There are certain portions of scripture that just make me question the veracity of the word. Yeah, that’s right, there I times when I question the book. Let me give a prime example. Moses, in Leviticus, is laying out the Law of God regarding the sacrifices and it just happens that the really good meat is not going to be burned up entirely, but instead it just gets nicely roasted, and lo, Moses’ brother Aaron and Aaron’s family is supposed to eat it. The cynic in me finds that to be an awfully convenient law for Aaron. I mean, here you have all the people of Israel bringing their best animals to be BBQ’d for Aaron and his people to eat, and it is a law that they must do it. Hey, why don’t I come down from a mountain and tell my people they need to bring ribs to sacrifice and they must be soaked with Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce, and yeah, why not bring a drink offering too, Coca-Cola Classic would be ideal. Does that not seem just a touch sketchy? Certainly I am not the only person that has taken issue with this text?
Something I have come to realize though, is that the Old Testament only finds its true meaning in light of the New Testament, specifically in Christ’s work on our behalf. In other words, if indeed the Aaronic Priests were supposed to eat this sacrifice and it really was the command of God for them to do so, this command can only make sense to me in light of Christ’s fulfillment of that command. So before I go dismissing the early parts of Leviticus as Moses trying to make sure his family eats well I must deal with it light of the Gospel.
So let me walk you through my thinking as I came to this portion of Leviticus with my skepticism yet again in my bible reading.
Aaron is commanded to eat the sacrifices, the priesthood so to speak is required to eat the ‘perfect’ sacrifice in the sight of God. Hebrews reminds us that in light of the Gospel we are a kingdom of priests, and that all who are the redeemed are priests before God. In other words the Aaronic priesthood has been fulfilled, there is no longer a set group of priests called to consume the sacrifice, but all believers now enter into that role of priest. Moreover, we know there is no longer sacrifice for sin, other than the perfect sacrifice which has been offered, that is the Christ himself. Moreover Christ has stated:
John 6:53 (ESV)
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.