Thoughts on Thanksgiving

by Stephen F. Olford

Text: "He shall offer his offering with the sacrifice of thanksgiving" (Lev. 7:13). Read Leviticus 7:12-15

Thought: The intelligent celebration of the service of thanksgiving must ever depend upon our recognition of the "sacrifice of thanksgiving." Let us consider the threefold implication of what this really means:

Stephen Olford1. The Sense of Thanksgiving: "He shall offer his offeringwith the sacrifice of thanksgiving" (Lev. 7:13). Of the six offerings mentioned in Leviticus, one of them is an offering of thanksgiving. It is the peace offering. When the offerer came to bring this sacrifice of thanksgiving to his God, he was to take along with him an ox, a lamb, or a goat. These animals, in their various aspects, all spoke of the one supreme Sacrifice, which our Lord Jesus Christ made on the cross. We cannot remember Him in His agony of death without being filled with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving.

2. The Spirit of Thanksgiving: "He shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil" (v. 12). In the Scriptures, the oil is often an emblem of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit; and to worship correctly, we must know what it is to be filled, and anointed with the Holy Spirit. See John 4:24.

3. The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving: "And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered" (v. 15). When the worshiper, in olden times, brought his peace offering, he had to present the breast and shoulder of the animal before the Lord, and then receive it back for his own appropriation. The breast of the animal speaks of the surrender of our love; the shoulder also speaks of the service of our life. It is suggestive of strength and responsibility. This, then, becomes a true sacrifice of thanksgiving.

Thrust: Lord Jesus Christ, I bring to You, My sacrifice and heartfelt thanks, Please know that less will never do - When I recall what You went through.

Dr. Olford prepared this article for Pulpit Helps shortly before going home to be with the Lord. The editorial staff of Pulpit Helps extends to the Olford family our heartfelt sympathy.