Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday, April 11th: Leviticus 15-16, Hebrews 11:20-40

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Leviticus 15-16; Hebrews 11:20-40

Chapter 15 ensured that the Israelites would separate sexual intimacy from worship, unlike the pagan religions around them.

Chapter 16 discusses the Day of Atonement.  So many things we can learn from this chapter!  The book of Hebrews discusses how Jesus is superior.  Jesus is superior to Aaron.  He is a better high priest.  He is a better mediator.  He is the perfect sacrifice.

The Day of Atonement did a few things - it cleansed the temple itself so that God's presence could continue to dwell with the Israelites, and it temporarily covered the sins of the Israelites.  Both of these things were only done perfectly in Jesus Christ.

Even with the Day of Atonement, only the High Priest had access to God's presence and even that was veiled by a cloud of incense and limited to one day a year after following explicit instructions.  With the perfect sacrifice of Jesus, the veil was torn and all believers now have complete and full access to God - which we will only experience in true perfection in heaven.

Our Hebrews 11 chapter (one of my favourites!) discusses the faith of the OT saints.  Considering their limited revelation their faith is astounding and incredibly courageous.

The courage of faith isn't always to conquer the seemingly impossible, but to continue in suffering.  "they refused to be released" implies that the torture could have stopped if they had recanted. But they didn't.  They would rather suffer torture to the point of death than deny their God. And what gave them encourage was focussing on eternity instead of this present and short life.

Just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they knew that God COULD save them, but they didn't know whether or not He WOULD.  But it didn't matter to them, they would not reject their God no matter what happened.   He is always glorified in that type of faith.

 Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Leviticus 17-18; Hebrews 12


Conrad said...

I found today's NT passage to be very encouraging reading the references of faith demonstrated in the Bible by various people.

They were all focused on God and his promises as opposed to their own selfish desires. A great reminder for me to do the same.

Pamela said...

One of the things I thought of when I read Leviticus, was that Aaron had just lost 2 of his sons when he heard the instructions from his brother about the Day of Atonement was going to play out. I wonder if the loss of his two sons influenced Aaron's attention to detail when the instructions were given by Moses. This made me think of my own children....our oldest daughter just turned 18. In the eyes of the law, she is an adult. However, we hope that many of the ideals and values that we have tried to teach her in the last 18 years do influence her future choices and decisions. I'm sure Aaron had similar aspirations for his sons. The reality is that we are all each responsible for our own actions. No one else will answer for us and hold us accountable for what we do. No one else can save us when we choose to slack off or walk away. We are on our own.