Leviticus 2:11 Without Leaven
Posted by adventbiblestudy on December 13, 2012
Leviticus 2:11 KJV No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire.
How is this verse a prophecy about Jesus? Does it simply point forward to the last supper, back to the first Passover, both, or more? One interesting point is brought to light in the King James Version of this text. The King James Version is still considered the best translation to use for word studies. Although the word meat is used, the context clearly shows it refers to bread. This is simply a detail to make note of if you ever run across other texts referring to meat as a symbol. It does teach us to always look deeper into a subject when trying to determine the spiritual meaning of a text.
Before we begin searching for the spiritual meaning of the texts, we have to first consider the physical. What is leaven and why is it left out of bread in the Tabernacle? Today we call leaven yeast. It is added to bread to make it rise, giving it a much lighter texture, adding the little holes found in each slice. Yeast consumes sugar producing byproducts of carbon dioxide and alcohol in small amounts. Jesus observed the Passover the day before His arrest ensuring there was no chance of anything from this world effecting His judgment. The Bible also makes mention of Jesus rejecting wine He was offered just before His death.
Before we look at the spiritual meaning of this texts, we need to first look at previous texts in the chapter to make certain the interpretation is kept in the proper context.
Leviticus 2:1-3 NLTse “When you present grain as an offering to the LORD, the offering must consist of choice flour. You are to pour olive oil on it, sprinkle it with frankincense, (2) and bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests. The priest will scoop out a handful of the flour moistened with oil, together with all the frankincense, and burn this representative portion on the altar. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD. (3) The rest of the grain offering will then be given to Aaron and his sons. This offering will be considered a most holy part of the special gifts presented to the LORD.
Leviticus 2:9-10 NLTse The priest will take a representative portion of the grain offering and burn it on the altar. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD. (10) The rest of the grain offering will then be given to Aaron and his sons as their food. This offering will be considered a most holy part of the special gifts presented to the LORD.
Looking at previous texts we find a portion of unleavened bread was used as a burnt offering. The rest of the offering was given to the priests, Aaron and his sons. Also notice the special significance is repeated four times. God refers to unleavened bread as a special gift, a pleasing aroma, and most holy. When God repeats something it is time to pay attention. The Spirit is emphasizing the significance of this symbol. When we look to the New testament for a fulfillment of this symbol we find only one answer.
Hebrews 13:15 NLTse Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.
Hebrews identifies the allegiance and praise of God’s followers as a continual sacrifice offered through Jesus, our High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary. Peter describes Jesus’ followers asliving stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, “you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.” (1 Peter 2:5 NLTse).
When you consider the relationship between theses texts, has there ever been anything else God wanted more than to reestablish a relationship with us? Why does God’s Word describe this as a sacrifice on our part? Should it be a sacrifice to have a relationship with God? To a true Christian a relationship with God seems more like a privilege than a sacrifice. Then why does Peter refer to it as a sacrifice which implies giving up something. Peter begins the second chapter of his letter by explaining the details of the sacrifice. “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (1 Peter 2:1-2 KJV). Peter describes the sacrifice as a change in life.
Jesus provides another link to leaven and a change in life. He tried to teach His disciples what they needed to give up to follow Him and become effective disciples. “How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:11-12 KJV).
Another apostle spent his entire life studying the doctrines Jesus warned His disciples about. The world would have never considered choosing a man like Saul to write a majority of the New testament, but God saw something in him. It took a miracle for Saul to see the error of his ways and change his life. It also took three years alone with Christ’s Spirit to put away what he learned and open up to the true meaning of the scriptures. It was such a drastic change in life, God gave Saul a new name, Paul. His understanding in old leaven is explained in one of his letters to Jesus’ early followers. “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8 KJV).
We can see the fulfillment of the symbol of unleavened bread explained throughout the New Testament which is putting away our old lives, accept the example Jesus set for us, and draw into a closer relationship with God. We fulfill the meaning of the symbol when we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God through our High Priest Jesus.