Vs. 1, “The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting…” The saga continues as we pick up where Exodus left off. The glory of God now went from the mountain to the tabernacle. Exodus gave us much detail into the construction of the tabernacle, and now we will see Leviticus focus on the source of the power of God. The LORD directs Moses to the importance of worship (vs. 2-17) in the form of sacrifices. The process of sacrificing involved a routine, a ritual. In our chapter today, we are presented the burnt offering. It was the most common offering (every morning and evening, Sabbath, new moon and yearly feasts). It was called burnt offering because the whole animal was to be consumed by the fire. While there were three different types of animals mentioned (bull, sheep/goat, dove/pigeon), most scholars agree that the type of sacrifice was dependent upon the wealth of the family. The purpose of a burnt offering was to atone for sins and restore their relationship with God. It was to be a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
Regarding application…Willing Sacrifice. Vs. 2, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any of you brings an offering to the Lord, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.” Having a right relationship with God is costly. While we do not sacrifice with animals and blood, we certainly understand that following God is not easy. We not only sacrifice our tithing, our time by coming to church, etc., if we follow God, our lives are a living sacrifice. We begin to realize that God’s tabernacle today (the church) is going to ask you to go above and beyond. Question: Are you willing to sacrifice? There are all sorts of reasons why we give back to the Lord and the church. But let’s not forget the simple fact that sacrificing is pleasing to God (vs. 9, 13, 17).
Vs. 6, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This was a troubling night (vs. 1), but Jesus would offer them hope! He was paving a way for all of us to one day find our home (vs. 2-4) with our Father in Heaven. Many scoff to this day on Jesus’ claim that He is the only way. I’ve even seen believers adhere to Universalism (belief that all religions are similar and can lead to divine good). That is false teaching. Philip seems to be excited at the prospect to see the Father one day, but little did he realize the Father is in Jesus (vs. 8-14). Question: Jesus is leaving, what will they do? They might feel like orphans (vs. 18), but we know now that we are not left on our own. There is a peace (shalom) that will come (vs. 15-31). And to top it off, Jesus promises us He will be coming back (vs. 28).
Regarding application…Promised Holy Spirit. Vs. 16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.” We are not alone. This peace that will come is the Holy Spirit. Think of the picture we are given in Scripture when it comes to the Holy Spirit; the dove which is a picture of purity and peace. Question: Do you trust promises made by others? Too often we have a hard time grasping the promises of God when we have been let down by those we love hear on earth. Our parents, teachers, pastor’s, friends have not always been able to keep promises. It’s a bit understandable why the hesitation on being able to trust in the promises of God. In the storms of our lives, we know that we are not abandoned. When we put our faith in Jesus, the promised Holy Spirit now dwells in us and keeps us sealed until eternity! Let that be your encouragement as you go about this week! Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is with us each step of the way!