Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Drawing Near Through Christ

David & Mephibosheth
Observations on Leviticus 1-4

Chronologically, Leviticus appears to start before the end of Exodus, because the Tent of Meeting is still in operation and the Tabernacle has not been set up.

God's people, once a family, is now a nation and so there is specialisation of roles (judges and priests) amongst the people to help make things clear and enable them to run more smoothly and efficiently. Leviticus is the book that enables that transition.

At first glance, the level of detail here is both daunting and seemingly irrelevant. We get a bit of light relief (for want of a better term) from the legal plodding drudgery (again for want of a better term) when Aaron's sons are killed, but the plodding beat soon begins again and if you're like me - it's hard to extract nuggets of truth to take away.

However, the amount of detail here is probably no more than is in a First Aid Manual, and many of us have that kind of certificate. (Although admittedly and thankfully we lack the practice of it). Compared to studying for a GCSE - Leviticus is a walk in the park.

Moreover, The whole emphasis of the book is grace - how God draws near to us and how we can draw near to him. And how we can live in peace (grace) with one another.

Different facets of the excellence of Christ's one perfect sacrifice are pictured in all these sacrifices of sin offerings, fellowship offerings and peace offerings etc.

I'll leave you with one thought. The animal sacrifice was eaten by two parties - the priests and God. The priests eating bit is obvious - the text is clear. But God eats of them too in the sense that the food, in cooking, is transformed into smoke and travels "up" to God who takes it into himself through his "nostrils" - a pleasing aroma.

In the New Testament we see this in operation as the new priesthood - the church - eats the body and blood of Christ at the communion table as a testimony that we are united to God. Christ is the pleasing aroma to the God the Father and at his ascension has been reunited to him for ever.

Christ is the banqueting table of God, through whom unworthies like you and me can meet and eat with the King of the universe.

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