Beholding Jesus in His Amazing Grace, Session 7: “Jesus, Our Peace Offering, Part 1″ 


Beholding Jesus in His Amazing Grace, Session 7, “Jesus, Our Peace Offering, Part 1” from Parresia on Vimeo.

Jesus bequeathed us with an inheritance of peace. He called it “My peace.” What is HIS peace? It’s the unbreakable love-union we have with God. We gave eternal reconciliation with God through the blood of Jesus, and from that basis we receive all of the benefits of the cross. The depiction of Jesus in the Peace Offering of the Old Testament is used to illustrate this truth. (see transcript of teaching below)

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Transcript of “Jesus, Our Peace Offering, Part 1”


Welcome to session 7 of Beholding Jesus in His Amazing Grace. This session is entitled, “Jesus, Our Peace Offering, Part 1.” Part 2 will be next week.

I was going to call this, “Jesus, Our Peace,” but I may want to reserve that title for another time because the focus of this message is not what we typically refer to when we talk about peace – or the rest in our soul that we experience as a result of receiving the gift that Jesus bequeathed us: the inheritance that He called “My peace.” So today I am going to talk about that free gift, and I’m going to use a picture from the Old Testament.

This picture might seem obscure and irrelevant. A thought came to me yesterday when I was preparing: what does this message have to do with the “price of tea in China?” In other words, with all that is going on in the world, what relevance and effect is this obscure picture going to have?

My answer: this picture unveils the love of God for us in a way that is precious and life changing. It’s like a secret love message you discover while gazing at an antique oil painting hanging on the wall in your grandmother’s living room.

What other god in the world sends secret love messages tucked away in hidden places? What other god even mentions love? Do you know that the God of the Bible is the only God whose focus is love? Why? Because our God is love.

God is love

Long before God created anything – long before Adam and Eve, even before He created the angels – God always existed, and the Bible says –

1 John 4:16 – God is love.

That is God’s identity. He is Love. And Love loves. That’s what He does. God cannot exist without loving because He is love.

But in order for God to be Love, there must be an object to love. But before the beginning, nothing was created, so how could God, who is Love be Love when there was no one to love?

That tells you that long before anything was created the Father did have Someone to love. Who was it? The Father loved the Son and the Son loved the Father.

Matthew 3:17, NIV – And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” [That was before Jesus started His ministry or went to the cross. The Father loved the Son from eternity to eternity.]

And out of His heart of love, God created us – made in His image and likeness.  We are the crowning achievement of His creation because we reflect His glory – the glory of His love. We were made to be loved and to love. We love because He first loved us.

If God’s identity is love, then Our identity in Him is His beloved. If His job is to love, us, our job is to be loved and to love with His love.

And you’ll never know how much God loves you until you know how much He loves His Son because He gave His Son for you.

Romans 8:32 – He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, [delivered up on the cross] how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

What does that say about your value to God? You are priceless!

I want what you have

So I’m getting a little ahead of myself talking about love. Let’s get back to peace. I had a recurring experience when I began teaching grace: people would come up to me afterwards and say, “I want what you have.” What they were referring to was peace. They wanted peace. And if that person was a believer, I always told them: “You already have it.”

What is peace? The best word I can think of is “reconciliation.” What is reconciliation with God? It’s our unbreakable love-union with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through the blood of Jesus. That’s what peace is.

Colossians 1:19-20, NLT – For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth [How?] by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

Ephesians 2:13-18, NIV –  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near [How?] by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one [what two groups was Paul referring to? The two feuding racial tribes of that day – the Jews and the Gentiles. Do we want reconciliation between races, nations, political parties, families, even groups of believers? There is only one way. Jesus is our Peace. He Himself] and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 [HOW?] by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. [Jesus ended the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He ended the system where you ARE what you DO. He ended the system that only POINTED out sin, but could do NOTHING to remove it. He ended a system which could NEVER RECONCILE God to man or man to man – why? Because in that system everyone’s sins were COUNTED AGAINST them. The OFFENSE was always there. There was NO lasting peace in a legalistic system. And the whole world has never been more legalistic than it is today!] His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity [a new creation] out of the two, [out of the hostile parties] thus making peace, 16 and in one body [the body of Christ] to reconcile both of them to God [How?] through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. [Only the cross can remove the hostility.The cross is the GREAT LEVELER. “For God did not send His Son to condemn the world, but that world through Him might be saved.” We come to the cross offering NOTHING. Every one of us comes to God as a SINNER, and when we receive His forgiveness, we walk away as SONS. Together, from every nation, tongue, and tribe, we humble ourselves at the foot of the SAME cross, confessing our need for a Savior. We RECEIVE forgiveness and we GIVE forgiveness. We love because He first loved us. That’s peace.] 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away [the Gentiles] and peace to those who were near. [the Jews] 18 For through him we both [those who were formerly hostile to one anther] have access to the Father by one Spirit.

