The children of Israel were still at Mount Sinai when God dictated His instructions to the Levites and the priests for their orderly worship within the Tabernacle, otherwise known as the House of Worship, our human heart.
In Genesis we see humanity’s beginning and its destruction. In Exodus, God redeems humanity. In Leviticus, humanity is found worshipping. “When any of you brings an offering to the Lord” (Lev 1:2) God expects each person to bring his or her own gift, with a heart of worship.
Leviticus is known as the book of sacrifices. Before the blood of Jesus, various kinds of sacrifices were required in order that the people could be reconciled to a holy God. As the book of Leviticus lays out a number of sacrifices required, today we can celebrate that all our sins were paid in full by the blood of the Perfect Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who came to take away the sins of the world.
Leviticus 16 gives the origin of Yom Kippur, the Jewish holy day in which Israel atones for their sin. God says “Be holy, because I am holy.” Some scholars have written the parallels of Jesus within these sacrifices. To ‘get right’ through a burnt offering is depicted by the surrender of Christ for the world. The grain offering signifies the service of Christ in life. The fellowship offering represents the friendship that Jesus offered to us.
Today we can simply choose to feed on the perfect grain offering, the Bread of life, the Word of God. We must surrender our whole mind, body and soul to God, and as we keep sinning, keep falling short of the glory of God, we keep asking for God to forgive us. When we confess our sins, God forgives us. “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. ‘ For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:10-12)
Jesus is the reality of the pictures painted all throughout the Old Testament. Lev 23:5 He was crucified at Passover. Lev 23:6 Jesus was buried as unleavened Bread. Lev 23:11 Jesus was resurrected at First Fruits. Lev 23:22 Jesus sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the harvest. God’s Word says that these are a lasting ordinances for all His people, for generations to come. First Fruits are celebrated during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This first fruit represents the resurrection of Jesus and ours from the dead. (1 Cor 15:20) Fifty days later Pentecost was observed. The Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples and the Church, the Body of Christ was born. Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of the Trumpets is New Year’s Day for Israel and is celebrated in September or October. This feast points towards the future gathering of the scattered people of Israel (Zechariah 14:16) The Feat of Tabernacles commemorates the time when God’s people lived in tents in the wilderness, outdoors listening to the reading of God’s Word. It calls to mind what disobedience brings. The Sabbatical Year lasts for a year as the Promised Land God says became the holy land. (Zeph 2:5) The Year of Jubilee is celebrated every fiftieth year to commemorate that all salves are freed, as the restoration of all land is returned to the original owner, to the families unto which God originally assigned. Every 7th day is the Sabbath. Every 7th year is a sabbatical year. Every 7 X 7 was a year of Jubilee. Pentecost occurred 7 weeks after Passover. Both Pentecost and Passover last for 7 days. May our hearts magnify the Lord seven days a week, for the rest of our lives.
Our Father erases our sins by the blood sacrifice of Jesus. We continue to offer God our sacrifice of praise, with songs, and by using the gifts He gave us. God holds us accountable for sin. Our hearts feel the heavy burden of guilt, and like a criminal, our soul is convicted, tried and found in need of forgiveness. As we confess our shortcomings, our Advocate Jesus also intercedes for us in prayer before the throne of God and our sins are forgiven.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
The priest’s offering “covered” the sins of the people until the great sacrifice on Calvary was made. Seven is a significant number in Leviticus. This book, like Revelation, is built around a series of seven. God impressed it upon the minds of His people that the very land was holy unto Him, it became known around the world as “the holy land”.
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.