Okay this is the final post in the “introduction” series of Leviticus before we start hitting the text.
I just wanted to share a few words concerning what exactly the Biblical law covered and then have a quick recap of the main points you need to know before we move forward.
The first thing you need to know is that according to the ancient Hebrew mindset is there is absolutely no difference between religious and civil law.
They are one and the same.
Civil law WAS Biblical Law.
And while ancient Israel was under self-government, the Biblical Law was the only Law they lived under.
The ancient Hebrews would have laughed at our modern system of government which separates the Church and State.
First, starting in Exodus actually, we learned of laws prescribing immediate death for the following three classes of people:
However, there were also other cases when the death penalty was assigned if it involved gross negligence that resulted in the death of a third party.
There were also laws dealing with property and these laws in most cases required reparations for the damage done.
For instance, a thief was NOT jailed.
Instead the criminal had to make reparations to the person they stole from which always involved paying back MORE than the amount they took.
There were laws that covered unintentional injuries to people or animals and the punishment for these also required making reparations to the injured party.
If one was financially incapable of making reparations, that person had to sell himself as more or less an indentured servant to the injured party to work off his debt.
These are the sort of issues along with their remedies and punishments that are covered in Biblical Law.
Okay, let’s close with a quick review of what we’ve covered so far.
First, the Torah divides all sins a man can commit into two broad categories: UNINTENTIONAL SINS and INTENTIONAL SINS.
Think of intentional sins as being like felonies and unintentional sins as being like misdemeanors (though this is not a perfect analogy).
Second, the Levitical Sacrificial system ONLY PROVIDED FORGIVENESS FOR UNINTENTIONAL SINS.
I had a brother get all up in my face yesterday asserting that the Levitical Sacrificial System did provide forgiveness for both intentional and unintentional sins.
There is a major logical fallacy in this assertion.
If the Levitical Sacrificial System was 100% sufficient to forgive all sins, then why is Yeshua’s sacrifice necessary?
Chew on that thought for a minute Charlie.
Seriously, if the Levitical Sacrificial system was all that man needed to achieve 100% reconciliation with God, then we wouldn’t need Yeshua’s sacrifice, would we?
The writer of Hebrews also said this.
“For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity; then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!”-Hebrews 9:13-14
Third, the INTENTIONAL SINS an Israelite committed were turned over to that specific aspect of God’s justice system known as the “Curses of the Law”.
When Paul was saying the “Curses of the Law”, it was NOT a phrase leveling complete condemnation at the whole Mosaic Law like how we sometimes say “the curse of cancer”.
Paul was referring to one specific part of the whole of God’s justice system.
Fourth, the main reason the Apostle Paul was so ecstatic about what Yeshua had accomplished on the cross was because He comprehended that Yeshua’s blood saved one from both the curses of the law (forgiveness of intentional sins) and from the curse of the law (eternal death and separation from God) as the final Passover Sacrificial Lamb of God.
Fifth, the Sacrificial System and The Law are two different parts that together comprise God’s justice system which in Hebrew is called MISHPAT.
While it is true that a Hebrew would normally call every part of God’s justice system The Law, the truth is the Sacrificial System and the Law functioned SEPARATELY and had different purposes.
To put it simply, the Law leads to punishment while the Sacrificial System lead to atonement resulting in both forgiveness and reconciliation to a Holy God.
And I think that’s about it folks.
Tomorrow we start getting into the text.
Man, I’m soooooo excited!