Why we can’t approach God on our own terms

We are familiar with the concept of mediators.  Someone who represents us or goes in our place.

I can’t argue my case at the Constitutional Court.  I need an advocate, with the necessary qualifications, who will represent me.

The Springbok rugby team represents South Africa when they play rugby. We all say, “We won the game!”, but we didn’t even touch the ball.  The Springboks represented us.

The book of Leviticus answers the question: How can a Holy God dwell in the midst of sinful people?

How can we, with all our failings, sin, brokenness and rebellion, be in a relationship with the Holy God of the Bible?

Ch. 1-7 is about the sacrifices. A holy God demands that sin deserves death, but an animal dies and the sinner gets to live.

Ch. 8-10 is about the ordination of the priests, Aaron and his sons, who will manage the sacrifices, mediate between the Israelites and God, and represent the Israelites before God.

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Learning from Leviticus

God is holy.

The Bible describes God as a consuming fire residing in unapproachable light.

To approach God our own way is like approaching the surface of the sun – we will simply be extinguished.

God’s radiant holiness will kill us as sin-full and sin-prone people.

However, in the Old Testament book of Leviticus we see God making a way for sin to be forgiven.

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Why Jesus is our great high priest

Christ the High Priest icon
Christ the High Priest icon

All people have a conscience and when we do wrong it bothers us. We instinctively know we have sinned, although most won’t call it sin. Yet, as the Bible teaches us, some people’s consciences have been seared by them constantly violating their conscience and are no longer troubled by their wrong. But in general people have an inner sense of right and wrong, a sense of God, and a sense that in some way we have failed to live up to God’s expectations or standards. This universal instinct is because all people are created in the image of God (Genesis 1-2). Most people would therefore acknowledge that there is a God or a least a “Higher Power” and admit that somehow they don’t quite live up to the standard required.

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