A Helpful Reminder for the Dull Heart

God has recently rekindled awe in my heart over the reality-shifting truth that has existed for centuries: a Holy God desires to live with sinful people so much that He does whatever it takes to dwell with them without compromising His holiness or making an excuse for their sinfulness. This is not new news for the Christian, but as humans, we can become dull and untouched by these radical truths. Does your awe of the Gospel need reviving? Love of God need widening? Repentance need awakening? Then behold these three realities from Leviticus and be refreshed with me.

Behold that God is Holy

If there is any attribute of God that encompasses all else and tops the list of what makes God God, it is His holiness. However, if there were to be a quality of God that we often understand the least... it's also His holiness.

Holiness is simply the altogether uniqueness and otherness of God from everything else. God is the creative force behind the whole universe; the one and only being that has the power to bring a world into being and create life. He is the definition of goodness and purity. In fact, He is so good and so pure that it actually poses a danger to anyone in proximity that is not of this same nature.

In Isaiah 6:5, the prophet Isaiah when found in God's presence says, "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

At the end of Exodus, God cannot meet with Moses in His holy presence because of the consequence of the Israelites idolatry. Sin cannot be swept under the rug or go unnoticed to a Holy God.

See that we are Sinful

When we behold the glory of God in His holiness, we are forced to acknowledge our true state, that we are altogether not holy. It's not that we fail to be like him in some ways, rather we miss the mark of holiness every time, altogether. Romans 3:23 says, "we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Seeing ourselves clearly will recalibrate our hearts to the vast chasm our sin creates between us and a Holy God.

God desires to dwell with his people, yet sin cannot dwell in the presence of a Holy God if He is to remain holy. Thus we are left with this desperate question: How can God reconcile a sinful people to His holy self?

Behold that God has made a Way Then and Now

You might be wondering at this point, ‘What does Leviticus have to do with all of this?" "How does a book full of rules reveal anything" Well, God desires to live with His people so much that He outlines exactly what needs to happen in order for this hope to become a reality! It is to this end, that the book of Leviticus was made.

These rituals and laws were only made to be a temporary and external fix that pointed to the need for a permanent and internal solution to our sin problem. We, on this side of the cross, see that God's plan was to send His own son as a perfect and blameless sacrifice for sinful people. Jesus was the pure one that came in place of the impure Israelites and us. He was the final solution to the problem of a holy God dwelling with an unholy people. Jesus atoned (paid for) His people's sin once and for all, eliminating the need for a continual sacrificial system set up for a time in Leviticus and fulfilling the payment for eternity.

"But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption." - Hebrews 9:11-12

When we behold God's holiness, our hearts are warmed in awe that of course, He alone is due our worship. When we clearly see our sin in light of His holiness, we have no choice but to repent of our misdirection and foolishness in thought that our cost for rebellion ‘isn't a big deal'. Finally, when we stop and reflect that God has moved mountains to be with us, our eyes are overwhelmed at the sight of a God who remains uncompromisingly just and righteous pursuing us in unmatched compassion and love.

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