TODAY’S READING: LEVITICUS 14-16
The purification of lepers; purification of those with unclean issues; instructions regarding the Day of Atonement.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
God is invisible and many of His truths relate to an unseen realm. Hence the need for faith: “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Though the spiritual realm is invisible, God is an expert at teaching spiritual truths through physical realities. Leviticus chapter 15 is a perfect example of this method of teaching. Clearly, God is very postmodern in that He recognizes that we all have “issues”. Without a doubt, God provides instructions regarding “unclean issues” for the obvious reason of preventing the spread of infectious illnesses among the Israelites. However, God’s stringent rules regarding “unclean issues” also teach us spiritual truths about “unclean” thoughts, attitudes and words that “issue” out of our hearts. Jesus reminded us that “those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, fa!
lse witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man . . .” (Matt. 15:16-18). No wonder David prayed, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips” (Ps. 141:3).
In Leviticus chapter 16, God introduces a special holiday into the Jewish calendar: the Day of Atonement. On this day, both the sin nature and the individual sins of the entire nation of Israel are atoned for or covered. A simple way to remember the significance of this holy day is by breaking the word “atonement” into three hyphenated words: “at – one – ment”. This is the day when Israel’s sin is covered, making them “at – one – ment” with God. The Day of Atonement is a very descriptive picture of the person and work of Jesus Christ. The high priest enters the holy of holies with the blood of a sin offering signifying our High Priest, Jesus Christ, entering the third heaven with His own blood as a sin offering. Hebrews states it like this: “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24). With this offering completed, the high priest lay!
s his hands upon the head of the scapegoat and confesses the sins of the children of Israel (vs. 21) and the scapegoat carries away their iniquities. Isaiah prophetically described this portion of Christ’s work saying, “the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). He has carried our sins to a place as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12). In other words, Jesus permanently eliminated the record of our sins; God remembers them no more. So through the Day of Atonement, God teaches us that He has effectually dealt with both our sin nature and our sinful actions. Though there are many parallels to the person and work of Jesus, two important differences must be mentioned. First, the Old Testament high priest had to make sin offerings for himself because he was as guilty as the rest of the children of Israel. Jesus Christ, our High Priest, never offered a sin sacrifice for Himself because He was completely sinless (Heb. 9:14; 7:22-28)! Secondly, th!
e Day of Atonement was celebrated every year because “it is n!
ble that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man [Jesus Christ], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool” (Heb 10:4,11-13). For those of us who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we can glory in the fact that our Saviour offered Himself one time to permanently and forever pay for our sins; we never need ask for His salvation again. Praise the Lord!
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As our SIN OFFERING which effectually crucified our sin nature – Lev. 14:19-32 (Rom. 5:8) As our SCAPEGOAT which carried away our sins – Lev. 16:5-34 (II Cor. 5:21) As our eternal HIGH PRIEST who intercedes for us – Lev. 14:20 (Heb 7:24,25).