Daily Bible: Leviticus 7-8

Lev. 7:2, They are to slaughter the guilt offering in the place where they slaughter the burnt offering, and its blood is to be splashed against all sides of the altar. (CJB)

Leviticus is just plain bloody. The blood of the guilt offering plays a dual role here. It is to be splashed against all sides of the altar, just as our guilt splashes across every part of our lives. The blood serves as a messy reminder of the omni-presence of our guilt. But there is a redemptive word here that is just as universal in scope. For there is no area of life his blood cannot cover, no place where our guilt is beyond the reach of his cleansing. The blood is splashed on all sides of the altar as a forerunner of the one whose blood flows freely in every direction.

The blood is a reminder of the totality of our guilt and the totality of his redemption.

Lev. 7:19-20, Meat which touches something unclean is not to be eaten but burned up completely. As for the meat, everyone who is clean may eat it; but a person in a state of uncleanness who eats any meat from the sacrifice of peace offerings made to ADONAI will be cut off from his people. (CJB)

Repeatedly throughout this part of Leviticus, the punishment for uncleanness is announced: and he shall be cut off from his people. As beings created in and for community, this is the most severe punishment. An Israelite could know no greater shame than to be cut off from his people because of uncleanness. But there is an inversion to this as well: being cut off from one’s people can easily lead to uncleanness.

In the biblical story, it’s telling that the evil one approaches Eve to tempt her only when she is isolated. The same holds true of the temptation narratives in the Gospels. The tempter confronts Jesus in the wilderness, with no one else around. And we know this to be true in our lives as well. The evil one does his best work when he can cut us off from our own people.

Lev. 8:30, Moshe took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar and sprinkled it on Aharon and his clothing, and on his sons with him and their clothing, and consecrated Aharon and his clothing together with his sons and their clothing. (CJB)

The ordination ceremony for Aaron and his sons helps us appreciate the special role of Jesus as the mediator of our sins. At 8:10-13, Moses anoints Aaron and his sons with oil, consecrating them and setting them apart for ministry. This, of course, is paralleled in the life of Jesus, who was anointed with the Holy Spirit at his baptism. Much like the priests of old, this anointing serves as a consecration, an act of being “set apart” for service to YHWH.

But Aaron and his sons were later anointed again at 8:30, this time with both oil and blood. This shadows what will take place on the cross, as Jesus receives a crown of thorns and a striped back, nails through his hands and a spear to his side. This anointing by blood affirms what the writer of Hebrews would later say about Jesus as our Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14).

This entry was posted in Devotional, God, Jesus, Scripture, Theology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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