“Lord, thank you for bringing me in under the New Covenant and not putting me on the committee to slit the throats of bulls and goats.”
– Dr. J.W.P Oliver
It’d been awhile since I’d worked my way through the Old Testament Law, so last week I started reading through Leviticus for my morning devotions. If you’re unfamiliar with the book, Leviticus primarily focuses on the duties of Old Testament priests, and many of the rules and regulations for worship in ancient Israel.
The reading has been interesting.
For example, one of the primary duties of the priests was to inspect skin diseases. Pimples, rashes, oozing wounds, they all required an inspection by a priest to determine the extent of the problem and the necessary remedy. This goes a long way in explaining why the priesthood was determined by bloodline.
Who would volunteer for that job?
There’s also a lot of killing. Bulls, goats, rams, goats, pigeons, turtledoves, etc. Every animal that an Israelite ate while they wandered the desert was supposed to be killed in the presence of a priest. I’ve documented before my desire to have my own little abattoir, but it’s hard to envision how much blood this really would have entailed. Everything about being a priest would have been bloody, from morning to evening, blood.
Which is, of course, the whole point of Leviticus. Purity and blood, the two things necessary to draw near to God. There are those, both in and out of the church, that love to debate the relevance of various parts of it, and some of those arguments have more weight than others, but in truth, these are secondary issues. Leviticus is about holiness and sacrifice, words that can only point to Jesus, for there’s no other place where these can be found. Leviticus is about Jesus, as much as the book of Mark is.
We’re still busy, which is good. Thank you for your prayers.