah Y'Shua were immersed into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through immersion into death, that just as Messiah was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:3-4, emphasis added)
    In order for ceremonial immersion to correctly communicate the ideas being symbolized, it must be accomplished via full immersion, in a sufficient quantity of water, so that the one being immersed is completely submerged. When the water closes over the top, the initial state or status is symbolically cut off and left in the past. When the waters open back up, and the individual emerges, it is to the new state or status. Like all other ceremonies, this act is not effective, in that it does not actually effect anything. It only symbolizes the effect.

    There is only one effective immersion, and that is when the Divine Presence immerses one into the Commonwealth of Believing Israel, when the new believer is "born again." This happens when the individual puts his/her trust in the provision of the Messiah, and sets off in the direction of "newness of life."
    bible iconFor by one Spirit we were all immersed into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. (1Cor 12:13-14, emphasis added)

  4. S'michat Yadayim (The Laying on of Hands)

    As previously described, the laying on of hands symbolizes the transfer of something from the one leaning to the one being leaned upon, and sometimes vice-versa. In the case of the temple offerings, what is being symbolized is a mutual exchange of identity, creating a relationship of mutual agency, where dealing with one is dealing with the other. This concept is the subject of this study, as it is the key to understanding the the temple offerings.

    Essentially, once the one offering a korban in the temple has laid his/her hands upon the head of his/her offering, the one making the offering does, or is purposing to do, what the offering then does. Using agency-speak, the one offering acts "in and through" his/her offering.

  5. T'chiyyat Hameitim (Resurrection of the Dead)

    While the previous principles address the "what" and "how," the concept of the resurrection of the dead begins to address the "why." If, when one dies, one simply exits from existence, doing so while alienated from our Creator might not be such a problem. However, this is not what happens to us. Our Creator has told us that we will exist "somewhere" forever, since our existence derives from His eternal existence.

    When we were created, we were "wired" to recognize that the body is not the person, but the container of the person. Therefore, when we die, that which is the person exits the container, and "goes" somewhere. The "where" is the subject of the next principle. What form the person takes on, after exiting the body, as well as the ultimate disposition of that person, are the primary foci of most religions.

    According to our Creator's account, each living person comes into existence with a spirit (the essential person) and a body (the container), with a soul, as an interface between the two very dissimilar components. At physical death, the spirit exits the body, the soul evaporates, and the body decays away. The following lists the significant characteristics of a person's spirit, once the body has been exited:

    1. Individuality is retained — Life force does not return to an impersonal cosmic pool
    2. Identity is retained — Individuals retain characteristics, enabling others to recognize them
    3. Memory is retained — Memories of one's life remain (experiences, acquaintances, etc.)
    4. Dominant mode: rest — which can be disturbed
    5. Differences in location — The same fate does not await all...the righteous and wicked are separated, and the kind of subsequent existence is determined by the kind of life lead while alive
    6. Diversity in status — Not egalitarian, variations in honor and recognition exist
    7. Persistence of sensation — The ability to experience torment or rest (in their degrees)
    8. Permanence of status — Once the body has been exited, there remains no ability to repent or effect a change of status
    9. Those in the various states are aware of one another
    10. The ability to communicate, one with another, persists

    Each prospective member of our Creator's eternal economy must be incarnated (be born, live a life, and come to an end of life), in order to gain access to Messiah's provision, made via His incarnation (restoration of holiness and perfection), also in order to make his/her decision regarding that provision (acceptance or rejection).

    Approximately 1000 years before the end of this cosmos (or creation), some of those that have died up to that time, will be restored to life (the first resurrection), and will be joined with new, eternal bodies. These are those who are destined to enjoy eternal life in the presence of our Creator. These will rule and reign with Messiah until the end of this cosmos (or creation). At the end of the final 1000 years, all remaining entities will be joined with new, eternal bodies (the second resurrection). At that time, the current cosmos (or creation) will be dissolved, and each entity will be subjected to a great judgement, to reveal the eternal disposition of each. This is the subject of the next principle.

  6. Hadin Hannitz'chi (Eternal Judgement)

    From the very beginning, our Creator has intended an eternal economy, where He could share himself with his creatures and creation. He intended to populate that economy with self-aware, intelligent entities, possessing free-will, while lacking omniscience. He knew that it would be impossible for such entities to fail to make the occasional imperfect choice, and thereby lose holiness, perfection, and access to the intimate presence of our Creator. Because of this, it would be impossible to populate such an eternal economy, unless there was a means of restoring perfection and holiness to its members. Therefore, He devised a means, whereby, He would extend himself into a physical incarnation, in a preliminary cosmos (or creation), and live out the required perfection in that cosmos, and make that perfection available to those who would need it.

