365 Key Chapters of the Bible: Leviticus 16

This entry is part 85 of 87 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

The people whom God has called must be sanctified in order to reflect His holiness. The book of Exodus told the story of God redeeming the Israelites and calling them to be a holy nation. Now, Leviticus represents a guidebook for the new nation of Israel.

This book sounds strange to our modern ears; the civil laws and ceremonial sacrifices it contains do not apply to us in the same way. But these laws showed the Israelites how to worship, serve, and obey their awesome God in light of His holiness.

Although the Israelites had left Egypt physically, they brought with them Egyptian practices of worshiping other gods. They needed to learn how to reflect the true God, the great I AM, in their daily lives.

The sacrificial system through the tabernacle (and later the temple) was the main means of sanctification for the Israelites. The Day of Atonement in particular was a time of humble fasting and repentance to remind the Israelites of the weight of their sins. They stood in need of mercy before their holy God. They had to repeat the Day of Atonement year after year, for the blood of goats and bulls could not fully take away their sins.

Because of this, Leviticus looks ahead to the coming of Jesus Christ. As the perfect sacrificial Lamb, He would take away the sins of the world.

Watch part 85 of the 365 Key Chapters of the Bible series, based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture.

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