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Samuel Kuo
September 30, 2020
This entry is part 20 of 24 in the series 156 Pictures of Christ in the Old Testament
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Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.

Fact About Christ from page 18: Christ is the real meal offering. He is a real man mingled with Spirit.

The Holy Spirit will come upon you… therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God

– Luke 1:35

The Second Man is from heaven

– 1 Corinthians 15:47

The second offering listed in Leviticus is the meal offering (translated as “grain offering” in the ESV). While the burnt offering primarily points at the Lord’s death, the meal offering is a picture of His life and humanity. The meal offering consists of fine flour, oil, and frankincense. Fine flour represents His perfect humanity, oil represents the Spirit, and frankincense represents resurrection. Like the burnt offering, the meal offering is for a pleasing aroma, or a sweet savor, to the Lord. In this, we see what kind of living is pleasing to God: A life from the Spirit and led by the Spirit, full of resurrection life, and displaying all the human virtues. 

When anyone brings a grain offering as an offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour. He shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it and bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests. And he shall take from it a handful of the fine flour and oil, with all of its frankincense, and the priest shall burn this as its memorial portion on the altar, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. But the rest of the grain offering shall be for Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the Lord’s food offerings.

When you bring a grain offering baked in the oven as an offering, it shall be unleavened loaves of fine flour mixed with oil or unleavened wafers smeared with oil. And if your offering is a grain offering baked on a griddle, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mixed with oil. You shall break it in pieces and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. And if your offering is a grain offering cooked in a pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. 

– Leviticus 2:1-7

No grain offering that you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey as a food offering to the Lord.

– Leviticus 2:11

You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. You shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be missing from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.

– Leviticus 2:13

Whether baked in the oven, griddle, or pan, the meal offering consists of fine flour mixed with oil. Then, oil and frankincense is poured on top and brought to the priests. Notice this double application of oil. Unlike the burnt offering, which is totally burned away, most of the meal offering goes to the priests, with only a handful of flour and oil, with all the frankincense, burnt on the altar as the portion for God. Leaven and honey, signifying sin and the natural life, are barred from the offering while the salt of the covenant is always added. 

What does the New Testament say about it?

The Holy Spirit will come upon you… therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God

– Luke 1:35

The Second Man is from heaven

– 1 Corinthians 15:47

The New Testament calls Christ the Second Man. Adam is the first man and from Him came all sinful men. Christ is a different kind of Man. One born from the Holy Spirit, who is Himself Holy, and called the Son of God.

So what does this picture say about Christ? 

Note: verses referenced listed at bottom of article

He is fine flour – the perfect man

As the meal offering, Christ is fine flour. Throughout the gospels, we see Jesus’s fine, balanced humanity on display. Different people today can selectively choose His words and actions to describe him as a pacifist or a revolutionary, a traditionalist or a radical. None are adequate to capture who this man Jesus is. He is compassionate and tender towards the harassed and helpless crowds, yet firm and full of righteous zeal towards those selling goods in the temple (Matthew 9:36, 21:12). 

This fine flour must be unleavened. As a man, Jesus knew no sin (2 Cor 5:21) and learned obedience and was made perfect through the suffering of righteousness (Heb 5:8-9). Through His life, from beginning to end, He proved that there was no impurity in Him, even in the face of hardship and injustice. 

He is mixed with and anointed by oil – the Holy Spirit

Christ is born of, full of, and anointed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35; 4:1, 18). The fine flour in the meal offering is both mixed with oil and has oil poured on top of it. Jesus is also not only born of the Holy Spirit, but throughout the course of His ministry, He operates fully by the filling, leading, and anointing of the Spirit. He lived a life totally characterized by the Spirit, from His birth to His death. He was born of the Spirit and He offered Himself without blemish to God through the eternal Spirit (Heb 9:14). This man Jesus, born of Spirit and living by the Spirit, is the perfect man who satisfies God.

What does this mean for me as a Christian? 

Jesus was a man from heaven, and His life on earth was characterized by following the Spirit. This is contrasted with the natural life, the life of a man of dust (1 Cor 15:47-48).

Remember that there is no leaven or honey allowed in the meal offering. Again, leaven represents sin, and honey is a picture of the natural life. Man has his natural life. This life in him produces his natural thoughts, feelings, opinions, likes, dislikes, desires, goals, and ways. Yet God desires man to live by His eternal life, which has its own senses, nature, and operation and produces His thoughts, His feelings, and is His means to accomplish His goal in us. In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul characterizes a natural person simply as one who is unable to understand the things of the Spirit (1 Cor 2:14). 

“As is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.” 

– 1 Corinthians 15:48

Among Christians, it is often said that we should “be more like Jesus.” And in this, we often think of imitating the fine humanity that Jesus displayed—compassionate, strong, loving, and righteous. Basically, to be fine flour. However, our imitation can never produce this sort of living. The man of heaven was born of, filled with, and anointed by the Holy Spirit to live out His earthly life as a meal offering. We too need to be born of, filled with, and anointed by His Spirit to live out this kind of life.

So, let us use this picture of the meal offering to examine ourselves. Are we mixed and anointed with oil and free from leaven and honey? Can we let His divine life, and sin, rule within us? Are we living by the Spirit and not by our natural man? This is the Jesus revealed by the meal offering. And as He, the man from heaven, is, so also are we who are born again of His Spirit and have our citizenship in heaven. 

Appendix: New Testament verses used

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

– Matthew 9:36

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.

– Matthew 21:12

 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

– 2 Corinthians 5:21

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,

– Hebrews 5:8-9

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

– Luke 1:35

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness

– Luke 4:1

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

– Luke 4:18

How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

– Hebrews 9:14

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

– 1 Corinthians 2:14

The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.

– 1 Corinthians 15:47-48

Have any inspirations or questions about the content of the article? Or do you just want to say hello and introduce yourself? We’d love to hear from all our readers! Leave a comment or send an email to with the title of this post in the subject line. If you are burning to engage with us, but don’t know what to say, here are some questions that could be a help: 

  1. The article didn’t touch too much on some other elements of the offering, such as the frankincense and the salt. Spend some time to consider these in relation to the picture painted above. How might they deepen our understanding of the Lord’s humanity?
  2. What are some other examples of the Lord’s balanced humanity seen in the gospels?
  3. How to achieve fine humanity is a question long asked by many religions and philosophies throughout the ages. How does this picture of Christ as a man born of and living by the Spirit give a better solution to that question? What hidden philosophies might you be holding as the answer to that question?
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