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August 17, 2010 / TheCommonCup

I Think I’m In Love With Leviticus

I think I’m in love with Leviticus. Who knew such a bloody and ritualistic book could be so alive and beautiful. I read passages like chapter 16 which talks through all of the different things Aaron, as the High Priest, had to do in order to even enter into the Most Holy Place of the Lord. Even to go into the Meeting Tent there was such a list or rules he had to follow or would have died. There is this sacredness to being able to know God. I often wonder if our ideas of what is sacred have been lost in our modern time. We forget that Christ’s sacrifice was more brutal and more bloody and ugly than any animal sacrifice. His death was the worst of all not because of the method of execution, but due to the heaviness of mankind’s sin permeating his every pore.

Leviticus is a call to live a new and better kind of life. Just as in the New Testament, Jesus calls His followers to live an “abundant” or “better” life by knowing and following the Way the Truth and the Life. At the beginning of chapter 18 God reminds the Israelites that they have been brought out of their old life in Egypt. They no longer need to practice old rituals from when they were enslaved. They are made free by the One True God.

In chapter 19 God commands, not suggests, to His people to be holy as He is holy. This is a heavy request. Jesus later quotes this passage when speaking of what it takes to follow Him. Being holy as Jesus, as God, was and is holy is a hard shoe to fill. Yet over and over again in Leviticus we see this call to be more than what we are. To live with the pursuit of holiness. To be holy as God is holy.

Another thought from Leviticus: The Lord often remarks that it is He who makes the people holy. It’s not their sacrifices, it’s God and God alone who can offer forgiveness of sins. Leviticus is a book of forgiveness and the love of a holy Father who is calling His children to become more like Him. What father doesn’t hope for his children to admire him and want to be like him.

It’s beautiful. It’s hard and bloody and brutal, but beautiful.

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