Vayikra (He Called)
This week we begin the book of Vayikra, or Leviticus. For many, this is a book to speed read or read with the attitude of getting through it and into Numbers. While I will agree there are many things about this book we may not understand, it is sometimes the small details which can make all the difference.
We open this book with instructions for bringing an offering to the Tabernacle. This is where the majority of people's eyes glass over and say this has nothing to do with me for there is not a Tabernacle, Temple, or offerings in our day. So start the speed read and maybe it will be over soon. Right? Wrong! In these first verses is a concept Scripture is trying to teach us. It is a concept which, if we miss, makes all Scripture null and void to us. The concept? It has to be personal.
Take a look at Leviticus 1:4. What are the words which define the verse? The words are He and Him. These words make the sacrifice personal. Let's look further.
When a person brought an animal to be sacrificed, they were not to simply bring it to the gate of the Tabernacle and hand it off to the priest and let him do all the work. The priest was there to assist the person in the proper manner of the sacrifice. The person who brought the sacrifice was to place his hands on the head of the animal. He then had to take the knife and cut the throat of the animal. This was a picture of the man acknowledging the guilt of his own sin, placing his sin upon the animal, and shedding the blood of the animal as a substitute for his own sin. Only if all of this was present was the sacrifice deemed acceptable unto Yah. After the sacrifice was finished, he and his family would then partake in a part of the meat of the animal. Literally, they would be receiving life because of anther's death.
As a side note, it is recorded that most people could not go through with the sacrifice and the priest would have to step in and help. It is said that it was not unusual to see grown men laying prostrate on the ground of the Outer Court, weeping, for they understood the meaning of their actions and their sin being transferred to an innocent animal.
What is this at the beginning of Leviticus? It is a picture of Yeshua. How appropriate, as we are preparing for Passover.
Today we do not bring a sacrifice of a lamb to a Tabernacle, but the picture has not changed. Today we bring our lives and acknowledge our guilt and sin. We then lay it all on The Innocent Lamb, Yeshua. He in turn has taken the guilt and penalty for our sin with His death as the Passover Lamb. Thank Yah it does not end there.
In Ancient Israel the lamb would be eaten and would give life to the earthly body. The lamb however remained dead. Yeshua did not remain dead, but was resurrected so we could partake in His body and receive spiritual life.
It all goes back to the words he and him. The sacrifices of old had to be personal, and so it is today. The receiving of forgiveness and the life He brings also has to be personal. We can not lay our parents, grandparents, spouse or siblings hand upon Yeshua, we must lay our own. We must each come to him, acknowledging our sin and guilt. We must each acknowledge, “It was I who drove the nails in His hands and feet, it was I who placed the spear in His side. It was I who sent Him to the stake. It is I who caused innocence to be put to death. It is also I who take of His blood, take of His flesh. It is I who have received life for I am resurrected with Him.”
As we prepare for the upcoming Passover, let us not forget the reason for The Lamb, for He must first be personal.