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Immerse: Beginnings, Week 9

Spoiler Alert!

“I’ll just skip to the end.”

How many times have you said this about something you’ve read, watched, or listened to? The very first time I read through Harry Potter, I made it only to the beginning of the 5th book, then had my sister tell me the ending because I didn’t want to read the rest of it. Sometimes, when I read a blog, I’ll just read through the main points, and ignore the rest of the content. As long as I read the bold print and the essential idea, I’ll be fine, right?

I’ve said the same thing about Scripture too. As we go through Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, we might get tempted to “skip to the end” and treat these books as if they’re not important to us. But we need to remember the beginning informs the end. And in the same way we begin a book series and stick through it to the end for the grand reveal, we must stick through the beginning of our own grand story. Except we have the advantage – we know what the grand reveal is already! This month, we have the opportunity to discover the laws, genealogies, and cultural practices found in the following books might have a more significant meaning than we think.

For example, many of the offering practices found in Leviticus inform us on how to read the book of Hebrews. Moses records several instruction manuals for the different types of burnt offerings, grain offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings. He also lays out the roles of the priests and the Levites, as the foundation of biblical worship established through God’s people. And as we get further and further through types of cleansing and purification, we see what God desires for His people is to be set apart – holy and cleansed from the filth sin introduces into our lives.

In reading the books of the Law, we get a glimpse of the original plan for holiness, and how God’s people needed some drastic overcommunication concerning each and every scenario in which they were to practice being a holy people and a holy nation. God introduced to His people the weight and importance of living a holy life and the consequences for deviating from that life. “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). The consequence of sin is severe. Butthe gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

While reading through Leviticus this week and following, I want to encourage you to read all the way through. Spend time letting the Beginning (Old Covenant) inform the meaning of the End (New Covenant) and beyond. We are not under the old covenant, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t know how the new covenant came to be. Don’t allow yourself excuses to skip to the end. Stick with it, and let it bring new light and meaning to your understanding of who God is and what He has always wanted for us, which is to be individually holy and communally holy.
Karissa Mead