These are notes on the sermon, Greater Shalom And Security, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 22 August 2021, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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Today, we are looking at the importance of seeing Jesus in the Scriptures and how that brings a greater measure of peace and security into our lives.
Our wellbeing is always on the Lord’s heart, and we see many instances of Him comforting those who are brokenhearted. The first mention of “tears” in the Bible appears in Genesis—when Hagar was weeping, and the angel of God called out to her (Gen. 21:16–17). And the first mention of “tears” in the New Testament is found in Matthew, where Rachel was weeping for her children (Matt. 2:18). For every tear you shed, the Lord sees it and puts your tears in a bottle (Ps. 56:8).
Our Lord Jesus came not to only save us, but to heal those of us who are brokenhearted (Luke 4:18). Through the preaching of the Word, broken hearts are healed. Many times, sicknesses are the outcome of harboring a broken heart. Proverbs 17:22 tells us that having a merry heart ministers health to your body, but a broken spirit dries up the bones (e.g. arthritis).
It is important for us to see Jesus in the Scriptures because to the degree we see Him in the Bible is the degree we are able to receive from Him. That is why the Holy Spirit wants us to see more and more of Jesus!
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He went around performing many healing miracles and healed all who came to Him. However, in His hometown of Nazareth, His own people could not receive from Him. Why? The Bible tells us Jesus was unable to do many mighty works there because of their unbelief (Matt. 13:54–58). The people in Nazareth could not receive from Jesus because they were familiar with Him and saw Him as a mere carpenter’s son. Because they had a small revelation of Jesus, their capacity to receive from Him was small as well.
The Holy Spirit wants to unveil Christ to us in the Scriptures as He really is—beyond the natural (His human form). The Holy Spirit is the only One who can help us to see Jesus in the Word. As we read and meditate on the Word, He paints hazon visions (God-given visions) of Jesus in our hearts. We need the Holy Spirit to study God’s Word. God reveals the Word to those who are humble and teachable, not those who are wise and proud (Matt. 11:25). When we see Jesus the way the Holy Spirit intends for us to, to that same extent, we are able to receive our breakthroughs!
In this sermon, we are studying the burnt offering and the peace offering in the book of Leviticus to see how our revelation of Jesus determines how much we receive from Him.
“Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock.”’”
— Leviticus 1:1–2 NKJV
“called” — The word “called” is the Hebrew word “vayikra,” which is taken directly from the name, “Leviticus.” In fact, the book of Leviticus starts with the Lord “calling” out to Moses, with instructions on how the children of Israel should go about bringing an offering unto Him.
“offering” — The word “offering” is the Hebrew word “qorban,” which means “to approach” or “draw near.” When you make an offering unto God, you are coming close and drawing near to Him.
“If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord.”
— Leviticus 1:3 NKJV
“a burnt sacrifice of the herd” — A burnt sacrifice of the herd refers to sacrificing a bullock that is raised without working in the fields because it is raised for sacrifice. This brings to remembrance the story of the prodigal son, where the father brought out the fatted calf to be sacrificed.
“And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it.”
— Luke 15:23a KJV
“hither” — Pastor Prince believes that this calf was not physically fat, but one that was prepared for sacrifice. Instead of the usual practice of killing the animal behind the house, the father told his hired servants to bring out the fatted calf and kill it in front of his son, who would then see the price of his forgiveness. The father wanted his son to see the calf being sacrificed for his sins and the calf’s blamelessness (righteousness) being imputed to him. This is a picture of how when God created the world He only needed to speak, but for Him to redeem us, He had to bleed. That is the price of our forgiveness—Jesus’ own blood.
In these passages, we see the varying burnt sacrifices:
“‘If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd’ . . . ‘If his offering is of the flocks—of the sheep or of the goats—as a burnt sacrifice’ . . . ‘And if the burnt sacrifice of his offering to the Lord is of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or young pigeons.’”
— Leviticus 1:3, 10, 14 NKJV
“of the herd . . . of the flocks . . . of birds” — People who were wealthy brought a bullock, while those with middle income brought a lamb or a sheep, and those who were poor brought a dove or pigeon. The different sizes of the animal sacrifice are pictures of our capacity to see Jesus’ finished work at the cross for us.
