There’s really not much that I find beautiful about Leviticus.
I Tweeted once recently that it’s not easy to read Leviticus while pregnant, and I had many agreements that it’s not easy to read Leviticus EVER. Skin diseases … blood … sacrifices and animals and bleeding and people dying for lighting the wrong kind of fire.
It’s a book that makes me shudder a little, thinking of the Israelites living under these laws.
God was making His point, of course, that it was impossible to obey all the laws. Impossible to be perfect in His sight.
In the midst of the blood, however, does come some beauty. A foreshadowing of a Man on a cross.
For one sacrifice, two goats were brought to Aaron the High Priest. He cast lots to find the winner and the loser, you might say. The loser got to be sacrificed on the altar. And the winner was left alive. But then here’s what Aaron did to it.
Leviticus 16:21-22 (NLT) says, “[Aaron] will lay both of his hands on the goat’s head and confess over it all the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel. In this way, he will transfer the people’s sins to the head of the goat. Then a man specially chosen for the task will drive the goat into the wilderness. As the goat goes into the wilderness, it will carry all the people’s sins upon itself into a desolate land.”
Oh, beauty. Right there in Leviticus, the absolute perfect picture of what Christ did for us. The Israelites had seen it before. God made it easier for them to grasp His pouring out of our sins onto Christ’s head because of a goat.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says, “The fact that the goat is accompanied by somebody and that it is to be taken to an uninhabited place is to indicate the absolute impossibility of its return, i.e. the guilt has been absolutely forgiven and erased.”
All that sin. Atoned for. Absolutely erased.
Now how’s that as a reason to read Leviticus?