God is Holy, Righteous AND Full of Grace!
Leviticus is going to be new territory for most of us. There will be times it will be intensely uncomfortable — so much so, we might have to have “children’s church” on a few Sundays, we’ll see. I know that I am so excited about the study and preparation of this book. I’ve never taught through Leviticus. I may have never preached a single message from this book. That’s one thing I love about being privileged to serve as a teaching pastor, I get to learn all the time (sometimes the hard way).
Leviticus is largely a book about God’s holiness displayed through righteous requirements of the Law and feasts that were used to commemorate His holiness AND His grace. See, with all of God’s righteous requirements, His people have never been able to keep the Law any more than we can. So, we have instructions on The Day of Atonement, where God’s righteous requirements come face-to-face with God’s righteous grace. He makes sacrificial provision for sin to be wiped out among His own.
He is ALWAYS Holy. This means that in His grace He cannot merely dismiss sin. He must judge it to it’s fullest and something (or someONE) has to die to atone (pay for) the sin. This insures that God is Holy and righteous while still being full of grace. Our religious world is full of people that say, “Well, surely God wouldn’t….” (just fill in the blanks). Read Leviticus and you know that He sure would! Why? Because He is Holy!
Leviticus will reveal our sinfulness in shocking detail. In fact, most people (especially children), do not realize the weight of their sin until they’ve understand the consequence it deserves. To see God as Holy demands a right view of self, and our radical inadequacy to do anything for ourselves to be pleasure to this Holy God. What are we left with then? What is our hope if the Law proves we are hope-less?
19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:19-24 (ESV)