February 18, 2017. Leviticus 16-18.
Now in chapter 16 of Leviticus we are dealing with the Day of Atonement. The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s sons, when they had offered profane fire before the LORD, and died; and the LORD said to Moses: Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; (Leviticus 16 1-2a) In that day-Aaron could not come near at all times, or he would die like his sons, but in this day-we must come near at all times so we can live!
The Day of Atonement was different than the rest of the year. In that normally the other priests would offer the sacrifices, but on this day, the high priest would actually have to do all the work. Only the high priest was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place, and only on this single day, with ceremony and caution. The high priest was to wear the plain linen of the priesthood, not the beautiful garment, the ephod. Aaron would first offer an offering for his own sin, and then for the sins of the people.
This chapter has so many intentional symbols of Christ becoming our High Priest, by going in and offering for us our atonement before a holy God, Who is in the heavens that the tabernacle represented. (Colossians 2:17)
There was to be only one place of sacrifice, and that was the temple. The people were to offer the sacrifice unto the LORD as a peace offering to have communion with God. It is only by the blood of the sacrifice, that atonement can be made for the soul. God our heavenly father gave us Christ, who gave His life to atone for our sin! (Ephesians 5:2)
Our last chapter for today we find these words used over and over again, “For I am the Lord your God.” We see that there is a general call to obedience here. God is wanting a holy people, and tells them how they are to walk. The Lord was speaking of moral laws and not to follow after the Egyptians or the Canaanites, but to keep His statues. The Lord is laying out the importance of the fact that they are representing God to the world.
God is giving His people warnings against violating the Lord’s standards for sexual morality, and behavior. Sexual activity was meant to be sacred because it resulted in procreation of life, the sweet gift of God.
The words “I am the Lord” will convey the idea that we are not to decide whether or not to obey the Lords warnings. But rather to choose to trust God’s faithful intention to do what is best for us. We must remember He is a loving father that at all times knows what’s best for His children!