Leviticus is one of the hardest books of the Bible to read, or at least it is for me (confession!), because who truly enjoys reading about the consequences of sin and a lot of dead animals? However, amongst the blood, death, fire, and burnt offerings- there is beauty in Leviticus, especially when read alongside the New Testament. The beauty comes in the realization that we now have Jesus. When we understand the context of the Old Testament with the revelation in the New Testament, we understand the weight of our sin and the hope that we have in Jesus.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” -Hebrews 4:14-16
When you read about the chief priests in Leviticus who served as the “middle men” between God and His people, let your heart rest on Jesus. He came as the ultimate middleman between you and Heaven (refer to Hebrews 4:14-16 above). Today we read about the events leading up to His crucifixion: He was betrayed, stood defenseless, was humiliated, rejected, and felt immense pain.
Have you been there? Certainly not to the extent that Jesus was, but we have all experienced those feelings in some form. Jesus gets it. He is not some separate chief priest who is high and lofty, but He knows your humanness and your pain. With that knowledge, we can have confidence in sharing our sorrows with Him and petitioning before His throne.
Theologian Tim Keller summarizes the crossroads between the Old Testament and the New Testament beautifully. “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”
When we read Leviticus, we realize how sinful we are before a perfect God. And when we read Matthew, we realize how loved we are that Jesus would die a horrific death to stand in our place.
Ask God to reveal to you what challenging situation or sin you are currently facing in your life. In light of the fact that Jesus was fully human and yet the all-powerful God, how does this change the way you approach your situation or sin?