Leviticus is good reading. Really. It generally falls into the “something that pastors should probably read and everyone else can skip” or the book whose reputation of out-dated rules goes before it and prevents its reading. I would argue, though, that this book, like every other in the Bible, has something we need. (I do wear cotton blends, so I’m not saying every commandment is for us to follow to the letter today.)
Thankfully, my Bible reading plan has brought me back to it again, and I am grateful. Today, I read chapter 23, in which God commands no work during the Day of Atonement six times in the six verses of instruction. He’s serious about it, too. The consequence for working on the Day of Atonement is death. Yep- you work, you die.
As I thought about this, the foreshadowing became clearer and stronger. Of course God prohibited work on the Day of Atonement! Atonement has been made for us now through no amazing work of our own but by the work of Jesus on the cross.
Trouble comes when we thing that we can work for our own atonement. The consequence of sin is death. The only way to get around the consequence is to accept the atonement made by Jesus. When any of us tries to work for what has been freely given, we risk believing that we could save ourselves, muddying the beauty of the truth, and missing the whole point.
So simple, yet so easy to forget. So I endeavor to preach the gospel to myself daily, remembering that He did the work for me.
Listen to Sara Groves’ song, “You Did That for Me.”
You wore the chains so I could be free .
You did that for me.