LEVITICUS 21 TO 24
The parasha this morning covers a portion of the Torah, namely the book of Leviticus, chapters 21 to 24. The title is Emor, which means “SPEAK”. Among the 66 books of the Bible where God speaks, He does so the most in the book of Leviticus. The chapters that we’re considering today aren’t exempt, and they’re filled with the Word that comes directly from the mouth of the Lord. According to the NASB version of the Bible, a little more than 3000 words are spoken by the Lord.
S – The first chapters speak of the priests and the ordinances that they must follow … holiness and sanctification are the primary themes.
Leviticus 22 :9
They shall therefore keep My charge, so that they will not bear sin because of it and die thereby because they profane it; I am the LORD who sanctifies them.
P – It’s also a matter of conditions-for-purity for the Priests and even more so for the High Priest. What’s certain is that the holiness of the people of God depends a lot on that of the priests who represent them before the Lord. Today, real believers are all considered to be priests, which means that in all aspects of life, in their relationships and their personal discipline, they must behave in a manner worthy of the Lord.
Colossians 1:9 …we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…
E – This section of the parasha ends with regulations concerning justice, from which we get the famous expression: ‘Eye for eye’, ‘life for life’, ‘fracture for fracture’, ‘tooth for tooth’. These similar expressions are not a license for revenge, on the contrary, it’s a matter of rule-of-law, that prevents exaggeration and abuse. Personal revenge is foreign to the Scriptures. Only God or competent authorities, under God’s oversight, can correctly administer justice.
A – In chapter 23, the Lord calls on His people to rejoice and be glad. It is especially a question of the Feasts of the Lord, also deemed as “holy convocations”. These are the Appointed Times of the Lord for all the tribes of Israel to come together, rejoice and celebrate their God.
The Feasts of the Lord have a prophetic significance:
- The Passover feast was fulfilled by the death of the Messiah.
- The Feast of Unleavened Bread was fulfilled by the sinless nature of Messiah.
- The Feast of First Fruits was fulfilled by the resurrection of Messiah.
- The Feast of Weeks was fulfilled by the birth of the Ecclesia, which includes Jewish and Gentile believers.
- The Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled by the Rapture of the Ecclesia at the coming of the Messiah for His own.
- The Feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled by the Messianic Kingdom.
K – The Day of Atonement ‘Yom Kippur’ is different from the other Feasts of the Lord in the sense that it is a day that highlights a time of humiliation, an opportunity to examine ourselves, to examine our condition as sinners.
S – for ‘Sanctifies’ or sanctification implies the idea of a shared responsibility which is well expressed in 1 Thessalonians 5 :23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
P – for ‘Priests’ today believers are priests, Yeshua the Messiah is the example par excellence as high priest. Ephesians 5 : 1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
E – for ‘Eye for eye’. This expression ‘Eye for eye’ implies the notion of justice, by moving towards forgiveness for wrongs suffered; we could call this attitude: ‘The Golden Eye’.
1 Corinthians 6 :7 … Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
A – for ‘Appointed times’ is an invitation (a holy convocation) from the Lord to celebrate His feasts, all of which have a prophetic significance – that speak to us of the work of the Messiah: His atoning death, His sinless life, His resurrection, His community of believers, His coming for His own, His forgiveness and His messianic reign. We have every reason in the world to rejoice in the Lord. Philippians 4 :4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
K – for ‘Kippur’ – ‘Yom Kippur’. James 4 :10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. Each person must first recognize that they need a Savior and that it is none other than Yeshua the Messiah. He is the true rest, the Sabbath for our souls.