To be spiritually wealthy is to have a bullock-sized revelation of Jesus. When you have a large revelation of Jesus, you have a large capacity to receive from Him!
Back then, birds were abundant and easy for the poor people to capture and bring as burnt offerings to the Lord. Though the offerings varied in sizes, they all produced the same effect because each of them represented our Lord Jesus.
There are pictures of Jesus in each of the sacrifices:
All these animal sacrifices portray the finished work of Jesus at the cross. When it comes to salvation and your standing before God, God does not impute righteousness to you based on the size of your revelation. Even if you have a dove-sized revelation of Jesus, you are still fully saved and fully righteous before Him.
However, having a greater understanding and revelation of Jesus will cause you to receive more of His blood-bought blessings in your life. When you first accept Christ, you know Jesus as your Savior who saved you from all your sins and you receive the eternal gift of salvation. But as you grow in your faith, you increase in your knowledge of Jesus. And as your revelation of Him increases, so His grace and shalom peace increases in your life!
Sacrificing a bullock as the burnt offering
“Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted (‘ratsah’ — delight, pleasure) on his behalf to make atonement for him.”
— Leviticus 1:4 NKJV
“accepted” — The word “accepted” is the Hebrew word “ratsah,” which means “delight and pleasure.” The sacrifice represents Jesus in His righteousness, and it’s not just accepted by God, but it is accepted with delight and pleasure.
“put his hand on the head of the burnt offering” — Among the three sacrifices (the bullock, the lamb, and the dove), only the bullock required the offeror to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering. The laying of hands on the burnt offering is a picture of identification—when the offeror does this, he is identifying with the righteousness of the sacrifice. To have a bullock-sized revelation of Jesus is to be able to identify with His righteousness. When we do this, we are acknowledging that all He is has been imputed to us.
The lamb and bird sacrifices don’t have the laying of hands on the animal. This means that people with a small understanding of Jesus lack the understanding of their identity in Christ. They do not know that their identity is in Christ and His righteousness. To the extent you have “poverty” in the knowledge of the Lord is the extent you experience “poverty” of wisdom and of the capacity to receive from the Lord.
The burnt offering (in this case, the bullock) is a picture of Jesus in His righteousness. The bullock has no blemish—it is perfectly healthy, whole, and sinless. The offeror laying his hand on the bullock is a picture of us laying our hand on Jesus. We do this by seeing our sin imparted to Him and His righteousness imparted to us. When we do this, we are no longer identifying ourselves with our sins, our condemned state, or being under the curse, but we are identifying ourselves with who Jesus is—the righteousness of God in Christ.
When we put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus, knowing that we have no righteousness of our own, His righteousness becomes ours! His right standing with God, His peace, provision, and health become ours as a gift.
See yourself laying your hand on Jesus and see all that He is and has become yours.
Though we deserve the curses and death that are the results of sin, when we identify ourselves with Jesus, we receive all that He deserves! The more you grow in your revelation of this truth, the more spiritually wealthy and strong you become, and the more your capacity to receive from the Lord increases.
You don't need to have a great revelation of Jesus to receive salvation. Each offering (bullock, lamb, or dove) gives a sweet aroma to God. You only have to believe on Him and confess Him as Lord and Savior. But when you have a greater revelation of Jesus (bullock-sized), your capacity to receive from Him increases.
When the bullock sacrifice is offered in the burnt offering, the offeror kills the bullock for God wants him to know that it is his sins that require this payment. In the same way, it is our sins that put Jesus on the cross. We need to acknowledge that we have all sinned, yet know that God is a greater Savior than we are sinners. When you believe on Him, all your past, present, and future sins are all put away.
We know all our sins have been purged and forgiven once and for all because Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father (Heb. 1:3) and He cannot be there unless He has done a complete, perfect, and final work in putting away our sins. God made Jesus who knew no sin to become sin for us so that we would become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
“He shall kill the bull before the Lord; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
— Leviticus 1:5 NKJV
“sprinkle the blood all around on the altar” — The priests’ sons are the ones who will sprinkle the animal’s blood all around the altar. There are four horns, one at each corner of the altar, representing the four corners of the earth. This is a picture of how the sacrifice is efficacious to all. The altar represents the holy claims of God on our lives. God made this world and all of us in it, and when man sinned, we robbed God of His glory and honor. The blood of the offering has satisfied those holy claims.
