Jesus and Goats?

Jesus and Goats?

What is the Book of Leviticus All About Anyway? Part III

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  When you think of a goat, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

For some people, goats conjure up images of curry and feasting.  Others may think of farms and sacrifice; or stubbornness and gluttony may come to mind.  If you are familiar with the deep-seated things of Satan, then ‘riding the goat’ may bring back fond fraternal feelings.  If you’re the type of person who associates goats with the words of Jesus, then you certainly want to be named among the sheep and NOT the goats.  But are we ever biblically justified to associate Jesus Himself with goats?

In the 16th chapter of Leviticus, Moses writes about how Aaron the priest is to enter the holy place with a bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.  Aaron had to offer the bull as a sin offering for himself and for his house.  But Aaron was also commanded to take two goats.  The first goat was to be killed for the people and he had to sprinkle its blood over the mercy seat – this was to make atonement for the people.    Aaron had to lay both hands on the second goat and confess all the iniquities, transgressions and sins of the people.  The goat was sent into the wilderness.  The Bible declared, “The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area.”

Again, lets not get lost in the minutia of the rituals.  Remember that in many ways, the book of Leviticus points to Jesus.  We can biblically justify associating Jesus with these goats in Leviticus.  Both goats point to Him.  Like the first goat, He died on the cross for our sins and the prophet Isaiah said that He bore our grief and He was crushed for our iniquities. His blood was applied to the mercy seat of God and we have been set free from the penalty of sin.  Like the second goat, He has removed our transgressions far from us.  BUT unlike those priests with his natural goats, who had to do this ONCE every year, He did this ONCE AND FOR ALL!  Praise God!

Next time you read Leviticus, keep Jesus in the forefront of your mind.

Brian L. Spivey

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What is the Book of Leviticus All About?

Most people I know who have tried to read the Bible from cover to cover started from the beginning.  They get through Genesis, and enjoy most of the Exodus, but lose interest when they get to the book of Leviticus.  What is the book all about anyway?  It can be summed up in one word – worship.

In the 9th chapter of Leviticus, we read that Moses and Aaron kept the word that God commanded about how to worship Him.  “Aaron lifted up his hands towards the people and blessed them… and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.  And the fire came out… and consumed the burnt offering” (Verses 22, 24).  In the next chapter, the fire of the Lord came from heaven again, but this time, instead of consuming the burnt offering, it consumed Nadab and Abihu – Aaron’s sons.  Nadab and Abihu did not keep God’s Word.  What can we conclude about the Lord from this passage?

If this was an isolated event in Scripture, than any conclusion drawn from Leviticus 9 could be dismissed as speculative at best.  But we see throughout Scripture, that God is serious about how He is to be worshipped.  Those who did not keep God’s word were dealt with harshly – King Saul, Uzzah, Ananias and Sapphira.  And who had the last word about worship and keeping God’s Word?  Jesus did.

The apostle John described Jesus as the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire.  This Holy One told the individuals in the church at Philadelphia that because some have kept His Word, He intended to make them a pillar in the temple of God.  Jesus ends the ultimate worship book with these words, “Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:7).

Those of you who have tried to read the Bible from cover to cover, and were arrested by the content in the book of Leviticus, please go back and try again.  Use this key to unlock the book: God determines what is holy and unholy.  He determines what is acceptable and what is an abomination.  And don’t forget, the major theme of Leviticus is worship.

Brian L. Spivey