    In order to access the Messiah's provision, all prospective members of the future eternal economy must live out an incarnation, and decide whether they want to be members of the eternal economy. If so, they need to accept (ask for and receive) the Messiah's provision, made available via His incarnation. Those that decide against such membership shall, of their own choice, spend eternity outside the Creator's eternal economy.

    Once membership, or lack of same, has been determined, one's actions during his/her incarnation will be compared against the standard, to determine the level of reward, or punishment, to be assessed. Messiah's provision determines "direction," while one's actions determine the "depth of penetration." In order for a judgement to be a righteous one, the standard of judgement must be revealed to those who will be judged by it. Our Creator's standard has been revealed and made available. The Holy Scriptures will be our judge in the last day.

    Reward (positive or negative) shall be determined by comparing one's potential to how well that potential was actualized. A greater degree of actualization shall resolve to a greater degree of reward (or depth of penetration).
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III. The Purpose of the This Study

III-A. The Korbanot - Relationship Management

Understanding the korbanot will enable us to more fully come to our Creator, by way of the cross. First, we shall be enabled to understand the various states of relationship that can exist between ourselves and our Creator (and one another). Second, we shall be enabled to understand the process that individuals in various states must go through, in order to get to the relational state we were created to occupy: intimacy with the Holy One. This is the ultimate reason for life: to seek out our Creator, to love Him, and to cling to Him as a loving Father.

The states of relationship, and the process of managing, or dealing with, them, are illustrated by the korbanot, as prescribed for us in Torah. The korbanot, as described and applied in Torah, can be likened to a collection of lenses of various colors. Each lens in the collection filters the brilliant white light emanating from the cross, revealing the riches and provision relating to its corresponding korban. In this way we can more comprehensively perceive and appreciate the majesty and provision hidden in all of that gore. We are enabled to more fully appreciate the diverse provision of our Messiah, which He offers as a gift to all who will but call upon the L_rd to receive it.

In our case, we do not need to continually, and repeatedly, present those various korbanot, returning to the flocks and herds, as we follow the process, inward and outward. Rather, in the current (Messianic) economy, we need only come to the foot of the cross (metaphorically speaking), and take out our collection of lenses and draw near to the Holy One by a process that follows the very same pattern as that illustrated in the Mosaic covenant.

Once we have come to understand the system, process and pattern of relationship management, the effectiveness of the cross shall increase by orders of magnitude, as we grow in the understanding of its significance and provision.

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III-B. Leviticus Chapters 1- 5: The Gospel According to Moses

Once one comes to understand our Creator's system, pattern, and process of relationship management in the korbanot, one can share the Good News of Messiah without resorting to the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Luke, or the Gospel of John, in the New Covenant Scriptures. To non-Messianic Jews, the New Covenant Scriptures are treated with suspicion and disbelief.

Understanding the korbanot, as presented in Leviticus chapters 1-5 enables one to reveal Messiah's provision from native soil. Then, the New Covenant can be appealed to, for confirmation. Because of this, Leviticus chapters 1-5 can be re-classified, from some of the driest passages of Scripture, to some of the most fulfilling — the Gospel According to Moses, if you will. If one can definitively put Messiah Y'Shua in the Jewish temple, He transitions, in the Jewish mind, from foreign invader, to focus and anticipated gift.

Without the understanding of the korbanot, it is actually quite difficult to explain why something as heinous as an execution on a cross could be necessary. With such an understanding, one can share the Good News of Messiah with anyone, with the Jew first, and then anyone else who will listen.

Leviticus chapters 1-5 are not the only scriptures where instruction about the korbanot can be found. However, those chapters provide an introduction to the individual types of korban, and where they apply. The Scriptures, as a whole, pre-suppose that the reader has an understanding of the korbanot, so the Scriptures do not provide a central location to appeal to, for the information in this series. The prerequisite understanding has been lost over the millennia, so one must, of necessity, distill whatever information can be found on the subject, and recompile it for presentation. This is what we intend to do here.

Leviticus chapters 1-5 do not provide the meaning of the korbanot. Rather, they present the mechanism, not the "why," but the "what and how." There is much information available, however, to one who will apply him/herself to the distillation process.

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III-C. The Korbanot - The System, Pattern, and Process

The following diagram shall serve to encapsulate, and guide our study:

package image

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III-D. The Korbanot - Now Only in Messiah

Now that the fulfillment of the korbanot has come, the Mosaic shadows no longer have an effective place. They now serve only as a source of instruction, as we are using them here. To presume differently will result in disaster.

bible icon[I]t is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of G_d and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of G_d, and put Him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from G_d; but if it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. (Heb 6:4-9)
1 All Scripture references are from the New King James version, unless otherwise specified.

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