We see a surprising and an unusual offering requirement in the Feast of Weeks. God asks for two loaves made of the flour from the new crop of wheat and made with yeast. In addition to these loaves, He also requires many burnt offerings, a sin offering and a peace offering.
Leviticus 23:17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves of bread to be lifted up before the Lord as a special offering. Make these loaves from four quarts of choice flour, and bake them with yeast. They will be an offering to the Lord from the first of your crops. 18 Along with the bread, present seven one-year-old male lambs with no defects, one young bull, and two rams as burnt offerings to the Lord. These burnt offerings, together with the grain offerings and liquid offerings, will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 Then you must offer one male goat as a sin offering and two one-year-old male lambs as a peace offering.
Why an Offering Made with Yeast?
We just learned that in the second Holy Day, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, listed in Leviticus 23, there was to be no yeast in the bread for eight days. Not only were God’s people commanded not to eat leavened bread, but they were also commanded to remove all leaven from their homes. This was so important that if an individual used yeast during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, they were to be excluded from the Jewish community. Leaven is an image of the corruption of sin.
We have also learned that the timing of the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost coincided with the anniversary of the giving of the law at Mount Sinai. The law was given on two tablets of stone and revealed the sin of the people. The Pentecost offering of two loaves represented the two tablets and the leaven represented the sin of the people. These two loaves were wave offerings as leaven could not be burned on the Temple altar.
In addition to the two loaves of bread there were multiple blood sacrifices, a sin sacrifice, and a peace sacrifice. Thus, sinful man can only be accepted when there is a blood offering for sin and when peace is made with God.
Two Leaven Loaves and the Giving of the Holy Spirit
At the Pentecost celebration of Acts 2, both Jews and Gentiles proselytes were present. The two leavened loaves picture the two ethnicities coming together just as they were with their sin. But Jesus didn’t let them stay in their sin. Instead of the blood of lambs and bulls paying the price for their sin, Jesus Messiah had paid the blood price on the cross. Hence, the people could find cleansing of their sins and a new life in Jesus.
The Pentecost offering pictured the Gospel message. We are sinful but can come together because of the cross. This provided the disciples an opportunity to preach the Good News of Jesus in the languages of all the people. They would put a new twist on an already familiar offering. To hear more about an unusual offering, listen here: