Why Christians eat pork

Leviticus ch. 11 is all about clean and unclean animals and what the Israelites in Old Testament times could and couldn’t eat.

Therefore, every time someone hunted, ate a meal, went to a petting zoo, or came across roadkill, they had to ask themselves, “Is this clean or unclean?”

Land animals. Sea animals. Insects. Clean or unclean?

You shall not make yourselves detestable with any swarming thing that swarms, and you shall not defile yourselves with them, and become unclean through them. For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground.  For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:43-45)

Ch. 12 is all about childbirth and how that made one unclean.

Ch. 13 is all about skin diseases and mould on clothes and how that made one unclean.

Ch. 14 is all about skin diseases and mildew in houses and how that made one unclean.

Ch. 15 is all about different bodily discharges and how that made one unclean.

What was the point of all these rules?

The point of the rules was not personal hygiene, but a picture or symbol of sin.

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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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