Reflections on Leviticus 1-23.
“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”
Leviticus 19:1-2 ESV
While I was reading through the guidelines and instructions for sacrifices and the commandments God gave for the Israelites, I was reminded of how much more I should be thankful for the salvation Christ purchased for me. This is such a precious gift we receive so freely from Him.
When I pictured myself during these Old Testament times, I understood as helpless and hopeless I am, I would be spending my entire life offering sacrifices. I will be really busy in the temple of God bringing sacrifices for the remission of my sins. In our lives, in words, actions, thoughts, attitudes, in the things that we see around, in what we hear every day….there is so much of sin all around. There is sin of omission and sin of commission. And God cannot stand sin. And there is no forgiveness for our sins without the remission of blood. ( Hebrews 9:22)
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.”
Leviticus 17:11 ESV
But will these sacrifices really help me ?. Does God delight in these?. No and no!. Because all these sacrifices are in vain. God requires a heart change. He wants us to turn from our wicked ways and look to Him.
So He said,
“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.”
Isaiah 1:11 ESV
With the multitude of sacrifices God was not pleased. He spoke through prophet Isaiah, “enough of these sacrifices!”. No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to live up to His standards unless we put our faith in Him and trust Him completely to lead us in this journey.
He is calling us to return to Him.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
Isaiah 1:18 ESV
So when God saw how helpless and hopeless we are in our sinful wretched condition He had compassion on us. He gave His own son as a sacrifice for our sins on the cross once and for all.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
John 3:16-17 ESV
Jesus is the way and the only way by which we can live up to the standards of this Holy God. As Leviticus 19:1 says we will be Holy, for the LORD our God is Holy. We have to accept Jesus as the LORD and Savior of our lives. It is not savior first and then Lord. It is submission and acceptance. When He is our Lord, since He is Holy we will be made holy in Him.
“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:9 ESV
If we don’t surrender our lives to His Lordship, put our complete faith in Him and trust in His grace we will never be able to live a holy life. The Israelites failed to put their faith in God. They were rebellious towards God.
“Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.”
Hebrews 3:8-11 ESV
The writer of Hebrews gives this warning to us, so we will not be like them.
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”
Hebrews 3:12-14 ESV
Now, no more sacrifices left. All we have to do is believe in Jesus and receive Him as the King of our lives. Bible says the same Spirit of God, who raised Christ from dead is living in us (Romans 8:11). This Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). He helps us in our weaknesses and intercedes for us (Romans 8:26). What a blessed assurance we have in Him. When we accept Him into our lives, it is a promise from God that Christ will bring into competition the work He started in us.
So are you trying in your strength to please God?. Like Israelites are you bringing offerings before God while your heart is far away from Him.?. A set of rules and guidelines cannot save you. No offerings can give you salvation. Christianity is not a hereditary relationship. Every person need to have a personal close relationship with GOD.
I’ve heard these words in my childhood-“God doesn’t have grandchildren, He only has Children”. Unless we become His children this journey of faith is impossible. So today instead of trying in your strength to please God, surrender your life completely to God. He will guide you and bring you to the promise land.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
Jude 1:24-25 ESV