In a previously published post titled Journey Through the Bible: Jesus Revealed, I wrote about opening our minds and hearts to the words written in the Old Testament and how to look for Jesus in them. It hasn’t been until recent years that I understood the significance of the Old Testament. I have grown up in church and I was familiar with many of the stories, but I had a very surface level understanding of them. So, if you took me to the book of Leviticus, I would have panicked. I would have done my best to quickly flip to a more understandable book. A book like Leviticus confused me. I did not understand its purpose.
This last year, I have been poring over Old Testament scripture, hungrily searching through holy, ancient words which reveal a God of redemption–words which reveal His grand redemptive plan. I am often left in awe when I see the ways in which God moved and how He pointed His people to the coming Messiah, the Savior of the world. It is a plan that has been in place since before the very foundation of the world.
God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days. 1 Peter 1:20 (NLT)
Today, my husband and I taught a Sunday School lesson over Leviticus–to our kindergarten students. What a beautiful thing it is to be able to show these young hearts their Rescuer through a book that is often overlooked and not understood. This was a lesson that has been one of my favorite to teach so far, because I was soaking in the discovery of mercy and grace as I taught from this book of the Bible.
I find it impossible to not feel a rise of emotions when I am reading through God’s Word with full understanding, especially if it is the first time I have come to its understanding. As the words left my lips while reading through the lesson to these precious children, I inwardly was giving glory and thanks that these little hearts were learning about God’s plan of forgiveness and redemption through this Old Testament text. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice and He forgives our sins for good when we trust in Him. This is the good news of the gospel message and this is what we can all glean from the book of Leviticus.
Atonement will be made for you on this day to cleanse you, and you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must practice self-denial; it is a permanent statute. The priest who is anointed and ordained to serve as high priest in place of his father will make atonement. He will put on the linen garments, the holy garments, and purify the most holy place. He will purify the tent of meeting and the altar and will make atonement for the priests and all the people of the assembly. This is to be a permanent statute for you, to make atonement for the Israelites once a year because of all their sins.” And all this was done as the Lord commanded Moses. –Leviticus 16:30-34 (HCSB)
Atonement is “making right what had been wrong”. The book of Leviticus points to the grace and mercy God provided–a way for atonement for sin before the death of Christ; The Day of Atonement happened once a year and it was the day in which all the people of Israel would have their sins paid in full through a special sacrifice. The book of Leviticus points to the ultimate Day of Atonement–the day when Jesus Christ, who was the perfect sacrifice, died and shed blood for the forgiveness of our sins…for good.