When my wife and I put our youngest daughter to bed, she likes things done in a certain order. First my wife will pray with her and say goodnight. Only then can I come in and do the same. For some reason, it just does not work if we change places.
In today’s reading, the priests have gone through a seven-day ordination ceremony. On the eighth day, they are now ready to begin their ministry (v. 1). You will notice a great deal of precision in this book, this portion focuses on the order of the first sacrifices.
Moses instructs Aaron and the priests to first sacrifice a sin offering and burnt offering for themselves (v. 2). Only then could they offer the sin and burnt offerings for the people (v. 7). The order of the sacrifices teaches an important principle: Leaders need to first take care of their own relationship with God before they can lead others (Acts 20:28).
After the sacrifices for atonement were offered, the fellowship offering could be given (v. 18). To be in right relationship with God requires that our sin is atoned for. As we have seen throughout the book, these sacrifices pointed forward to the greater and permanent sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. The only reason anyone can be in right relationship with God is because He provided a way for us.
God demonstrated His approval of this worship service through the appearance of His glory in the sight of all the people. Fire came out from the Most Holy Place and consumed the offering. When “the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people,” their reaction was immediate: they “shouted for joy and fell facedown” (vv. 23, 24).
>> Leviticus reminds us that our sacrifices to God not only have to be offered they also have to be accepted. Praise God today that He accepted Jesus as the permanent and perfect sacrifice for our sin. This gives us reason to shout for joy and worship (v. 24)!
Thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ for substituting His blood for ours! Your blood gives us secure hope, driving purpose, patience in suffering, comfort in loss, and never-ending fellowship with You!