“All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
— Isaiah 53:6 NKJV
“the Lord has laid on Him” — When God gave us His very best by sending His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins, man took His greatest gift and put Jesus on the cross. And God used the cross and made it the foundation for all our sins, where all His claims of righteousness and holiness on your life have been fully satisfied by the blood of His Son. When the blood is sprinkled all around the altar, God is at rest about His claims of righteousness on you. The payment has been made!
When it comes to the smallest burnt offering, the bird, the blood is only sprinkled on one side of the altar. This represents people who have a smaller capacity of understanding what Jesus’ blood has done for them. What the lamb sacrifice and the bird sacrifice are missing is the laying on of hands—identification.
Let us be people who have a bullock-sized revelation of Jesus because we understand the fullness of His finished work and identify with His righteousness. We can look forward to growing in this revelation more and more in these last days.
“And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces.”
— Leviticus 1:6 NKJV
“And he shall skin the burnt offering” — The act of skinning the burnt offering and cutting it into pieces is mentioned only in the offering of the bullock—not in the offering of the lamb or dove. The act of skinning is a picture of Jesus being scourged, stripped of His skin.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
— Isaiah 53:5 NKJV
When you understand that “by His stripes you are healed,” it means you have a greater capacity of understanding what Jesus did at the cross: He purchased your healing. By having this revelation, healing and health become your portion.
During Bible times, most criminals were either scourged or crucified, and only those with greater crimes were put on the cross. But Jesus was scourged and crucified. Pontius Pilate thought the people’s hearts would be softened after seeing Jesus being stripped of His skin and therefore choose to let him go, but the people refused. God predestined this to happen for Jesus needed to be both scourged (to bear our sicknesses) and crucified (to become a curse for us). Because Jesus was scourged for you and I, we have this promise today—”by His stripes we are healed.”
Jesus hung on the cross for the cleansing of our sins, and He was stripped of His skin for our healing and health.
Notice that the skin of the bullock being cut into pieces (Lev. 1:6) comes after the offeror lays his hand on the bullock (Lev. 1:4). This tells us that identification comes before healing. When we identify ourselves as the righteousness of God in Christ, that righteousness produces healing in our bodies.
“The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire. Then the priests, Aaron’s son, shall lay the parts, the head (He knew no sin), and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; but he shall wash its entrails (in Him is no sin) and its legs (He did no sin) with water. And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.”
— Leviticus 1:7–9 NKJV
The emphases on the head, entrails, and legs of the animal show us how blameless and righteous the burnt sacrifice is. It is a picture of our Lord Jesus as He went to the cross for us.
“the head” — He knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21).
“its entrails” — In Him is no sin (1 John 3:5).
“its legs” — He did no sin (1 Pet. 2:22).
“a sweet aroma of the Lord” — The bullock offering as a whole represents Jesus, whose entire being was sinless.
The first thing Noah did upon leaving the ark after the flood subsided was to offer God a burnt offering. When God smelled the aroma of the sacrifice, He said He would no longer curse the earth with a flood ever again.
“For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God . . .”
— 2 Corinthians 2:15 NET
“sweet aroma of Christ” — Today, we are unto God a sweet aroma (fragrance) of Christ, an aroma of “rest.” The name “Noah” also means “rest.” God finds rest in Christ’s sacrifice.
When you draw near to God, don’t be conscious of your sins or harbor negative thoughts toward God. Instead, be conscious of the fact that every time you approach God, He smells the sweet aroma of Christ which brings Him delight and pleasure.
We are not “fooling” God by coming in the guise of something we are not (like how Jacob tricked his father into thinking he was his brother, Esau, by making himself smell like Esau (Gen. 27:27)). God is fully aware of who we were as sinners, but now He righteously accepts us because of Jesus’ sacrifice. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God smells His Son’s sweet aroma on us. Knowing this will change your prayer life and the way you come to God!
In the book of Leviticus, there are a total of five different offerings: the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering. All these depict the one single sacrifice of our Lord Jesus at the cross.
