Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 23 - Leviticus 15

Today's reading in our daily plan is Leviticus 15. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The theme of what made a person unclean continues, dealing with a man becoming unclean caused by bodily discharge (probably referring to diarrhea or urethral discharge) or emission of semen, and a woman becoming unclean caused by her monthly period or lengthy hemorrhaging.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Now might be a good time to make sure we understand that we no longer live in the old covenant. A covenant is like an agreement or a contract. God set up an agreement in the Old Testament with the people of Israel. But God promised (in the Old Testament) that He would establish a new covenant (see Jeremiah 31:31-34), and then in the New Testament, on the night before his crucifixion, Jesus announced that it had come (see Luke 22:20). The reason the old covenant (that we're reading about in Leviticus) didn't work, and why a new covenant is necessary, is explained in Hebrews 8, ending by announcing that the old covenant is now obsolete. How is that possible? It's because we must be pure before God, and in the old covenant the ways we're reading about in Leviticus (ritual purity, animal sacrifices offered when purity wasn't achieved) were the only ways. But when Jesus came a new way to be pure before God, by putting your faith in the death of Jesus and the blood he shed on the cross to make you pure before God (read Hebrews 9:11-28). One way the way the Bible puts it is "the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Throughout the New Testament we read about Jewish people who became Christians, but had difficulty accepting the fact that Jesus' death alone made them pure before God. Thus they were tempted to go back to the old covenant, or to add the laws of the old covenant to their faith in Jesus. In one of those times, Paul writes, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Reading a book like Leviticus helps us to get a better understanding of the history of God's dealings with people, and to gain a better appreciation of what Jesus did for us. We should be incredibly grateful that we no longer live in the old covenant. Spend some time thanking Jesus for coming for you, and dying for you, so you could live in freedom.