YLD (21/02/07) – The ultimate atonement – Book of Leviticus
Background about the book of Leviticus:
- Leviticus sets right after the exodus of the Israelites from their slavery when God brought them to the foot of Mount Sinai and invited Israel into a relationship with Him.
- God promised to take care of His people as long as they follow Him
We are all missing the mark of loving God and others. We are in darkness when we try to fulfill our selfish desires or wants instead of putting God first. There is a force to compel us to keep doing bad things to destroy relationship.
- Just like when we lie or steal, we break our trust so people won’t believe us
- When we are jealous others, we can’t truly happy for our friends.
- Here is no exception for the Israelites, not for long they had quickly rebelled and had broken their commitment with God.
- But God loved them and he wanted to live among them
- His glorious presence to come and live in the midst of Israel in the form of tabernacle.
The book of Leviticus wants to solve this fundamental problem:
How can the perfectly holy God dwell among an unholy people?
God is a Holy God – He sets himself apart
God is holy and the area around Him is also pure, goodness and full of justice so how the Israelites, unjust and sinful ones want to live in God’s holy presence have to be holy too. Their sins have to deal with.
- When we sin, it’s like we’re covered in darkness.
- God is light and in Him there is no darkness. So our darkness separates us from God. God has made a way for us to be with Him again.
Why do we need to do animal sacrifice in the first place?
The punishment for sin is death.
- So in the Old Testament, before Jesus was born, God required people to sacrifice animals. The animal is a substitute for us. It is symbolically dying in my place. The biblical word for this is atonement, which means to cover someone’s death.
So do you wonder why we don’t do that any more?
- “[Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2, NIV)
- When Jesus died on the cross, His blood atoned for or “covered” the sins of the world once and for all. And not just for a short time like the goat.
- If you love and follow Jesus, then His blood has washed away our wrong doings forever so that you can have a friendship with God.
- Now, when God looks at you, He doesn’t see all of your sin.
- Instead, He sees Jesus’ death on the cross. He sees that you have been cleansed by the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus.
- Jesus has paid off your debt to God.
- Isn’t that amazing?