In church, we like to talk about what we were saved from. We were saved from sin and God’s judgment. But we don’t often stop to ask, “What were we saved for?” What has God called us to? The Bible from beginning to end describes how we were created to be in relationship with God and dwell in His presence.
The end of Exodus (40:34–38) describes the cloud which represented the glory of God, filling the tabernacle (v. 34). This cloud would lead Israel through their journey to the Promised Land (v. 36). But there was a problem. God is holy and pure and cannot dwell among sinful people. How then could He dwell with Israel? After Israel’s sin with the golden calf, God told Moses, “Go up to [the] land...but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people” (Ex. 33:3). But Moses would not accept that answer, and God agreed to continue to dwell with Israel (Ex. 33:12–16).
However, for God to dwell among His people, He needed a way for their sin to be atoned and for His holiness to be protected. Israel would become like the burning bush, having the fire of God’s presence in their midst but not being consumed by it. The sacrifices and offerings outlined in great detail in Leviticus taught Israel about sin and God’s holiness. They would show them, and us, how precious it is to be in fellowship with God.
The New Testament draws from the language and teaching of Leviticus. When we better understand the Old Testament view of sin and the requirements for sacrifice, we will better appreciate what Jesus achieved on the cross.
>> What were you saved from? What are you saved for? As we begin this study of Leviticus, reflect on those two questions. It is our prayer that you will grow in your understanding of and relationship to our holy God.
Lord, to know You is to comprehend holiness; to comprehend holiness is to fear You; to fear You is to revere You; to revere You is to love You. You saved us from what we deserve so we could love and glorify You.