Last weekend at Awaken, I taught the first message in a 5-part series called “Premeditated.” We’re looking at the death of Jesus Christ as we gear up for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The point of the series is to discuss that Jesus’ death was no accident – it was premeditated – thought through and planned in advance.
One thing we discussed last weekend was the clothing that God made for Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:21 from the skin of an animal. We talked about how that was a very practical illustration of sin and forgiveness. After all, Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. Sin earns death. Death is sin’s pay check. An animal had to give its life to cover Adam & eve’s sin and shame.
For the last few mornings, I’ve been reading Leviticus for my time with the Lord (don’t eat before reading it, if you have a weak stomach). I’m struck (as I always am when I read through this graphic, bloody book) with the gory reminder of the consequences of sin. The first few chapters are all about how to kill the animals, what to do with their blood, their entrails, their fat, and other disgusting things that make most people shudder. We’re going to talk more about the bloody sacrifice of Christ at our Good Friday service, but I just wanted to share a few thoughts I had about it all.
Hebrews 4:14 calls Jesus our Great High Priest. He’s Great not just because He’s awesome but because He’s better than all the other High Priests who ever lived. No high priest ever measured up to Jesus. One thing that stood out to me in Leviticus about this sacrificial system is that not only does Jesus play the part of High Priest, presenting the sacrifice for atonement and forgiveness to God, but He also plays the part of the lamb being offered to God.
Not only did He present the offering to God, but He was the offering that was presented!
His death was premeditated. This whole gory, graphic, bloody, violent system of sacrifice described in Leviticus simply pointed to Christ. One day He would not only present the offering to God for us, but He’d become the offering that God required! Incredible!
Stay tuned tomorrow for a few more thoughts on Leviticus. It’s gory and graphic, but it’s also very God-glorifying!