The cross was the wrecking ball that destroyed the barriers between each of us and demolished the dividing wall of hostility. In Jesus we are one, and Jesus holds us together.

Colossians 1:17, NASB – He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [The love of Jesus is our relational glue]

Peace is not just a benefit of the cross like healing or financial provision. The inheritance of Peace is the foundation by which we receive all of the benefits of the cross.

Peace is not a feeling that comes and goes with circumstances or dreams fulfilled. Peace is our constant and eternal reality.

John 14:27 – [Jesus said – ] Peace I leave with you, [literally – I bequeath to you] My peace I give to you; [He said “MY peace I give to you.” What is HIS peace? It’s His union with the Father and everything that comes from that union, the fruit of that union.]

Peace, shalom is nothing broken – we are one! nothing missing – complete!

John 14:27, cont – [Jesus said – My peace I give to you – ] not as the world gives do I give to you. [That tells you right there that peace isn’t a feeling. The peace this natural world gives isn’t bad, but it’s just a FEELING that comes and goes. We thank God for any and all ways that help us when we are anxious or depressed or hurting. But when the root is spiritual, the answer is ultimately spiritual. The peace that Jesus gives is resilient because HIS peace is the INSEPARABLE union with LOVE Himself, the SOURCE of all joy, provision, health, and life. So He says -] Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

I have had seasons of peace that made no sense over the course of my life when hard things were happening – such as Mark being paralyzed, etc… But it wasn’t until the Spirit revealed the truth of Romans 5:1 to me in my awakening to the finished work that I have had a resilient peace in my soul, no matter what trouble I faced.

Romans 5:1-5 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, [made right with God by faith] we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, [eternal reconciliation, perfect union] 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, [we are now on grace ground with secret access to all the riches of His grace stored up in heaven for us.] and [we] rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, [what does it mean to “glory” in tribulations? The word “glory” there is “kauchaomai” and it means to boast or to rejoice. How can we rejoice in suffering? Because of the finished work of Jesus, we believe that no matter what our circumstances are, the promises of God are always YES in Jesus. Because we believe the truth that what the devil meant for evil, God will turn to good. Because we believe that God works all things together for our good.] knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, [Why?] because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

When trouble comes, I look to the love of God demonstrated through the cross, I look to the resurrected Jesus, and I am not shaken. All is well. Heaven is not shaken, and that’s where I am seated in Jesus.

Overview of the five offerings

So back to the title, “Jesus, Our Peace Offering.” The picture I want to share with you is the Peace Offering of the Old Covenant sacrifices, and it’s going to require some background and, as I said, two sessions. 

The Peace Offering was one of five types of offerings in the Old Testament, which all depict some facet of Jesus.

When Jesus said, “It is finished” on the cross, He used a merchant’s word that meant, “The debt is fully paid.” If someone purchased something “on time,” when he made the last payment, the merchant would give him a receipt that read “tetelestai.” This meant, “The debt has been fully paid.”

John 19:30 – “It is finished!”

Jesus fully paid the debt of our sin during those six hours on the cross. We owed a debt we could never pay; He paid a debt He did not owe. As our supreme sacrifice,

Hebrews 10:12 – But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. [The work was finished.]

Jesus fulfilled the law, which included all of its types and shadows:

When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He was saying that all the pictures of Him in the tabernacle furnishings, the priestly ministry, and the sacrificial system were completely fulfilled. What does that mean? 

The Lamb of God has taken away our sins forever. The veil has been torn forever. We have entered the presence of God forever. We are the righteousness of God in Christ forever – not because of the righteous things we have done, but because of His grace. 

