I AM THE LORD.
In Leviticus 22 and 23, God tells Moses this phrase eleven times. In a lengthy and occasionally dull book like Leviticus, it’s easy to just read without paying much attention. It’s difficult for us today to understand the detailed cultural laws that the Lord commanded to the Israelites. I mean, how is it relevant for me to know what to do if you eat a sacred offering by mistake (Leviticus 22:14) or that it was required to live in booths for seven days (Leviticus 23:42) during the Feast of Tabernacles?
At the end of every long command God reminds Moses, “I am the Lord your God”. All of these instructions are not for God’s benefit, but for the Israelites’ benefit! God commanded them to give their very best – to “not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf” (Lev. 22:20). For hundreds of years, God instructed His people to provide sinless sacrifices, so that later on in the New Testament God could give His sinless sacrifice on their behalf – His Son, Jesus.
In the beginning of Mark, we see another servant of the Lord who wants to do what God asks of him, John the Baptist. Living as lowly as one could imagine, John gave his life to remind God’s people, “I am the Lord your God” and that their sacred offerings would soon be pointless.
Let us praise God for the gift of Jesus! We don’t have to memorize sacrificial rituals or worry about our atonement because we have a skin disease (Lev. 22:4-8). Thank Him for the Cross and praise Him for His death! Rejoice with John in John 1:29, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”