Leviticus 20:2, 6 “Any man from the sons of Israel…who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death…As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists…I will set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”

Observation: Through fully three chapters I am told in detail what the people had to do to avoid sinning in God’s eyes. A variety of sinful behavior is listed, with the punishment always the same: being cut off, killed, separated.

Application: To be unclean before God meant separation from Him and from His people. And, depending upon the severity of the sin, the penalty was death. In dozens of passages, God reminds me that He is holy, and He requires that I be holy too if I am to live in His presence.

And so, dozens of times, He tells me how to achieve holiness or cleanness. He tells what kind of sacrifice to make for various kinds of sin—how to kill the animal—when its flesh was to be burned and when it could be eaten—who could eat it, and even whether there could be leftovers for the following day. He said what was to be done with the blood, the bones, the fat, and the entrails, and if they got it wrong, they were sinning again!

Be holy! Be perfect! Do this this way. Do that that way! Be perfect, for I am holy! What an overwhelming, impossible set of rules to keep! And then there comes this wonderful statement in Leviticus 22:19, “For you to be accepted, it [the sacrifice] must be a male without defect.”

What a thrilling foreshadowing of the sinless, perfect Son of God, who set aside His divinity to come to the earth so He could become my ultimate sacrifice, perfect and blameless, once and for all paying for my sin with His blood and His broken body.

Without Him I would be reduced to rummaging through the muck of thousands of cattle, sheep, and goats, desperately searching for one whose perfection might finally set me free. Think of it! Think how radically different and how utterly hopeless life would be without Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross!

Prayer: Father, You knew that the blood of bulls and goats could never set me free. You knew that I could never follow all the rules perfectly enough to earn my way into heaven. And You knew that You would have to give the sacrifice Yourself if I were to have any hope of spending eternity with You. Thank You, Lord. Oh, how I love You!