Today you should read: Leviticus 4
Be honest: how many times have you read through the Old Testament, come to the book of Leviticus and wished you could skip over it? You flew through Genesis, loved reading about Moses in Exodus, and then you get to Leviticus and you wonder how you ended up in law school all of a sudden. This book can be a tad intimidating, but it has so much relevance for us today! We are still at the beginning of our time in Leviticus, so here’s my challenge for you: as we continue, read this book through the lens of seeing how serious our sin is and how perfect Jesus is. In the New Testament, Jesus is shown to be the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 5:17), so when we look at a book about the law, we need to look at how Jesus ultimately fulfills it.
In this chapter we find instructions for the people of Israel for when people sin unintentionally. When someone sins, they would bring an animal to be sacrificed. The person would place their hand on the animal, the priest would kill it, and there would be atonement for the person who sinned. The practice of sacrifice is foreign to us, but to the people of Israel, it was the way to be made right with God. The law was meant to show the serious that God puts on sin. Sin is what separates us from God, and sin is ultimately what brings death. Because sin brings death, something had to die in order for people to be made right with God. It is an act of God’s mercy that He allows for the deaths of animals to take the place of deaths of people.
What can we apply from this text today?
1. Our sin brings death. God is holy, righteous and just. Because of His holiness and our sin, there is a separation that exists between God and His people. What we deserve because of our sin is the death penalty. Our sin is serious, and we must be aware of it’s deceptiveness in our lives. Who in your life do you have to call out sin and the stranglehold it can have on our hearts?
2. Our God brings life. God is holy, righteous and just; but he is also loving, compassionate and merciful. Our sin brings death, but his love brings life. Through his mercy he has offers us a way for our sin to be atoned for. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved…” (Ephesians 2:4-5). Even when we were dead in our sin, we were offered a chance for another to take our place. Maybe you’re going through a time of struggle in your walk with God. Christian, take heart today that God loves you enough to sacrifice Himself in your place!
3. Jesus traded His life for ours. Jesus came to earth and lived the perfect, blameless life that we couldn’t live. He became the perfect, eternal sacrifice that we needed. It is through His life that we find life. Rest in the saving power of Jesus!
The cross is visible even from Mt. Sinai. From the book of Leviticus we are able to see Jesus. This should give you hope, because what is obvious in the book of Leviticus is that sin is serious and brings death. What we see on this side of the cross is that Jesus has conquered death and brings life.
Posted by: Graham Withers