This is where we fall off the Bible-reading wagon, isn’t it!? Leviticus. And yet, you are still here?
Well done.👏👏

Leviticus can seem like a cumbersome book to read and may leave us with many questions about God. There is little in our Western current reality and worldview that would help us understand this book. But when we do a little work to peel all the things that would hinder us from understanding it – Leviticus is actually quite a powerful book. It’s God inviting his people to be set apart – holy. God takes a group of slaves and takes the time to outline how they should live in a way that points out that they are set apart. 

I would take a moment to watch this overview of Leviticus from the Bible Project. 

Here’s key insight into God’s heart in this:

Lev 18:30 – Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.

God is saying to them, “Don’t do what everyone else is doing – in this new covenant that I’m inviting you into – this is what it will look like to be my people.” 

So as we read Leviticus, may we appreciate all the ways God is calling us to be set apart or holy today. All the ways he’s inviting us to live differently as His people. The purpose of God’s invitation to Israel was so that they could model what it would look like to follow God and that the nations would be blessed through them. I always remember what my Old Testament professor Chester Wood used to say – the idea was that the neighboring countries would watch Israel and be drawn in to ask – Who is your God?

Today we are afraid of being canceled or seen as prudish or backward if we live according to how God is inviting us to. However, as we look at post-Christian environments – the beauty of the Christian witness isn’t relevance but holiness. Relevance invites us to begin to look like everyone else and in the process we lose our witness, as we lose what sets us apart. 

But when we nestle into what God is calling us to and begin to live in a way that honors him, our lives are formed by something different and those around us have cause to ask – who is your God?

Understanding all the children of Israel had to do as outlined in Leviticus – makes the arrival of Jesus so much more potent and powerful. This is what needed to happen for them to be set apart, the sacrifices needed to happen for them to approach God and for them to be forgiven for their sin. 

But with Jesus’ arrival – he replaced the need for the continuous blood sacrifices. He took all our sin to the cross – once and for all. He said, “It is finished.” At his death the veil at the temple was torn – we now have access to God and it’s easy to take it for granted. 

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About the Author: Mutheu Esilaba
Mutheu has loved Jesus since she was a little girl. Born and raised in a Christian family in Nairobi, Kenya, she felt a call to ministry as a teen and worked with students for many years. Mutheu has a deep passion for people to know God and see the world through God's heart for it. Mutheu holds a Master's Degree in Christian Educational Studies from Africa International University and has been ministering to students for 24 years. Mutheu and her husband, Albo, (our Ann Arbor Campus Pastor) have three boys. Mutheu, her husband, and three boys have been at 2|42 since 2019.

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