My best friend from Jr.High School was Jewish. I remember her family celebrating things like Yom-Kippur and Hanukkah. I remember them praying and singing in Hebrew, fasting, and making weird food on Friday nights. I remember going to temple with her, and feeling so religious, so close to God even though I had no idea what their Rabbi was saying or why they read their bibles in the wrong direction.
Now I study through Leviticus and I see. I see how devout they were. I see why they practiced their traditions so closely. I see what Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur meant to them (it wasn’t just a funny word or weird holiday). I also see why I was allowed to watch and not fully participate. I was there, but not really invited.
You know what else I see?
I see Christ and I recognize that through the cross, as a Gentile (not a Jew), I not only get invited in, I get grafted in.
I read through Leviticus with new eyes . . . eyes that appreciate what my Jewish friend’s family showed me, but eyes that see beyond just tradition . . . eyes that see Jesus, the Holy root. The one who came to fulfill the law. The One whom these traditions, celebrations, feasts, offerings, all foreshadowed.
See for yourself. Look at the words that were repeated or stated in this book:
In place of
Bear his iniquity
Washed with water
Inside the veil
Do you see Him too?
Jesus is all of these things. He is our High Priest, He is our offering, His blood is our atonement, a pleasing aroma, God’s firstfruits, He is our sacrifice, His death is in place of ours, He bore our iniquity, our flesh was unclean, He washed us with Living Water, restored us, consecrated us, sanctified us, invites us to dwell in the Holy place, tore the veil, redeemed us, blessed us in the New Covenant.
Jesus is all over Leviticus. Thankful to see, and thankful to be grafted in . . .
“Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” (Hebrews 7:26)
“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.”