When we behold Jesus in these Old Covenant pictures, He is both the High Priest and the offering. He is our heavenly Aaron who represents us before God, and He is our Lamb of God who absorbed all of our sin and every curse.

It took five different kinds of sacrifices to describe that one, beautiful work of Jesus on the cross. Not coincidentally, five is the number of Grace! 

The five offerings in the order that God listed them in the Bible are 

  • the Burnt offering depicting Jesus’ death and representing the completeness of His suffering and His all encompassing sacrifice for us; 
  • the Grain offering depicting Jesus’ sinless life; 
  • the Peace offering which we’ll talk about in a minute; 
  • and the Sin and Trespass offerings which depict the transference of our sin and trespasses into the body of Jesus in exchange for His innocence and righteousness. 

The first three offerings are called, “Ascending offerings” because when they were burned, they produced a sweet smelling, pleasing aroma that ascended to the LORD. It’s a picture of Jesus’s resurrection. The offerers were called “worshipers.”

But with the last two, the sin and trespass offerings, the offerers were called “sinners,” and the offerings did not emit a pleasing aroma because these offerings contained the dung, which depicts our sins. Our sins do not give off a sweet aroma.

But all of us who are in this house today know what happened at the cross: God did not allow one single sin to slip by. Not one failure, one weakness, one bad day escaped the justice of God.

All of our sins, past, present, and future were dealt with at the cross.

God can’t be just merciful and not righteous. Jesus has paid for every sin that we have ever committed or will ever commit.

Psalm 85:10 – [In Jesus] Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed.

In the courtroom of heaven, justice was served once and for all when Jesus cried, “It is finished!”

Illustration of the Peace Offering 

Back to the sacrifices: the Peace Offering emitted a sweet aroma. The term “sweet aroma” comes from two Hebrew words:

  • nîḥōaḥ [nee-kho’-akh] which means soothing, quieting, tranquilizing; and
  • rêaḥ [ray’-akh] – odor of soothing (to God), tranquilizing odor; a savor of rest.

This sweet aroma brought pleasure to God and rest to His heart. Why? Not because God took pleasure in those sacrifices, but because He looked past them to the finished work of His beloved Son.

Hebrews 10:8-10 – [Jesus says to the Father] “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He [Jesus] said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. [Jesus took away the Old Covenant of law with the temporary peace that it brought, so that He might establish the New Covenant of grace and everlasting peace. The writer of Hebrews wrote – ] 10 By that will we have been sanctified [made holy] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The sweet aroma of the sacrifice of Jesus went up to God on our behalf and blessed God because finally God’s will has been done – His love has been poured out on us – the apple of His eye – and we have been sanctified and brought near through the blood of Jesus.

Jesus is our Peace Offering. What is a Peace Offering? In our modern vernacular we use the term “Peace Offering.” Here’s an illustration of how that term is often used. 

Imagine a man upsets his wife, and wants to make things right. So he goes out and buys the biggest, most expensive box of her favorite chocolates that he can afford. He takes it to his wife and tells her how sorry he is. 

She accepts his apology, enjoys the chocolates, and they are back to where they were before he offended her. Everything is restored.

Some might say that the husband brought her a “peace offering” to restore peace, but in reality that box of chocolates was more of a Trespass offering in the biblical sense.

But let’s say that everything is going well, and there are no outstanding offense between this husband and wife. He decides to go out and buy the biggest most expensive box of their favorite chocolates that he can afford as a gesture to communicate how grateful he is for her and the wonderful relationship and the love that they share. 

Then they sit down and enjoy the box of chocolates together. Now that’s a better picture of the Peace Offering. 

It wasn’t necessary to restore peace, but rather a celebration of the peace that already existed between God and the worshiper.

The Peace Offering has been called the “Finished Work” offering and the “Thanksgiving” offering because it shows thanksgiving for something that has already occurred. “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Peace offering in Leviticus 3

We find the details of the Peace Offering in Leviticus 3 and the Law of the Peace Offering in Leviticus 7. Today we’ll look at the passage in Leviticus 3. In verse 1, God instructed Moses –

Leviticus 3:1 – ‘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. 

The Hebrew word for “peace offering” is actually a plural word, “šelem” [sheh’-lem]. It’s literally “peace in all its completeness” or “peaces of every kind” – peace in your body and soul and spirit.

