Leviticus 1:1-2 & 3b
The LORD called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When anyone of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock … a male without blemish.”
The Book of Leviticus opens with a poignant prefiguring of Jesus Christ, the atoning, sacrificial Lamb of God in whom there is no defect or blemish or vice, reminding us at the very outset that this testament of ceremonial shadows can only be understood through the Form from which these shadows emanate. May He be both our goal and our guide through this continued pilgrimage—the substance and outline of all the modus operandi of tabernacle symbology—the incarnate Word that meets us through the grammar and syntax of our feeble tongue. For “In His light we see light,” wrote the prophet, and without our eyes fixed ever on Him, Leviticus will seem more like a view from the foot of Sinai than a view from the summit.
But the point of discipleship is imitation. Merely seeing Christ in Leviticus isn’t enough. In fact, a phrase like, “When anyone brings an offering to the LORD … a lamb without blemish,” is a commission for us to sacrifice in the same manner, isn’t it? A call to do likewise. To take up our cross and follow Him. To offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12). To offer ourselves to the Father’s will with the same fearlessness in the face of oppression and the same compassion toward enemies and the same purity amidst corruption in the likeness of our Good Shepherd.
It does us absolutely no good to turn in our Bibles to a verse like Leviticus 1:1, spot the linguistic allusion to Christ, and say, “Aha! I found Him! I see the connection!”, as if the Scriptures are meant to be a Where’s Waldo sort of revelation where we spot Jesus hiding between the lines, circle Him, and then move on the next page. The point is not observation, but consecration. And consecration calibrates our fickle, feeble souls back to His will day by day.
As we bring our own offering to the foot of Calvary today—ourselves, that is—may we strive to be lambs without blemish too.