The Allure of the Law

We are doing a Bible Study on Leviticus and it is really interesting; there is literally a sacrifice for every possible scenario.  And the detail with which each sacrifice is described, and the circumstances that each one takes into account is truly amazing.

And it got me to thinking: I could do this.  I mean, the Law is clearly laid out, every situation and circumstance is covered; this is completely doable.  And that had to be what Israel thought at the time as well: God had given all the instructions and covered all the details and possible situations that might arise; this is going to be easy.

That is perhaps the lie of the Law however.  When you look at the Law, it looks easy; it looks like it can be kept perfectly with no problems at all.  And then you try to keep it; and find out that is not the case at all.

The Law is easy to keep when you look at it; but when you try to live it, when you try to fulfill it in your daily life, you soon realize how far behind you actually are.  You realize how often you sin in thought, word and deed; both intentionally and unintentionally.  You look at Leviticus, and you notice that the number of sacrifices that you are going to be required to make adds up very quickly to the point where you cannot keep up, even if you tried.

The Law of God is good and wise, but the Law cannot save you, it can only condemn you, because you cannot keep the Law.

Why did God bother with this then?  He knew we could never keep it; why did He bother giving the people this detailed system of sacrifices?

It is not because God needs to know that we cannot keep the Law; it is so that you and I can see how helpless we are in keeping the Law perfectly.  God goes through this big and elaborate set up in order to show us that we cannot keep the Law; that we are completely helpless on our own.

Which brings me to the other fascinating part of Leviticus: everywhere you look you see Jesus.  Jesus is the one who perfectly keeps the Law that is set before Him.  Jesus is the perfect and holy sacrifice that is offered to atone for our sins.

That is the good news of Leviticus; that behind the system of sacrifices is a God who loves us, and who has sent a Savior to redeem us from the curse of the Law.

About revschmidt

An LCMS Pastor in North-Central Kansas
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