One really good thing about following a systematic Bible reading plan is that it forces me to read books of the Bible that I wouldn’t necessarily gravitate toward.
Like Leviticus. Seriously. For me, reading Leviticus is sort of like reading the phone book…without all the excitement.
But the Psalmists rejoiced in reading scriptures like Leviticus.
Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97
When they talked about “your law,” they really meant The Law. Leviticus wasn’t a boring old phone book to them; it was a delight! That challenges my own thinking on the subject.
The past two times I’ve read through the books of the Law, I’ve been struck by them in a new way. It isn’t that I’ve suddenly started “delighting” in them, but they’ve caused me to delight in Jesus and the work He did on the cross. The Law teaches us the truth about ourselves and the truth about God’s grace.
In reading Leviticus, I am struck by the weight of sin and the burden of redemption. God doesn’t take sin lightly, and the lists of offenses and the required sacrificial payments are enough to make my head spin. As a natural rule-follower, sin and the necessary payment both feel burdensome.
And yet, as one living under the new covenant, I cannot fully understand or know either weight because Jesus carried both burdens for me.
He became sin – my sin – and He was righteousness – my righteousness. He made Himself to be both the sinner and the sacrifice, the wretch and the Redeemer. I need not carry the weight of either role.
That is grace!
I could not carry the full weight of my sin – it would crush me! And I could not bear the burden of my deserved punishment – it crushed Jesus. Praise God that I am free from carrying either one. I am free…I am free indeed!
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21