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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The definitive sacrifice and scapegoat

This past Friday was especially good. We remembered specifically Jesus’ death to secure our ultimate good. For the first time ever I preached from the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. What was I smoking you may ask?  What drew me to Leviticus was the recent popular denial of Jesus’ death as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of God. Jesus is seen as an enlightened teacher from the realm of light, or a good moral example for our children to follow or even the ultimate chinese ying-yang who restores balance to the universe.

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