I’ve recently started reading through Leviticus, the third book in the Old Testament. I’m hoping to read through the whole OT this year, but I’m not going very well so far.

When I started reading Leviticus, I kinda thought, “Great, now I have to read through lists and lists of boring rules. Can’t wait til this is over with!”

But I half-heartedly prayed that God would use it to reveal more of himself to me. So I just wanted to let you know what God has been showing me so far.

I’m only up to about chapter 7. It’s been all about offerings (animal sacrifices) so far: the Sin Offering, the Guilt Offering, the Fellowship Offering, etc. It gives descriptions of which offerings should be made and how the priests are to make them.

Whenever it describes the right type of animal to offer, it will say “a young bull without defect” or “an animal without defect”. That was a point I kind of skimmed over as I read, but last week in church, we sung the song “Consider Christ”. Part of the song goes:

Consider Christ, the source of our salvation

that he should take the penalty for me.

Though he was pure, a lamb without a blemish,

he took my sins and nailed them to the tree.

It’s that part about Jesus being a “lamb without a blemish” that really jumped out at me after reading through Leviticus.

Jesus is the sacrifice that atones for our sins: he had to be “without defect” for the sacrifice to be acceptable to God.

The second thing that God has shown me through Leviticus is about His amazing mercy.

In Leviticus, God tells the people that they need to make sacrifices to pay the price for their sins, because they are his people.

One thing that surprised me is that the people could sin even if they weren’t aware. A common phrase I have come across is:

If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, even though he does not know it, he is guilty and will be held responsible. -Leviticus 5:17

That sounds a bit harsh at first, but consider that it is God who chose the Isrealites, and he certainly had the right to set down rules for them if they were to be his people.

Anyway, tonight in church, someone mentioned the following verse:

When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” -Luke 23:33-34

In Jesus asking God to forgive the soldiers for a sin (killing God) that they did not know they were committing, he is revealing amazing, unprecedented mercy.

God had every right to judge them, even if they didn’t know it was wrong at the time. But Jesus, the very one whom they are killing, speaks up on their behalf to God. He is the sacrifice for the sins they are committing unintentionally.

Those are just some of the things I’ve been thinking about in Leviticus. Hopefully God will continue to teach me, even if I am a reluctant student at times.