Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Friday, February 12, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Feb 13, Lev 1-4

Today's readings are Lev 1-4. Tomorrow's are Lev 5-7.

Today, we start Leviticus, twenty-seven chapters of instructions detailing sacrifice, worship and holy living as given by God directly to Moses. The book begins with these words, “The Lord called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting.” The closing words in the last chapter are, “These are the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses for the people of Israel on Mt. Sinai.” God's people are still at the foot of Sinai. But, now they have the Tabernacle. God is going to tell them how to use it properly. He has delivered His people, given them the Law and now, before they start their journey, He will tell them how they are to live and behave in a covenant relationship with Him.

The sacrificial offerings are instituted. There are sacrifices for sin, for thanks, for communion (peace) and more. While all other religions sacrifice to appease their gods or summon them, God's people sacrifice in thanks for His grace and His presence already among them. The animal sacrifices are to be examined to insure they are without blemish, perfect, as only a perfect sacrifice is suitable for God. Food and grain are to be offered, but without leaven. By now, the Jews understand leaven is a symbol for sin. The sacrifices are rich in symbolism. Fire is involved with many of them. It is a sign of purification and sanctification. Grains and breads are to be covered with oil, a symbol of anointing and conferring of blessing. Salt is to season all foods, a symbol of preservation. Blood (life) and fat (abundance) are not to be eaten, they are the Lord's. Here, we see that life and abundance cannot be taken by God's people. They are God's to do with as He pleases (I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion - Ex 331:9). 

Certain portions of the sacrifice are to be eaten (consumed), reminding them that God's people will have unique relationship with the sacrifice. It will be inside them and the meal will be sacred.

Blood dominates everything, sprinkled on the altars, utensils, the priests vestments...everywhere. There is no sacrifice, no worship, no atonement, no peace without the shedding of blood.  All sins must be atoned for, intentional and unintentional. No one is righteous, not one. 

Here's a handy chart detailing the offerings. Click on it to expand:

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