Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Genesis! Exodus? Levitiquits..

Oh, Leviticus. How many well-intentioned Bible read-through plans have you thwarted?

Who doesn’t like rules?  Ah, most people. Most people do not like rules. Particularly when it comes to them being enforced against what we would choose to do if we were in charge (or at least if we were above the rules). Not only do we not like the application of the Law, but how about reading through the Law? For my work as an arbitrator I frequently come in contact with state statutes and case law governing the right of way at uncontrolled intersections and the duty to clear an intersection to name only a few. Reading through the laws to decipher if it contains wording that excuses or accuses my party is laborious, tedious, and monotonous. As much as we do not like being cited for breaking the Law, I think most of us would rather pay a citation than be forced to sit down and read the rules of the road for our home state in their entirety.

And that brings us to Leviticus. Talk about laying down the Law.  This is where that phrase probably has its origins.

Something I noticed in my recent read-through that was of great encouragement and may also be to you is to notice how many times the phrase “make atonement” is referenced. In the ESV translation, this phrase occurs 40 times in the 27 chapters of the book of Leviticus. Atonement is made by one on behalf of another. The offended party receives an offering from the mediator assigned to represent and minister on behalf of the offender and thus atonement is made. 

As many and meticulous are the laws of God for Israel, there is a consistent theme underlying all of them. A great deal of detail and effort are required to please God and His holiness. So much so that a sacrificial system to forgive our inability to obey had to be created if we were ever to survive its glory.

There are two things that are very clear.
(1) We are sinful and incapable of keeping or earning our place in God’s presence.
(2) God created a way to be reconciled to Him in spite of our shortcomings and transgressions.

May the book of Leviticus bring you joy inasmuch as you realize that in all of God’s laws, His holiness is made glorious; and in the Person of Christ, these foreshadows we observe in this book have been fulfilled by His substance.

Our Temple, our Priest, our Sacrifice, our Mediator, our Atonement, our Salvation, our Restoration, our Holiness.

1 comment:

  1. it's such a good reminder that leviticus is worth the work - because it really is tedious sometimes.