The peace offering
“Then he shall offer from the sacrifice of the peace offering (‘shelamim’) an offering made by fire to the Lord.”
— Leviticus 3:3 NKJV
“peace offering” — The phrase “peace offering” is in plural form. The Hebrew word for “peace offering” is “shelamim,” and means “peace in all its completeness.” Imagine peace in all its plentitude—not just for your spirit, but also your soul (your mind and emotions) and your body!
The Hebrew word “shalem,” which comes from “shalom,” means “payment.” In Israel, if someone says, “ani mi shalem,” they are saying, “I will pay for this.” Know that the shalom peace we can experience today has been fully paid for, and it cost God His Son. So receive that all-encompassing peace!
“The fat (‘cheleb’ – best) that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, that two kidneys and the fat that is on them by the flanks, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver above the kidneys, he shall remove; and Aaron’s sons shall burn it (the fat) on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is on the wood that is on the fire, as an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.”
— Leviticus 3:3–5 NKJV
“fat (cheleb – best) . . . the fat” — In this peace offering, the fats of the animal are taken. The word “fat” in Hebrew is “cheleb,” which means “best.” The fat is the choice part of the animal, and it is put on the burnt offering. In verse 4, the portion of animal fat is taken from above the kidney and liver.
“burn it (the fat) . . . upon the burnt sacrifice” — This is the fat of the “shelamim” (the peace offering) that is put upon the burnt sacrifice. When the fat melts onto the meat on the altar, the fat enhances the smell and produces a greater fragrance. This fat represents the sweetness and richness of Jesus, who was offered as our sacrifice on the cross.
The burnt offering is a picture of righteousness, and when we understand righteousness, healing will come. Healing, peace, and wholeness must have a foundation, and that foundation is righteousness.
The way we practically identify with Jesus’ righteousness today is by confessing, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ!” Every time you declare this powerful truth, healing flows, and you get stronger and healthier. Even if the symptoms are still there, know that the more you confess your righteousness in Christ, whatever that is plaguing you will die, and health will spring forth in every part of your body.
Pastor Prince shares a testimony of a lady who was set free from a smoking addiction without any withdrawal symptoms after she started declaring her righteousness in Christ.
You may feel like a hypocrite, but once you start declaring the truth of your righteousness in Christ, every bad habit will fall off. The key is to see Jesus at the cross and declare that He was made sin so that you are made the righteousness of God in Christ, and by His stripes, you are healed. Breakthroughs begin when you acknowledge your righteous standing in Christ!
Jesus, the king of righteousness and peace
In Hebrews 7:17, Jesus is referred to as “a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” We find the story of the Melchizedek priesthood in Genesis. Melchizedek brought bread and wine (a picture of the Communion) to Abraham, and Abraham responded by bringing the tithe. This was all before the law was given. A main characteristic of the Melchizedek priesthood is that only blessings are dispensed. The first thing that came out of Melchizedek's mouth was to bless Abraham, and then he blessed God (Gen. 14:19–20). Know that when you come to Jesus today, there is only blessing that awaits you!
Melchizedek is also known as the king of Salem (peace) and the king of righteousness.
“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem (‘Shalom’), priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all first being translated ‘king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning ‘king of peace.’”
— Hebrews 7:1–2 NKJV
“king of Salem (‘Shalom’)” — The name of the city “Salem” is “Shalom” in Hebrew, meaning “city of peace.”
“king of righteousness . . . king of peace” — Melchizedek is both the king of righteousness and the king of peace. The order shows us that righteousness comes before peace. Our Lord Jesus is the king of righteousness, and when we see Him imparting His righteousness to us, we also receive His peace.
God has made us all kings and priests in Christ (Rev. 1:6). Our priestly function is worship and thanksgiving. When you intercede for other people, you are functioning in the priestly office, the royal priesthood that God has ordained you to be part of.
“And the priest who offers anyone’s burnt offering, that priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has offered.”
— Leviticus 7:8 NKJV
“the priest who offers anyone’s burnt offering . . . shall have for himself the skin” — “Skin” here is a picture of healing because it refers to Jesus’ skin that was stripped for our healing. The priest offers the burnt offering on behalf of the offeror and keeps the skin of the offering for himself. This is a picture of how when you offer someone’s burnt offering by seeing them as the righteousness of God in Christ, you will receive the blessing of healing.
