Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LEVITICUS: Everything Points to Jesus (1 of 5)

Leviticus is one of those books in Scripture that most people want to skip in their "Bible Reading Plans," but in the midst of all the weirdness in it, this book has actually grown to become one of my favorite books of Scripture. When you finally understand the meaning, significance, and depth of this book, it helps you see things through a whole different lens.

It's God preparing the people for the Messiah. It's God laying the foundation needed for His people to realize the depth of their impurity and their desperate need for Him. It's the groundwork for the salvation of humanity. If you ever asked, "why did Jesus have to die on the cross?", the answer is here in Leviticus. Let's start here:

"If the animal you present as a burnt offering is from the herd, it must be a male with no defects. Bring it to the entrance of the Tabernacle so you may be accepted by the Lord. Lay your hand on the animal's head, and the Lord will accept its death in your place to purify you, making you right with him." Leviticus 1:3-4 (NLT)

THIS IS THE WAY FOR PURIFICATION: A male... with no defects... will take your place. His death will be accepted in your place, making you pure and right with God. With process was established nearly 1500 years before Jesus, the only "male" truly with "no defects," would be the ultimate and last sacrifice.

The problem with the old way is that "it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." (Heb. 10:4) So they had to keep offering sacrifices over and over and over again. This was only a "shadow of things to come" (Heb. 10:1), for Jesus "appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Heb. 9:26).

We see this picture of again in the picture of the Scapegoat:

"He will lay both of his hands on the goat's head and confess over it all the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people.... in this way, he will transfer the people's sins to the head of the goat... it will carry all the people's sins upon itself into a desolate land." Leviticus 16:21-22

By coming to Jesus, confessing our sins and rebellion to Him, our sins are transferred to His body. On the cross, he carried our sins to a "desolate land"-- our guilt and condemnation, which steals away our peace, is finally dealt with. We can be made right with God. We can be made pure. But only by coming to Jesus and by grace receiving the forgiveness that His blood bought for us.

"It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible." Leviticus 17:11
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