A Pleasing Aroma of the Lord
Open Your Bible
Leviticus 1:1-17, Leviticus 2:1-16, Leviticus 3:1-17, Exodus 20:24, 1 Peter 1:18-19
Growing up, Tuesday was the designated cleaning day at our small church. Every week, a group of members would arrive at the familiar brick building, greeting each other with “Praise the Lord!” “Good to see you,” and “How’s your week going?” The sound of gospel music filled every room as we cleaned and bopped our heads, singing along with John P. Kee, Yolanda Adams, Fred Hammond, and other voices rotating through the radio station’s playlist.
I didn’t understand as a kid, but as an adult, I’ve realized the significance of what we were doing. There was something almost holy, priestly even, about our routine of care for that space where our close-knit community of believers would gather to worship God. Aged, wooden pews were polished with lemon PledgeⓇ. Dining room floors were mopped with Pine-SolⓇ, its distinct and invigorating smell permeating the church. Those fond memories from my childhood began to resurface as our team curated passages and drafted content for this reading plan.
The book of Leviticus is about God preparing His people for His presence. It shows us how God made it possible for His people to come near Him without compromising His holiness and excusing Israel’s sin. The instructions He gave and the systems and processes He established are key to understanding how God frees us from sin and keeps us free—through sacrifice and atonement.
It’s this context, this language of atonement, that the New Testament writers used to describe who Jesus is and what He has done for us. He is the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) and our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:15). Leviticus connects us to this imagery; without it, the full significance of these metaphors and analogies is lost to us.
I pray that each day of this reading plan you will hear the promise to God’s people: they will be forgiven. May it cause you to cling to the hope we have in Jesus: in Him, we are forgiven. We are free. And we are invited into His presence—forever.