Leveraging Leviticus

Leviticus is a book of hope, not in running from God but in running to Him, where He redemptively points us to the unblemished Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. By His stripes we are healed.

For it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.
Leviticus 17:11, NKJV

Whenever I read the opening chapters of Leviticus I am taken aback by all the different sacrificial offerings (burnt, peace, grain, guilt, sin), the frequency with which they are to be made, and the detail in which they are presented. I am much relieved to be ministering on this side of the cross.

Leviticus gives us an idea of the insidiousness and pervasiveness of sin. No one is untouched by it. Sin is a stain to life, our awareness brought to the fore in the presence of the holy God. As with Isaiah, the closer we draw near to God the more acutely aware we become of our sin and sinfulness, and of our abject helplessness to do anything about it (Isa. 6:5).

What particularly strikes me in the descriptions of these sacrifices is all the attention given to unintentional sins (Lev. 4-5), those sins of which we are unaware and may commit inadvertently or by omission. It brings to mind the expression that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

When it comes to sin in our lives, we tend to think of willful sins, those sins we commit or omit with intention. The psalmist has this in mind when he says, “Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression” (Psa. 19:13).

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