Posted by: Heather | March 29, 2009

Parshah Vayikra (He called) – Lev. 1:1-5:26

I love Vayikra! God called to Moses in the beginning of this book. He didn’t just “speak” to him, he “called” to him. The Hebrew name of the book is so much more passionate and romantic than the clinical, antiseptic-sounding “Leviticus.” Besides, Vayikra is not just about the priesthood, but about believers and how they are to approach a holy, living God and have a deep, personal relationship with him. It’s beautiful! God calls, and whosoever wills may answer that call and come into fellowship with him.

John 1:17 says this: “For the law was given by Moses, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Check it out for yourself: there is no “but” in that verse. In the KJV, the “but” comes after the comma because the translators figure that “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” is set in opposition to the first part “the law was given by Moses.” I say, no way! I think “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” is in apposition, describing or renaming “the law was given by Moses.” Here’s the difference: in the KJV, the law is not grace and truth by Jesus Chrst. The law is the opposite of grace and truth, and Moses is the opposite of Jesus. Chas v’shalom! God forbid! Without the “but,” the law was grace and truth that came by Jesus Christ and was given to Moses. This lines up with what I actually read in the law. Grace is everywhere evident, but it struck me especially this week in God’s provision for inadvertent sins.

Starting in chapter 4, God gives instructions for how to handle unintentional sin, sins of ignorance. If the inadvertent sinner is a priest, there’s a sacrifice for him. If it’s the whole congregation of Israel, every single one of them, there’s a sacrifice for them. If it’s a ruler of the people, there’s a sacrifice for him. If it’s just a common person, guess what? There’s a sacrifice for him or her too. That’s amazing grace! Consider that a holy God could have decreed something else here. He could have said that anyone who sins unintentionally dies. He has a right to demand the death penalty, but he doesn’t. He makes a way for his people to live. Thank God for grace and mercy!

God makes a way for us all. How many sins have I committed in my life that I didn’t even know were violating God’s law? How many do I still commit in my ignorance? How precious is the word of God, his torah (instructions) that reprove me so that I can know what is the perfect, holy, acceptable will of God and hide that in my heart so that I will stop sinning against him!

There is a sacrifice for unintentional sin. Thank you, Yeshua haMashiach, Jesus the Messiah, for suffering outside the camp to take away our unintentional sins and allowing us a way to be forgiven.

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