Monday, 19 March 2018

Road to Revelation: Leviticus

 Leviticus: The Book of sacrifice

Now that the people had  a place to meet with God, they needed people to help with guiding them through the complicated process of that (Leviticus 1-7).  These people were the priests.  Aaron’s family were chosen to be the priests in the Tabernacle/Temple and the first priests after Aaron were his sons Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 8-10).
Unclean!  Unclean!  Everything is unclean!  The next section of the law (Leviticus 11-15) deals with everything which excluded people from approaching God.  Skin discharges, womanly discharges, bodily discharges, mildew.  All were unclean.  All must be clean before a perfect and holy God.  Under this system, if they were unclean they were excluded from participating publicly in worship of the Lord. 

 Extra Reading: But was it God’s intention to reject them?  No!  We see in Jesus the mercy of God towards the unclean when he dealt with the woman who had a continuous bodily discharge.  See Luke 8:40-48  The unclean could not participate publicly in worship, but they were always loved by God.

Leviticus 16  The Day of Atonement:  Once a year the High Priest could enter the Most Holy Place and offer sacrifices to God on behalf of the people to cleanse them from their sin.  When Jesus died the curtain separating the Most Holy Place from the rest of the temple was torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51), indicating that all sins for all time had finally been cleansed and now anyone could boldly approach God.  See Hebrews 10:19-20

Leviticus 17-20  Rules for how people should conduct themselves towards their neighbours.  Key Verse: Leviticus 17:11—the life is in the blood and is spilled to cover sin.  Christ's blood is the fulfillment of this verse, and ushers in a new covenant.  One not based on continual sacrifice of animals on our behalf to cover our sin, but one based on Christ's sacrifice which cleanses us from sin once and for all time (Hebrews 12:22-24).

Leviticus 21-22  Rules for how the priests should conduct themselves in life .  Jesus is our perfect High Priest see Hebrews 5:1-10

Leviticus 23-25  Festivals for the people to hold to remember God’s  provision to his people

Leviticus 26 A list of blessings for faithfulness/obedience and punishments for idolatry/disobedience in the promised land.

Leviticus 27 Redemption of gifts to the Lord.  God is a gracious God; if someone dedicated something to him and then changed his mind, there was a way out.

Takeaway:  On their way through the wilderness and once they entered the promised land the people of God would be surrounded by other nations with other gods.  God wanted his people to look different from the other nations.  He wanted their conduct and worship practices to reflect his character so that they would be different to the surrounding nations and a light to guide the nations to the true God.  Even if they rejected him, he would not reject them but would remain faithful to his promises (Leviticus 26:42-45).

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