Now the word “herd” is referring to cattle. Later in that chapter you see the same instructions for “flock” which can mean sheep or goats. So the Peace Offering could be cattle, sheep, or goats. 

The sacrifice was to be “without blemish before the Lord” – of course this is a depiction of Jesus, our spotless Lamb of God.

Leviticus 3:2 – And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of meeting;…

Whenever we see the offerer laying his hand on the animal, we are seeing identification.

With the Peace Offering and the Burnt offering the focus is the identification of the worshiper with the innocence of the lamb. These offerings were a picture of the preciousness of Jesus to God.

In the Sin and Trespass offerings, the focus is the identification of the lamb with the sin of the offerer. There is a great exchange: the sin of the offerer in exchange for the righteousness of the lamb without blemish.

So the offerer of the Peace Offering would lay his hand on the head of the sacrifice denoting that the sacrifice is dying in his place. Once that sacrifice is killed and roasted, the offerer walks away with the full acceptance and righteousness of God and the blessing of God on his life.

He has the favor of the innocence of the Lamb on his life. What picture does this paint for us? Because of the finished work of Jesus, because of the union we have in Jesus, and the peace with have with God, we can look to our Lamb of God and ask, “What does Jesus deserve in this situation in my life?” And we deserve everything that Jesus deserves, not because of our own innocence and righteousness, but because of His.

I believe we have a hard time with this one critical element of our faith. “As Jesus is so are we in this world” is a truth that we must receive daily, hourly, and sometimes moment by moment.

All around the altar

Leviticus 3:2, cont –  and Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall sprinkle the blood all around on the altar.

“All around the altar” – This is a picture of how the blood of Jesus has fully met and satisfied the claims of God’s righteousness and holiness for us.

The altar represents God’s holy requirements. When we come to the altar of God, we are coming to a place of perfection, of pure Light, heavenly beauty, and holiness.

You know, we sing songs about coming to the altar, and we often think of it as a place where people go to lay down their lives for God or kneel and pray to Him for a need, but in reality the altar of the peace offering was the place where the worshiper would take his spotless offering – the substitute who had borne his sin – and celebrate all the blessings of God and the reconciliation afforded through the blood.

The altar isn’t the place where we lay down our own lives, but the place where we worship the One who laid down His life for us: our Peace Offering.

The altar isn’t the place where we promise God our blood, sweat, and tears, but the place where we declare to the Father, “Behold the blood of Your Son! Behold the perfection of Your Son! Behold the beauty of Your Son! Behold the love of Your Son!” 

The altar isn’t the place where we beg God to give us provision for our needs, but the place where we – in the righteousness of our Spotless Lamb – receive everything purchased though His blood.

The word “offer” means “to draw near.” We draw near to God at the altar – which today is called the throne of grace.

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The priests sprinkled the blood all around the altar to depict that the blood of Jesus has satisfied all of God’s holy and righteous claims on sinful man so that even the most blasphemous of sinners can be forgiven.

Leviticus 3:3, 16-17 – Then he [the offerer] shall offer from the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire to the Lord… 16 and the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma; all the fat is the Lord’s. [the fat is only for the Lord. We will see why in a minute] 17 ‘This shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall eat neither fat nor blood.’ ”

The Peace Offering would be laid on the Brazen Altar of the Old Covenant tabernacle. The Brazen altar represents the cross with its four corners pointing north, south, east, and west. Can you see the cross? This tells us that the sacrifice of Jesus is for everyone – north, south, east, and west. All are invited to the altar.

1 John 2:1-2 – My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation [sacrifice] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Killed and roasted for food – the Lord’s Supper

Verse 16 says – “the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire.” Think about this: the lamb only becomes food when it is killed. But not only must it be dead, it must also be roasted, and then it becomes food. Jesus was our sacrificial lamb. He died and was roasted with the fire of God’s judgment on our behalf. And now we feed on Jesus.

Matthew 26:26-28 – Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

  • The cup – His blood  – is for the forgiveness of our sins. 
  • The bread -His body -broken to give us an unending supply of abundant life. 

1 Corinthians 11:26 – For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. [He will come again – but not in reference to sin because sin has been dealt with! Hebrews 9:28 – He will come to give us the full salvation – new heavenly bodies to match our redeemed spirits!]

Jesus’s sinless blood was shed so our sinful blood would not have to be shed.

