“You are to keep my commands and obey them; I am Adonai. You are not to profane my holy name; on the contrary, I am to be regarded as holy among the people of Israel; I am Adonai, who makes you holy, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am Adonai.”-Leviticus 22:31-33
Before Leviticus chapter 22 comes to a close, we are given a couple of rules about exactly just how young an animal has to be before it can be sacrificed.
This is what we’re told:
“When a bull, sheep or goat is born, it is to stay with its mother for seven days; but from the eighth day on, it may be accepted for an offering made by fire to Adonai.”-Leviticus 22:27
It’s from the 8th day and isn’t it interesting that this is the same timing when Hebrew baby boys are to be circumcised?
Hebrew boys must be circumcised or undergo B’RIT MILAH on the 8th day after their physical birth.
And do you recall what 8th day circumcision is symbolic of?
It is symbolic of being presented to God!
Man, this symbolism is awesome.
Let’s move on!
Next we’re told that no animal can be slaughtered for food or sacrifice on the same day its mother is killed and vice versa.
This hearkens back to the command to not boil a kid (baby goat) in its mother’s milk.
This instruction reflects the Lord’s compassion and how He wants His people to be merciful and humane.
Finally, the chapter wrap ups with a solemn reminder that God is HOLY, He is the ONE who saved us, and HE IS THE ONE WHO MAKES US HOLY.
NO OTHER THING OR BEING IN THE UNIVERSE CAN MAKE US HOLY NOR CAN WE EARN OUR WAY TO HOLINESS!
Before closing, I wanted to draw some connections between the principles we’ve been learning in Leviticus and the New Testament.
For those who assume that the OT and the NT are two different books promoting two different theological systems, let me remind you that MORE THAN HALF of the words in the New Testament are simply quotes lifted DIRECTLY FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT!
If you don’t understand the Old Testament, forget about being able to understand the New Testament.
It was precisely these patterns and principles that we’re studying in Leviticus that Yeshua elevated to all their fullness and spiritual intent.
Yeshua didn’t do away with NOR break the mold.
He perfected God’s Torah and brought it to all its fullness.
For example, we’ve learned that according to Leviticus, ONLY priests can approach God.
Doesn’t that seem kind of unfair?
However, check out these New Testament verses.
“You yourselves, as living stones,
are being built into a spiritual house
to be priests set apart for God
to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to him
through Yeshua the Messiah.”
-1 Peter 2:5
“But you are a chosen people,
the King’s priests,
a holy nation,
a people for God to possess!
In order for you to declare the praises
of the One who called you out of darkness
into his wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9
Well, there you go.
We can see that the very principles we have been studying in Leviticus are reflected in the New Testament.
Or how about the command that priests cannot bury their dead?
Check out what Yeshua said:
Another of the disciples said to him,
“Sir, first let me go and bury my father.”
But Yeshua replied,
“Follow me, and let the dead
bury their own dead.”
Or how about these verses?
“If anyone comes to me
and does not hate his father,
his mother, his wife,
his brothers and his sisters,
yes, and his own life besides,
he cannot be my disciple.”
The implication is clear.
Absolutely NOTHING can be above God.
If you have to be SEPARATED from everything most dearest to you on this earth in order to follow HASHEM, then so be it.
Yeshua is pretty much saying that anybody who is to be considered a follower of Him are to emulate the priests of Israel.
Just as the Temple priests were not to handle dead things, so are believers.
Yeshua is drawing a sharp line of distinction between those who will forsake all to follow Him and gain LIFE and those who will cling to tradition and gain DEATH!
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN LEVITICUS CHAPTER 23