“The way to God is by the Savior’s death. The way to walk with God is to be set apart by the Savior’s life.” Leviticus is a book about holiness. To some, the book of Leviticus is known as a priest’s manual, the intricate how-to’s of sacrifices, offerings and prayers. The point of these rituals however, was to allow people to remain close to God. These sacrifices were a way to set themselves apart from others, and to recognize the holiness of the God we serve.
For our cry to reach God, however; there needed to be a sacrifice…a holy sacrifice. Once a year, a high priest would enter the Holy of Holies to offer a sacrifice on behalf of him and the nation. This was a special honor that was only for one called by God. God himself would choose a high priest, the one to go between Him and the people. In Hebrews, it tells how God did this with Jesus…”The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’ Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
“Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
“Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.” (Hebrews 7:21b-28)
Our Savior’s life was truly perfect and holy in the sight of God…”Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:13-15)
Holiness as a characteristic would be someone who is recognized or declared sacred by religious use or authority…someone devoted to or set apart for the service of God. In Leviticus, the sacrifices of the priests were not to be the redeeming power bringing someone to God, but served as the outward and humbling act of a life committed to being set apart for the worship and service of God.
Now, as we seek to live a life that is set apart for God, one that is distinctly covered by the sacrificial blood of Christ, we can trust that God hears our prayers. There is now an avenue to call on our Father to hear us and guide us. We know that He will be with us forever, and will walk with us forever in an open relationship made possible by the priestly sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Some days however, we still do not know how to call out to the Father for help. It is then, as always, the Holy Spirit is present to intercede on our behalf. As Romans 8:25-27 says, “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”
When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, He carries our prayers and petitions before our God. He enters the Holy of Holies on our behalf and pleads for us. Through this is the redemption of our sin, and the way to stay in a close relationship to our Heavenly Father.
Being confident in this, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)
Praise God for sending us a perfect and holy sacrifice, one who can serve as a High Priest that brings us into an open relationship with the God of the universe. He is worthy to be praised.