Today, we start the book of Leviticus. You are probably wondering how a book about laws and sacrifices pertain to our lives. The answer to that question and the main message of Leviticus comes from chapter 19 verse 2.
“You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy”
Look at what the apostle Peter says in 1st Peter chapter 1 verses 15 and 16, where he calls all believers to a live holy life. Folks, that is us! Peter quotes Leviticus chapter 19 verse 2.
“But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
Although Leviticus is set in an ancient time and culture, it communicates a timeless and vibrant message: God is holy and He expects His people to be holy like He is. A proper relationship with God begins with knowing who God is and understanding His nature, even though our finite human minds cannot fully comprehend Him. Left to our own intuition, we will inevitably begin to worship other things….money, sports, clothes, car, cell phone, electronics, job, etc…..you get the picture. These things become our god and we worship them, rather than the one true God.
“You must not have any other god but me.
Exodus 20:3 NLT
“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”
1 John 5:21 NLT
As we read and study Leviticus, we will see how God graciously reveals His holiness in tangible ways and instructs His people how to worship Him acceptably. Each sacrifice and holy day teaches the Israelites about God and what He requires of them. In the same way, it teaches us about Him and what He requires.
Today’s reading is chapters 1 and 2. Chapters 1 through chapter 7 is the first major section and deals with the institution of the sacrificial system and the priesthood. The sacrifices were either for atonement; which would be the whole burnt offering, the sin offering, and guilt offering; or for worship; which would be the grain offering and peace offering. Each offering teaches theology through a hands on approach. In chapter 1 are first introduced to the whole burnt offering. The whole burnt offering occurs first in the list of offerings, as it provides a pattern for the other offerings. The whole burnt offering was the most common and most general atoning offering.
The purpose of the whole burnt offering was to satisfy God’s wrath against sin and to restore him or her back into fellowship with God. If you look at the requirements for the burnt offering, which again is to satisfy God’s wrath for sin and to restore the relationship of the sinner to God. Does this sound familiar? That is exactly what Jesus, the Son of God did for us. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins and to restore or relationship with God. Jesus became the ultimate and the last burnt offering ever needed.
In chapter 2 we are introduced to the grain offering. The purpose of the grain offering was a way to express worship to the Lord through a gift, recognizing Him as Lord over the life of the worshiper. If you think about it, the way we serve God in our daily lives would be a grain offering.
So, you can see how the sacrificial system does relate to us. We have offered a burnt offering to God when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and a grain offering by living a holy life and serving God daily. See, Leviticus isn’t that boring, is it!
I’ll leave you with these words……“May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”