On first read, these two passages seem far from similar. Yet, when read them beside each other, they hold two truths about our relationship with God and our spiritual journey.
First, each one of us is held accountable to our own decisions. Jesus’s parable in Matthew 25:1-13, shows us that just as each of the virgins were responsible for their own oil, each of us are responsible for how we use our time on this earth. When the foolish ones asked if they could use some of the wise women’s oil, the response was an emphatic “No!” This may seem harsh to us — shouldn’t we be generous and willing to share? But Jesus was illustrating something different: that no one can rely on someone else’s spirituality. We cannot rely on the faith of our parents, our church, or our friends. Similarly, the book of Leviticus is a reminder that we are held accountable for our own sins. No excuses or comparisons. The reality of a holy God in relationship with us is that we will each be held responsible for how we use our time and how we honor God.
Second, with the sacrifice of Jesus that took away our sins, we lose the need for a human mediator. It used to be that a priest was needed to stand in the gap between the sinner and God (Leviticus 5:10, 5:18, 6:7, 7:14). When Jesus died as the ultimate sacrifice, the curtain in the temple was broken between the holy of holies and the outer areas. In this single moment, everything changed. God’s children were now able to approach Him directly through Jesus Christ. We became able to walk alongside the bridegroom (Matthew 25:10). The contrast between the Old Testament restitution offerings and our relationship with Jesus in the New Testament is the beauty of the Bible in its entirety.
So I leave you to ponder these two questions: In what ways have you been relying on others in your faith journey or providing excuses for your sin? How can you move past those things and into a closer relationship with God?