Saturday, April 2, 2011

Leviticus: Chapter 1

The burnt offering is so much more than 'a gift' to God; like the aspects of the Tabernacle it reveals Christ to us and helps us learn to worship.  In fact, as I read the introduction to Leviticus, worship is the central theme.  This should be a transforming walk through Leviticus!

The burnt offering involved specific preparation, participation and presentation.  Our God is a God of order and details have significance.  The first regulation about this offering was its voluntary nature:  those who wish to please God must have the desire in their hearts to do so.  Furthermore, the offering was to come from the resources of the giver.  Jesus Christ was the precious offering which God Himself gave willingly.  

The burnt offering was to be brought to the door of the Tabernacle; God's Word is not a cafeteria for us to pick and choose from.  We come to worship the Lord in His ways.  Finally, we must be identified with Christ just as the worshipper in Leviticus identified with his offering.  The hand placed upon the animal to be sacrificed was an acknowledgment that the worshipper was a sinner and deserved death; we must accept that our best works are insufficient to gain us admittance to heaven.  Like Christ, the Leviticus offering was required to be perfect and to be given to death.  McGee makes the point that Christ's perfect life did not save us; His death and resurrection were the complete sweet-smelling savor which opened heaven for us!

Perhaps the most striking aspect for me was the explanation of the offering being cut into pieces and totally exposed to the fire.  Christ's life is able to withstand the examination of time because He was pure before God.  We must all God's purifying fire to have access to every part of our lives as well.  We are to be living sacrifices--only with His purifying work can that take place. 

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