I cannot say that Leviticus is my favorite book of the Bible. It is actually one of many that can be quite difficult to read through, with the repetitive use of words such as “blood, fat, offerings, sacrifice, finding animals without blemish” and more. But it has stirred up some thoughts in me the past several days. When the Word of God uses phrases repeatedly, it usually means there is extreme value there.
Christianity today is so different compared to years before. Sacrifice, commitment, perseverance, and many more aspects of life and faith are now diluted. In Leviticus it says several times how the sacrifices/burnt offerings are “a pleasing aroma to the Lord.” And it required so much effort. Could you imagine needing to go find a ram every time you lied/felt guilty/needed forgiveness? Then later, in Romans 12:1 it says,
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
I think we should ask ourselves, “Am I a ‘pleasing aroma to the Lord?’” In those times, in order to receive atonement for/forgiveness of sins, such animal sacrifices were required! It also states multiple times throughout Leviticus that it was the priest that did this. There had to be a middle-man one would go to when the realization/conviction of sin(s) came to them.
But now, we don’t need to do this anymore. Christ came to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, for all time! Colossians 2:13-14 says,
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”
Now it is not about what we do, but what He has done! Yet, He doesn’t want just a part of us (or something done outside of ourselves such as they did in Leviticus, or an act of service even); He wants US. We are a “living sacrifice” and when we enter into a relationship with Christ, we become a “pleasing aroma” to Him as we allow Him to transform us.
Since the beginning of time, He desired for us to be in relationship with Him. Once we messed up the perfection of it in the Garden of Eden, He has been pursuing us constantly. He was/is faithful even when we aren’t! His goal was always that we’d be near Him.
“But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole” (Isaiah 53:4-5).
All I really wanted to say is that those of us who aim to follow Christ should remember who we live to please (to whom are we really a pleasing aroma?); that we be thankful with a big heart for his great sacrifice; that our lives should be lived in surrender to Him and to bring Him glory. When we look up to someone, we generally want to be like them. If we claim to follow God, shouldn’t we be a light in the darkness? Shouldn’t our love and actions point to Him?
He gave his life that we may be united/share ours again with Him. May we all follow in His steps.