Leviticus, The Cost of Sin

A lamb standing on a footpath

Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. – Luke 24:27

We will continue our quest to discover some of the types, foreshadowings, and prophecies in the Old Testament which God created to point to Jesus. It’s been said that Genesis and Exodus are picture-books because they are full of “pictures” of Jesus and His works. Nearly everywhere we looked in those books we found Jesus. Now we are entering Leviticus. Some people are afraid to venture there. It’s as if Genesis and Exodus are “safe” places to excavate but to step into Leviticus is to step into danger.

There is a richness of detail in Leviticus, still, it’s like an avocado; it’s an acquired taste. If we simply read Leviticus without looking through time to gaze upon our Lord and Savior then Leviticus is challenging. However, when we learn the Truth behind the truths of this book then it springs alive and feeds our souls.

The Cost of Sin

Among other things, Leviticus tells us about the cost of sin. We begin to see that within the enumeration of the various sacrifices and offerings God is spiritually leading the children of Israel as well as physically leading them. We could say that Leviticus is God’s picture–book for the work of Jesus on the Cross because the sacrifices in this book point to “the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

I’ve heard people say, in disgust, that Christianity is a bloody religion. Well, underneath all of the wisdom, beauty, compassion, and love that we find in God’s Word, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). That the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). And without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22b). So, yes, we do rejoice in the sacrifice that God made upon the cross of Christ Jesus.

They All Point To Jesus

It is important to remember that all Old Testament sacrifices were mere shadows of the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross. And that the Old Testament sacrifices were worthless, in themselves. They were all I.O.U.s, waiting to be paid by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:10–14). Now you may well ask, why animal sacrifices? We can answer this from Leviticus 17:11:

For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make an atonement for your souls upon the altar, since it is the lifeblood that makes atonement.

A Deeper Revelation

Well, we’ve entered Leviticus but we haven’t traveled far and our excavation tools haven’t left our backpacks. Still, it’s crucial that we level-set our understanding of sacrifices before we dig into the unveiling that God does in this book. As we’ve seen, Genesis and Exodus provide context as to why the children of Israel are special. In Leviticus God shows more of Himself to the family of Jacob (Israel), and God unveils types, pictures, and foreshadowings of a future, perfect sacrifice.

Photo by Flavio Gasperini on Unsplash

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