This can be seen in the story of Job.
There was a time when Job lost everything he had, including his health, children, and possessions (except his wife). When Job’s three friends came to comfort him, they ended up tormenting him by speaking against him. In this situation, Job started to assume his position as a priest and prayed for them.
“Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”
— Job 42:8 NKJV
“a burnt offering” — Here, Job was functioning as a priest by offering up a burnt offering on behalf of his friends.
“And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
— Job 42:10 NKJV
“the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends . . . twice as much” — When Job prayed for his friends and saw them as righteous because of their burnt offering, the Lord restored Job’s losses twice as much as he had before. All his children, wealth, and health were doubly restored to him.
Double restoration happened when Job took the part of the priest. Even though his friends said the wrong things to him, he saw them as the righteousness of God in Christ. When we do what Job did for people who have wronged us, we will have for ourselves the benefits of the skin of the burnt offering.
“And the effect of righteousness will be peace (‘shalom’), and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust (‘betach’ – security) forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. And it will hail when the forest falls down, and the city will be utterly laid low.”
— Isaiah 32:17–19 ESV
“peace (‘shalom’)” — The word “peace” in Hebrew is the word “shalom,” which means wholeness, health, wellbeing, and prosperity. When you identify yourself with Jesus and His righteousness, the effect of righteousness will be peace.
“trust (‘betach’)” — The word “trust” in Hebrew is “betach,” which means “security.” The result of righteousness equates to quietness and trust forever. The whole world has been plunged into insecurity and uncertainty, and everyone is looking for freedom, health and wholeness. They want quietness (peace in their mind), and all these are available to you because you are the righteousness of God in Christ!
“My people” — Whatever goes on in the world, we can dwell in safety and security as God’s people, unaffected by the events of the world. While many cities are now utterly laid low due to the pandemic, we as God’s people will dwell in peaceful habitations, found in secure dwellings forever.
“Heavenly Father, I thank You that Christ died on the cross for all my sins, and on that cross He was made sin with my sins that I might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior, and I thank You, Father, that all my sins are cleansed and washed away by the blood of Jesus. Thank You, Father, even as I draw near to You from now on, You smell a sweet fragrance of Christ in my life. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”
“The Lord bless you and your families throughout this week. The Lord bless you with the blessings of Abraham. The Lord bless you with blessings of favor, health, and prosperity. The Lord bless you, especially with the wisdom and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord bless you, and the Lord make His face to shine upon you, be gracious to you, be favorable to you, and the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and your families, and grant to you and your loved ones His shalom wellbeing, peace, and wholeness. And the Lord keep you, preserve you and your loved ones throughout this week from the COVID-19 virus and from the Delta variant in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord keep you and your loved ones from all evil in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And all the people say, Amen.”
The greater your revelation of our Lord Jesus and His finished work, the greater your capacity to receive His blessings and breakthroughs!
What breakthrough are you in need of today? Are you in need of healing for yourself or a loved one? Are you longing for real, lasting peace to take the place of the anxiety and depression you’ve been going through? Are you trying to find safety and security for your future and your family in these uncertain times?
Beloved, the Lord’s heart is for you to have all these things, so much so that He already took the first step to pay for them in full with His perfect sacrifice on the cross. On the cross, He took your sins in his own body and became sin so that you could become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). With this free gift of righteousness comes every other gift of healing, of wholeness, of peace, and of security.
In today’s sermon, we saw how the more we identify ourselves with the Lord and His righteousness, the more we will see healing flow into our bodies and peace multiplied in our lives. So this week, practice identifying yourself with Jesus and His righteousness. In biblical times, this act of identification was done by laying one’s hand on the burnt offering (a picture of Jesus, our blameless sacrifice). Today, we do this by confessing, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ,” and seeing ourselves exchanging all our sin, sickness, and pain for His righteousness, health, and peace.
Declare the truth of your righteous standing in Christ even in the midst of your challenge. Let it sink into your heart and open the floodgates of blessings that come with being the righteousness of God in Christ!
We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.
© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2021
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
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