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Believers As the Salt of the Earth

In this week’s Parasha the primary subject is offerings. Sacrifices were offered for a variety of purposes in addition to atoning for sin. One such offering is a meal offering.  Regardless of the offering or its purpose, all offerings had one thing in common— they were offered with salt.

And each of your meal offering shall be salted with salt and you shall not cease (from using) salt, this is a covenant with your God, from upon your meal offering concerning each of your sacrifices you shall offer with salt.”

What was the reason that the Lord would command the Children of Israel that all sacrifices had to be salted? Although there is not a clear answer to this question in the Scriptures, I do think that by means of the Scriptures and a little common sense that one can arrive at a reasonable answer to this question. As believers we need to remember that Jesus called His followers in the famous Sermon on the Mount, “the salt of the earth” (See Matthew 5:13). Salt is used in the process of Koshering meat. That is to say that when an animal is slaughtered the meat must be salted prior to it being cooked. The reason for this is that when the raw meat is salted, the salt will pull the blood from the piece of meat thereby removing it. It is most interesting that salt possesses the ability to work in this manner for 18 minutes. After that period of time it loses its ability to do this. These 18 minutes are known as salt’s allotment for life.

Why would Jesus call His disciples the “salt of the earth”? He did so in order to remind us that we can only serve Him in this body for a limited period of time. Salt, by removing the blood, prohibits the meat from being rejected by God in the Temple service. If the blood was left to remain in the meat, after a short period of time, the meat would spoil and thereby become unacceptable to God. It is important to remember that an offering from a kosher animal is nevertheless unacceptable to the Lord until after it has been salted.

Believers are the “salt of the earth” because we have been commissioned by Messiah, by means of the Gospel, to prohibit the individual from being eternally lost. In other words, the believer, by means of the Gospel, is like the salt which is applied to meat which causes the meat which was not acceptable to God to be acceptable to God. These truths teach that the animal and the manner in which it was killed could all be perfect, but without the salt, it is rejected.  In a similar manner, Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection were all perfect before His Father, yet if one does not respond to the message of the Gospel, the work that Jesus did for the individual has no effect and that person is eternally lost.

It is not a surprise that one can see Gospel principles in the Torah’s teaching concerning the Temple service.

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