Jesus’s body –  the body prepared for Him by the Father – was scourged, beaten, bruised, battered, and crushed so our lives wouldn’t have to be.

1 Corinthians 11:29 – For he who eats and drinks [of the Lords’ Supper] in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself [God is not bringing the judgment – the person drinks judgment and condemnation to himself – how? – ], not discerning the Lord’s body.

“He who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner” isn’t saying that you are unworthy. The blood declares that you are worthy!

“He who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner” is one who isn’t discerning the Lord’s body.

How do we rightly discern the body of Jesus? We judge ourselves in the light of His finished work. We come to God with a cleansed and perfect conscience because we know and believe what the blood has accomplished for us.

If under the system of Old Covenant offerings, the offerer could be thankful for temporary covering of sin that was a mere shadow of the real thing, – 

Hebrews 9:14 – how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? [Dead works are sacrifices that don’t work! Sacrifices that burn you out! Sacrifices that God didn’t ask for! Sacrifices that God takes no pleasure in.]

To rightly discern the body and blood of Jesus is to approach the throne with a conscience consumed with Jesus, not a conscience consumed with sin or a conscience consumed with self-righteousness.

The closer we get to a perfect conscience before the altar of heaven, the more grateful we will be, and the more we will understand what only God fully understands. 

The fat

Which leads me to the “fat” of the sacrifice – a portion reserved for God, and God alone. The fat was the first thing burned. The fat comes first because God always gets the first part.

What does the fat represent? Fat in the Bible always speaks of richness or the richest portion. The fat is the richness of the sacrifice. It symbolizes the value of the sacrifice. Only the Father knows the value of His Son.

God is the only one who can fully comprehend the preciousness of His Son. The sweet smelling aroma of the richness reminds God of His love for the Son and the Son’s love for the Father and their love for us.

John 10:17-18 – “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. [Because He loves us!] I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” [For God so loves the world that He gave His only begotten Son.]

Only God can consume the fat because only God can fully appreciate His Son. We cannot fully appreciate Jesus.

Not only the fat, but also the blood was reserved for God. It is priceless. Only God knows the value of the blood of His Son.

And do you know what else we cannot truly comprehend? Our value to God. We have been purchased by the blood of Jesus, so we are priceless.

Did you know that we are now a sweet aroma to God? We are the richness of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15, NASB – But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved…

You are a sweet smelling aroma to God. Even when you aren’t aware of it, you emit a pleasing fragrance to Him everywhere you go. Why? Because Jesus lives inside of you. You are as Jesus is. 

Ephesians 5:1-2 – Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. [If we imitate God, who are we imitating? We are imitating Love.] 2 And walk in love, [How?] as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. [freely you have received, freely give.]

Paul said, “Walk in love.” What kind of love? The love of God that is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

This is the love of God which compels us to lay down our lives for one another. This is the self-sacrificial love of Jesus that’s inside of every one of us.

John 15:13 – [Jesus said] Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Luke 6:27-28, NASB – [But He takes it a step further] “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

Imagine the pleasing aroma that ascends to God when we do that. Is it hard? Not really, when our eyes are fixed on Jesus. 

Hebrews 12:1-3, NASB – let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him [or ponder, consider by weighing and comparing and measuring – Jesus has been weighed and measured, and He has not been found wanting. No one compares to Jesus. He’s our Hero. Isn’t He? The Greek word is analogizomai – I see the word “analyze” in that Greek word. So we ponder and analyze Jesus] who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, [why?] so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I’m going to put a comma here. Next time I will get into the way that the Peace Offering was given by the offerer and the priest. It’s the beautiful depiction of the love of Jesus for us, and a reminder of why we can be assured of God’s love and care for us in any circumstance. 

You know the proof of God’s love for us is not in our circumstances. The proof of God’s love isn’t in the answer to our prayers. We don’t judge God’s love based on His blessings towards us. After something good happens isn’t the time we say, “Now I know that God loves me.” No, the proof of God’s love is in the cross.

Romans 5:8 – God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


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Parresia Ministries

Parresia [pär-rā-sē'-ä]: a Greek word that means "boldness." Boldness before God to receive... Boldness before men to share... His scandalous grace with others! To read more about Parresia and the founder, Tricia Gunn, click here.