Image source: SpokenGospel
I recall when I first saw building plans as a kid. It looked fascinating and puzzling and confusing all at once. I could not work out how that thing I saw on paper would turn into the real building on the ground. Thankfully the engineers, builders, and all the other adults involved in the house project knew how to go from building plans on paper to achieving the real thing on the ground.
The real thing, the main thing, that makes the Bible message valuable is Jesus. The Bible story is that God created humanity with free will; humanity then chose a life independent of God, to live in the world through our ability alone. Since that decision was made, God seeks for humans who will walk with him, and Jesus is the perfect example of walking fully with God and the reward for doing so.
When Adam and Eve made the choice to live independently of God, they were promised a son who will make the opposite choice (Genesis 3:14-15). This was the first promise of Jesus in the Bible. The promise was repeated to Abraham and that the promised son will come from his descendants (Genesis 22:18). Thus, the promised son Jesus, came out of Israel – Abraham’s descendants. This is how and why Israel became and remains an extremely important part of God’s plan.
In Leviticus, we see how much God invested in his intimate relationship with Israel, it is because it had been decided that the promised son Jesus, will be born through that branch of Abraham’s family. A building plan to reconcile God and humanity through Jesus, was revealed in Genesis, and the rest of the Bible is about how that building plan progresses to become reality on the ground in the world.
Take Leviticus 23, where God gave Israel dates for their national celebrations – the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles. Jesus died during the Passover (Matthew 26:2), and the Holy Spirit came on the Church during Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). This is no coincidence, the Old Testament including Leviticus prepared the way for the promised son Jesus. The book of Hebrews fully explains how Leviticus prepared the way for the work of Jesus.
In John 5:39-40 (The Message Bible), Jesus says to Israel: “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there… These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.”
Dear God, help us to see that Jesus is the destination in the Bible, Amen!