For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11).
Part 2 of 2. Leviticus is one of the most neglected books in the Bible. It is full of arcane laws that most Christians ignore and pastors hide from preaching. But Leviticus is beautiful when understood.
The myriad of laws in Leviticus reveal with great clarity that man is incapable of living according to God’s character and standard. We fail miserably to live in obedience to Him and in harmony with each other. However, the primary purpose of the Bible is to reveal Jesus in the midst of a sinful world, and Leviticus puts Jesus on display as the means of being made right with God.
Through a series of blood sacrifices, God promised to cover over sin. The blood of animals could never forgive sin (Heb 10:4), but all that blood and death of animals was symbolic of God’s provision of His own Son as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Forgiveness is possible because life is in the blood … the blood of Jesus. Man’s failure is swallowed up in God’s love through the death of Christ Jesus.
Paul wrote: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal 2:20).
Sin requires death, and there are many ways to die. But it is impossible to crucify yourself. The Bible says that Jesus was crucified on our behalf to pay the debt our sin created. By faith, we believe God’s promise that Christ’s death paid the penalty for our every failure. In a sense, when Jesus was crucified, we were crucified with Him. The One who loved us gave Himself for us and the shedding of His blood is life for us.
The laws of Leviticus shine a light on man’s sinfulness, God’s holiness, and anticipates Jesus as the blood-Redeemer whom the Father would provide.