This post may be just a way to toot my own horn and let you all know that I did it. I finally did it. I read through the book of Leviticus. It’s long, it’s repetitive but there are some gems and jewels in it and in the repetition that you don’t want to miss. I do have to say however, if it was me just reading on my own I don’t think I would have made it through. Thanks Tuesday morning ladies! It is a beautiful thing to have you all to hash things out with.
Even in a book of laws there is so much that points to Jesus
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
There is a lot of talk about blood in Leviticus. How to get the blood, what to do with the blood, where the blood should come from, where the people of Israel should put the blood, and how often blood should be shed. All of these instructions were given to atone for the people’s sins.
I’m not going to pretend to be some expert on Levitical law. I will never hold that title. But reading through the repetitiveness of the sacrifices and the requirements for them forces a person to see how these sacrifices point to the ultimate sacrifice.
A male…so was Jesus.
Without blemish…so was Jesus. T
he hands of the people and priests where laid on the head of the animal to transfer sin…our sins were transferred to Jesus on the cross.
The blood of animals was sprinkled on the veil in the sanctuary…at the death of Jesus the veil was torn and we know have direct access to God.
All the talk of blood and fat and fire is redundant however it does help a person to better understand passages in the new testament also. (We will call that a bonus reason)
The action verbs are all given to Christ
I’m not sure about you but I can get pretty obsessed with what I think I am doing or achieving for God instead of watching what God is doing through my life and my vocations. Leviticus was a good reminder that all the action lays on Christ. Even in a book of law and instruction all the good stuff the Lord gets the credit for. There is repetition with this friendly reminder. Repeatedly we and the Israelites get to hear that God was the one who brought them out of Egypt, God is making them holy, God is sanctifying us.
Take a deep breath. Be still and know that he is God.
So Thankful I am living on this side of the cross
All that blood, all that burning flesh, all that beauty concealed in a tent behind a veil the Israelites would never see. I am so thankful to be looking back at the cross instead of forward to the cross. Maybe it is just because that is what I am used to but it does give me some serious appreciation for where and when I am living.
Declaration of Forgiveness
Another advantage of all the repetition in Leviticus is this phrase “and he/she shall be forgiven.” Over and over again, I’m not sure how many times but it has to be more than once or twice for me to notice it. (Details are not my thing). The full phrase goes something like this “And the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed, and he shall be forgiven.” So some other guy steps in, makes a sacrifice, and their sins are forgiven. It does not say that God will take it into consideration and maybe their sins will be forgiven no its “and he shall be forgiven.”
Foreshadowing passages like this
“the life is in the blood” The Israelites were not permitted to eat the blood of any of the animals. It was to be used to sprinkle or to be pored out on the alter but never consumed. Then Jesus comes. “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, be broke it and gave it to his disciples saying, “Take eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them saying “Drink of it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. ” Matthew 26:25-26 The disciples were now commanded to drink of the blood, drink of the lifeblood of Christ.
The only reason I included this one is because my kids love goats and it seems others love goats. Last week I saw a meme about buy your girlfriend a goat day and then a video about goat yoga. Do these people who want to do yoga with a goat know what they smell like?…I am positive they do not or they would not all be in a downward dog with a goat in their face.
On the day of Atonement two goats are used to cast lots over. One goat is sacrificed and one goat is released into the wilderness with all the iniquity on it’s head. Not sure I have the theological understanding to explain this whole deal so I’m not going to go there…but know there are goats in Leviticus.
This verse right here….
“And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.” Leviticus 26:12
Leviticus 26:44-45 would be worth looking up to.
So now go read Leviticus with Jesus in mind.