Today you should read: Leviticus 6
While some people find Leviticus as enthralling as paint drying, it’s quite an amazing book. Leviticus has little payoff without deep and intentional study. A casual reading is probably not going to produce the deep-down impact that it can if you really take your time. All that to say, this book is all about being “Holy.” Everything is designed to produce a peculiar people specially set apart for God’s purpose to be in a relationship with Him and to be salt and light in a pagan world.
Remember your audience: Leviticus was written during the time that Israel wandered in the desert after escaping Egypt. It was written by the same guy that just finished writing Genesis—Moses. As such, they have recently been reading and hearing all about their origins and how they came to be wondering around the desert. Specifically, there is a great deal in Leviticus that reminds the reader of Genesis 3, when sin entered the world and God immediately made a sacrifice.
Leviticus has a lot to say regarding what it calls “uncleanness.” Uncleanness is not necessarily sin. Recovering from uncleanness may have many solutions while atoning for sin requires a sacrifice. This also helps us understand why blood shall not be eaten. Blood is life and can only be offered back to God—the giver of life. Notice also that any pottery that was used in boiling a sin offering had to be smashed (28). Sin brings destruction.
As we read through Leviticus, we are reminded that God dwelt in the midst of these people. The Tabernacle was made and erected right in the middle of all people. Notice that when the people sinned, they were not made to leave the camp. Instead, they were commanded to go to the center of their community, to the dwelling of the Lord, and there, present a bloody sacrifice. That shed blood was a picture of what they deserved—their sin deserved their blood—but God is gracious and accepts the substitution.
The idea that God can’t be in the presence of sin isn’t entirely accurate. God commands sinners to come to Him in their sin. When sin pushes us to run, God says “Draw near.” God isn’t afraid of sin nor is he corrupted by sin. This is good news for us. That means when we mess up, when we sin, we don’t need to run away. In our sin we must run to God. We must remind ourselves of Jesus’ bloody sacrifice, recognizing that it should have been us bleeding for our sin. Yet, God, in His grace, accepts the substitution.
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate
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