This is one of those days where I read an amazing article on Tabletalk Magazine, and without trying to I read it again on the website.
It is the article where Benjamin Shaw explores the biblical dichotomy of clean versus unclean.
While studying the book of Hebrews this semester, I read about the book of Leviticus and realize: Leviticus is the question, Hebrews is the answer.
Our God is so holy and we are so not. Without cleansing we cannot approach this perfect God or we will burn.
Leviticus 11-15 showed all the ways the Israelites had to cleanse themselves before they could approach God. They had to stay away from any "unclean" food. They had to abandon their houses if mildew showed up. They had to sacrifice a lamb to the priest at the temple only to sin right away and have to be cleansed again.
This was God's way of showing them that they cannot ever come clean before our holy God by this treadmill of rituals. This is where Hebrews steps in:
9:13-14, "For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God."
God let these people labor until Christ came simply to show them that they cannot be clean and stay clean on their own time. A perfect man had to live the perfect life and then take the punishment for us. It's by his blood we are clean and we don't have to keep renewing the contract. His blood was for one time.
I sang "Ancient Words" yesterday in church. It has a lyric that says:
Holy words of our Faith
Handed down to this age
Came to us through sacrifice
Oh heed the faithful words of Christ