The Beauty of Leviticus
"You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine." (Leviticus 20:26)
I've been reading Leviticus recently. Not simply for fun, mind you, but as part of my daily reading plan. Surprisingly, it's provided some needed perspective in this chaotic season of support raising and moving prep. Leviticus puts on display how much God loves his people. It is primarily a book about how a holy and perfect God relates to unholy and imperfect rebels. It's about a God who desires to dwell with his people, but cannot unless their sin is dealt with. So how does this happen? Through the provision of an atoning, substitutionary sacrifice. God requires the cost of a spotless animal to stand in the place of Israel, bear their sins, and be killed so that God's people can be forgiven and brought near to him.
It's a beautiful foreshadowing of Jesus Christ, the final and ultimate substitutionary sacrifice. As the writer of Hebrews says, "He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." (Hebrews 9:26) What no animal could fully accomplish, Jesus did, and at cost to God the Father rather than ourselves. It is through Christ's death and resurrection that we have a way to be made right with God, brought into his family, to be more loved than we could ever imagine, and made to look more and more like him.
God initiated and revealed his love for Israel in rescuing them from Egypt, miraculously saving them. He then provided a law to be followed that would define their flourishing as his people, a ragtag group made distinct from any other people in the world by God's presence . Because God is holy, he has separated us to be holy as he is, for we are his. To trust him in every area of our life.
This truth compels us to go to LA and call more people to know and love Jesus, to experience the flourishing of life that comes from following and obeying him. To live in such a way that honors, glorifies, and reflects his name, image, and character. In a world that is fleeting, engulfed in thoughts, feelings, emotions, relationships, and jobs that come and go, we can have the abiding, eternal word of God living inside of us.
Jesus said, "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my job may be in you, and that your joy may be full." (John 15:10-11) We're praying for joy to abound in this season, not only in us, but in those around us as we seek to follow Christ together in a new place.