“Exodus closes with the glory of the Lord filling the tabernacle that His people built. Proper response to God’s presence is worship. Through Leviticus God instructs His people in how He is to be worshiped. Leviticus continues a major theme of Exodus—that God is holy and His people are to be holy. This manual of worship is highly detailed but makes clear that details are important to God. Leviticus gives instructions on the consecration of priests and clearly demonstrates the consequences of not worshiping God as He instructs. Although Israel has been set apart as God’s people, they are still a sinful people. Leviticus provides numerous pictures of how sinful human beings can commune with a holy God. Sacrifice is a pivotal concept in Israel’s worship. The purpose of the Israelite sacrificial system was twofold—to offer a gift to God and to effect atonement. The word “atonement” addresses the need for reconciliation in the disturbed relationship between God and humans brought about by sin. The need for atonement is necessitated by the universality of sin, the seriousness of sin, and humanity’s inability to remove or deal with sin. The word “atonement” is closely related to and frequently occurs in context with the prominent theological terms “forgiveness” and “reconciliation.” It specifically addresses the need for removal of sin (expiation) in order to effect reconciliation with God. Jesus focused on the motivation underlying the sacrificial act and taught that the offering was only acceptable to God when the worshiper’s devotion was genuinely heartfelt. The Old Testament sacrifices to God were types of the ultimate, climactic sacrifice made by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. His sacrifice can never be repeated and now the most desirable sacrifice that anyone, rich or poor, can bring to God is a consecrated life.” (HCSB)

The restitution offering is like the sin offering; the law is the same for both. It belongs to the priest who makes atonement with it. The blood is the most holy element of the sacrifice and, as the means of atonement. The priest will burn this memorial portion of it on the altar, a fire offering of a pleasing aroma to the LORD, the holiest part of the fire offerings to the LORD. The burnt offering foreshadows the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Paul had the burnt offering in mind in Romans 12:1-2—the believer is to present himself entirely just as the burnt offering was entirely consumed on the altar. Fire must be kept burning on the altar continually; it must not go out. God appeared as fire in passages as well as on four other occasions, God sent fire to consume a burnt offering.

2:13, “You are to season each of your grain offerings with salt; you must not omit from your grain offering the salt of the covenant with your God. You are to present salt with each of your offerings.” (Salt, used as a preservative, is a symbol of the permanence of the covenant.)

The Holy Spirit puts a fire in our souls. Our offering of the fire is pleasing to the LORD. Today, we give fire offerings with salt by putting God first and allowing Him to use us as tools for His purposes. We put Him first by reading and meditating on His word daily, participating in Church and Bible study weekly, and always LISTENING and talking to Him in prayer. By putting this into practice in our lives, our faces will glow as Moses’ face glowed when he saw God. When we have that glow, the non-believers will wonder what we have and will ask how they can have what we have.

Jami Smith (Salt and Light):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd_gnvnAV8U

All the impurities dealt with in chapter 15 threatened the purity of the sanctuary. 15:2—“When any man has a discharge from his body, he is unclean.” For further clarification of this passage, the verse refers to discharges resulting from illness or infection, in addition to menstruation and seminal emissions. While these regulations may have involved personal hygiene, their main concern is the holiness of the worshiper. In 15:31, we read, “You must keep the Israelites from their uncleanness, so that they do not die by defiling My tabernacle that is among them.

16:29-31, “…you are to practice self-denial and do no work, both the native and the foreigner who resides among you. Atonement will be made for you on this day to cleanse you, and you will be clean from all your sins before the LORD. It is a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must practice self-denial; it is a permanent statute.” Practicing self-denial consists of fasting, abstinence from food and drink, bathing, use of oil on the body, wearing leather shoes and sexual intercourse and replacing the mentioned items by prayers of penance as a person seeks God for forgiveness. The only difference for a Christian in practicing self-denial is the fact that we know that we have already been forgiven, so we pray in gratitude and ask what His will is for our lives and listen intently for His answer to be given.

The book of Leviticus lists so many different offenses where there are basically two types of punishment for them, which are exile or death. 18:30, “You must keep My instruction to not do any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you, so that you do not defile yourselves by them; I am the LORD your God.” 20:26, “You are to be holy to Me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be Mine.” 19:17, “You must not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor directly, and you will not incur guilt because of him. Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.” According to the eminent Rabbi Akiba, the expression “love your neighbor as yourself” is a central principle in the Torah. In 19:27, God says that, “You are not to cut off the hair at the sides of your head or mar the edge of your beard.” Tearing out the hair of one’s beard, as well as of the head, was a custom associated with mourning over the dead. Basically, God is telling the people to leave their “comfort zones” and ultimately not to spend too much time mourning over the dead. He wants us to continue living our lives for Him. 19:33, “When a foreigner lives with you in your land, you must not oppress him. You must regard the foreigner who lives with you as the native-born among you. You are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.” I am glad to be a Christian, where the punishment has already been paid. Jesus was exiled by the people with so many rejections, and ultimately was put to death. Three days later, He rose again and conquered the grave, so that in whoever believes in Him may not perish, but have life everlasting.

In regards to 24:10-14, Blasphemy brings guilt on those who hear it as well as on the blasphemer. To rid themselves of this guilt, the hearers had to lay their hands on the blasphemer’s head. Today, if a Christian were to lay their hands on someone else’s head, then the Christian is taking a great risk of physical pain. However, if a Christian were to ask to lay their hands, maybe not on the head, but rather on another’s shoulder’s, arms, or hands, then that would make a huge impact. Spencer Michael Free wrote: “Tis the human touch in this world that counts, The touch of your hand and mine, Which means far more to the fainting heart Than shelter and bread and wine; For shelter is gone when the night is o’er, And bread lasts only a day, But the touch of the hand and the sound of the voice Sing on in the soul always…”

26:10-13, “…you will clear out the old to make room for the new. I will place My residence among you, and I will not reject you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be My people. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to live in freedom.” People who do not study, or at the very least, read, the Old Testament, they would have this twisted perception that there is nothing but rules and names. Yes, there are rules and a large amount of names in the Old Testament, but there is so much more. This passage in chapter 26 is an amazing example. God is always making new, and in order for Him to perform new tasks in our lives, we must first clear out the old with His help by accepting Him in our hearts. God never rejects anyone and He wants us to be free from the slavery of sin. I know from experience that sin puts a strong bondage on a person that is impossible to escape by one’s self. God can free us from such bondage and give us freedom and give us a light yoke. As a reference, “yoke” is another term for “weight”. When God says that His yoke is light, He is telling us that even though we will still have weight to carry with the troubles of this world, He will be there with us helping us carry the weight.