In the unit titled Design for Right Living the book of Leviticus is split into three sections. The first section is “Do Right When You Do Wrong (Leviticus 1:1-16:34).” I think the only way to handle such a large section is to refer to an overview outline from Dr. Hamilton and relate sacrfices to Christ and describe how we should sacrifice today.
So despite saying an outline would not be forthcoming, here’s an outline (though not of my own creation):
- Sacrifices (1-7)
- Priests (8-10)
- Holiness (11-15)
- Day of Atonement (16)
Rather than jump into application by looking at “Do Right When You Do Wrong” I hope to briefly and clearly explain the significance of the sacrifices. The sacrifices of the Old Testament were commanded by God. They were an obligation for the people. Sacrifices did not save people. God commanded that sacrifices and offerings be made and promised atonement would be given through them (ex. 1:4, 14:29). The people first had to believe God, that He would grant them atonement, and then offer the sacrifices in faith. For we know from Hosea 6:6 that God orders sacrifice as less important than steadfast love and knowledge of the LORD, “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” The steadfast love for the LORD and the knowledge of Him should have driven them to obedience, which partly involved offering sacrifices. But we know now that Jesus fulfilled all the sacrifices commanded and did even more than the sacrifices could because He permanently removed the consciousness/guilt of sin that animal sacrifices could not remove (Hebrews 10:1-10).
So today we take confidence in Christ who has made us right with God, being sacrificed for our sins, living in holiness in our place, and being our great High Priest who has made Himself the way into the most holy place that we may live eternally there with God (not just visit for a day). So what has become of the sacrifices? In one way it is exactly the same as it was for the Israelites. They offered their sacrifices by faith that God would keep His word. We offer our sacrifices by faith that God did keep His word through the work of Jesus Christ. Sacrifice is how we worship God and show our love for Him,
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
So when you do wrong, yes, do right and confess your sins (1 John 1:9) but also continually offer your body as a living sacrifice. When you read Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” don’t think that the works God has prepared for you are easy. They are sacrifices, things which draw the life out of your sinful body and cause you to put your confidence in Christ alone for only He is able to get you through the things that you are truly called by God to do as a living sacrifice!