Today we continue in a section dealing with the treatment of various physical issues that would cause someone to be unclean. I want to remind you again that when the law is dealing with issues of cleanliness and uncleanliness, it’s not reflecting on whether something or someone is a public health risk. This became evident yesterday when dealing with ailments of the skin.
It’s also important to note that the “clean” and “unclean” designations were not a reflection of an object’s usefulness or of a person’s character. These designations have to do with a person’s ability to approach the tabernacle. These commands are embedded with a respectful fear of encountering the majestic power of the LORD. Everyone approaching the tabernacle was doing so at their own risk.
Keep this in mind as you read through today’s regulations on bodily emissions. Men and women who were experiencing quite ordinary functions, whether voluntarily or not, were directed to be sure they were ready to approach the LORD’s tent. It was not to be taken lightly.
In chapter 16, there’s a time marker that’s followed by commands for the annual Day of Atonement. On this day all Israel would cease working while the High Priest approached the LORD and asked for atonement for the sins of the nation.
Notice that a series of sacrifices and rituals were required before Aaron, the High Priest, could even step inside the veil to the Most Holy Place that contained the Ark and the Mercy Seat.
Also notice what happens to the two goats. A few days ago I pointed out that the concept of “confession” was first raised in chapter 5. Here we find it again over the second goat – called “Azalel” or (as we still call it today), the “Scapegoat.” Consider what it might mean for the sins of a nation to be commuted onto an animal, which is then released into the wilderness, never to be seen again.
Our verse for this week is Romans 5:6: For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Leviticus chapters 15 and 16. Now let’s read it!
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.