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Reading through the book of Leviticus is downright hard. All the rules, regulations, sacrifices, and rituals seems so hard and hopeless to me. Do we have to follow Old Testament law today?
If you’re just joining us, today is day 8 of blogging through the Bible in 90 days here at Graceful Abandon and (more importantly) Day 8 of the Read The Bible in 90 Days challenge. If you want to jump in and start on your own, or play catch up, you’re welcome to join us by visiting the challenge page and signing up!
Old Testament Rules
It’s amazing that anyone managed to do it all, and yet they did for thousands of years. They really didn’t have any choice, if they believed in God and wanted to follow Him. Even His chosen priests had to carefully honor all of His structures, or face death.
…and the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.” ~Exodus 16:2, ESV
Aaron had just lost his two sons. Death by faulty offering. God was not messing around with these guidelines; it was literally life and death. Sin (and anyone who had sinned) absolutely could not enter His presence, nor could the wrong offering be presented.
Now God was warning Aaron so he wouldn’t die, as well. The presence of God is a fearsome place for someone who is not under His grace.
Do We Have to Follow Old Testament Law Today?
So where does that leave us? Is the Old Testament irrelevant. Jesus said He didn’t come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. What does that mean?
For century after century, God’s chosen people would sin and bring an offering to the Temple to find forgiveness for it. Priests dedicated their lives to presenting these offerings on behalf of the people before a Holy God.
Enter Jesus, the new and perfect High Priest. He didn’t abolish this standard, but He fulfilled it. He was the final High Priest.
And now the message is different.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~Hebrews 4:16, ESV
So different than during the Old Covenant! Instead of being warned away from the Holy Place, we are beckoned in. That veil that Aaron dould not pass through? That’s the one that was wrent from top to bottom when Jesus died on the cross.
The blood Jesus shed? It replaced every single sacrifice outlined in the book of Leviticus. The only things God wants from us today are our love, a contrite heart, and our faith. That’s it. No more burnt offerings or grain offerings or rituals of any kind.
Instead, He wants communion with us. He wants us to approach Him boldly. The invitation is for intimacy and to recieve the mercy and grace He lavishes on those He loves (hint: that’s YOU!).
Honoring the Old While Living in the New
What Jesus modeled for us, my sweet friend, is how to honor the Old Testament while living under the New Covenant.
Jesus never voided the Old Testament, but rather fulfilled it. Not murdering people is no longer the standard; not hating loving them is. Not committing adultery is no longer the standard; not lusting is. Not working on the Sabbath is no longer the standard; resting in Him is.
And not entering His presence for fear of death is no longer the reality for His people; coming boldly to the Throne of Grace is!
Check out the video below to discuss this a bit more.