The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Leviticus 22

Lev 22:20

DO NOT BRING ANYTHING WITH A DEFECT: This prohibition is elaborated upon in Deu 15:21; 17:1: any would-be offering which is lame or blind or has any obvious flaw must not be brought. And the prophet Malachi warns, "When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong?" (Mal 1:8,13,14).

Of course, in the fulfillment of the "type" or "prophecy" of the Law of Moses, the only sacrifice that was absolutely perfect and without defect was the Lord Jesus Christ, who "offered himself unblemished to God" (Heb 9:14; cp 1Pe 1:19).

Lev 22:21

WHEN ANYONE BRINGS FROM THE HERD OR FLOCK A FELLOWSHIP OFFERING... IT MUST BE WITHOUT DEFECT OR BLEMISH TO BE ACCEPTABLE: And as the offering should be, so also the OFFERER should be! The one who comes into the presence of the LORD to offer sacrifice must also be above reproach, even as regards interpersonal relationships: "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift" (Mat 5:23,24).

Of course, in the ultimate sense, such verses as these are reminders to us that -- no matter how well we may prepare ourselves -- we are NOT perfect: we have many defects and blemishes, and were it not for the one perfect, all-encompassing sacrifice of Christ, for all people and all time, we would be utterly without hope. Flesh cannot boast of itself in the presence of God; it must humbly and thankfully take hold of the One who is truly without blemish, seeking through him for the forgiveness which it so desperately needs.

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