Leviticus 17 -the big points
1) Sacrifices must be done in the prescribed manner, at the designated place by the appointed priests. It couldn't be done any old way.
2) Even though the Israelites had worshipped idols (verse 7), God still showed them grace.
3) All blood aka life belongs to God and should be dedicated to him and him only.
All sacrifices were to be done by the priests. It was done longer acceptable for anyone else to sacrifice animals on their own behalf. God had set up a system and in order to receive atonement they had to go through that path.
This represented the truth that Jesus is the path to God and that there is no other way. We can’t come into contact with God unless we first go through His Son. It is by accepting the sacrifice of Christ that we are saved. There’s grace in that.
God could have given us a thousand different ways through which we could be saved but He chose just one:
Believe in His Son Jesus Christ.
The path is simple and effective.
Leviticus 17:7 says, “They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons after whom they have played the harlot.” The Israelites had worshiped idols, a practice which God says he abhors. And I can see why – idolatry denies the power of God or worse tries to ascribe it to an inanimate thing. “I am Yahweh, that is My name;” says God, “I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:4 HCSB).
Yet the grace of God is such that He afforded them the chance of restoration. In that moment they had the opportunity to step away from their old life and embrace a new life in God.
They could choose to follow His commands and to do His will.
We are reminded here that the blood belongs to God. Not only does it belong to God but He has “loaned” it to us so that we can use it to receive atonement for sin (Leviticus 17:11). Wasn’t that gracious of Him?
Mankind sinned – by disobeying God’s command – but instead of the death that we deserve His grace provided another way out. Through the sanctity of blood we received freedom. Gracious God!
Lord, thank you for gracious allowing Your animals to die in the place of man. I am even more grateful that the sacrificial System was temporary and that You sent Your Son who could remove our sins as far as the east is from the west. Thank You for the cross Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.