I used to love to read Leviticus when I was younger. I remember a pastor saying, “If you can’t get to sleep, just read Leviticus.” And we all laughed, but I privately disagreed. I thought all the details of the laws and sacrifices were vastly interesting. (If you want to read yourself to sleep, try the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles. They take a huge amount of concentration to be interesting.) 🙂
But it’s been a while since I visited Leviticus, so in March I went back to see if I still find it fascinating. I do. Almost every chapter, some tiny thing jumps out at me that I hadn’t really thought of before.
“If a person sins, and commits any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD, though he does not know it, yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity.
“And he shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish … as a trespass offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him regarding his ignorance in which he erred and did not know it, and it shall be forgiven him.
“It is a trespass offering; he has certainly trespassed against the LORD.”
-Leviticus 5:17-19 NKJV (emphasis mine)
Even if a person didn’t mean to sin–if they sinned without even realizing it–they were still guilty. God still required a sacrifice to atone for their sinning in ignorance.
Jesus was our ultimate Sacrifice. The final Lamb who died for the sins of mankind.
Including the sins I don’t even realize I’ve committed.
My sinful nature is so much a part of me that sometimes I won’t even realize I’ve sinned. (Maybe I’ll see it later; maybe I won’t.) And think of all the times I know I should do something good and don’t do it–that’s sin, too. (see James 4:17)
Jesus died for those sins.
For all the times my folly and pride and callous sinful nature keep me from seeing my sin, Jesus shed His blood.
All these sins I may never specifically seek forgiveness for because I don’t even know I’ve done it–Jesus forgives those.
Somehow that truth hadn’t hit me hard until I read Leviticus. I’d never thought to thank Jesus for bleeding on behalf of all my sins of ignorance.
Don’t we have a wonderful, merciful Savior?