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Please explain Leviticus 1?

Submitted: 10/21/2008
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Question: What is Leviticus, chapter 1 telling us?

Answer: The book of Leviticus begins with a command that could be the theme of all life: 'When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord...' The Hebrew actually reads: 'When man shall bring from themselves an offering to the Lord...' True sacrifice must come from within!

The word used here is ADAM (man), but more than just a man: mankind. The word ADAM harkens back to the first man--the one out of whom all others descended. ADAM is also the root of ADAMAH (earth) out of which all life emanates. Hence, when God speaks of anyone--ADAM--He is referring to everyone!

The Bible is teaching us here that the essence of being human is our NEED and ABILITY to SACRIFICE. Isn't this the thing that lifts us above the animal kingdom. Yes, we can think, we can reason, we can feel, we can love--but these are given to us not for their own sake, but so we will sacrifice.

Only human beings are aware of their innate limitations and their mortality. And since ADAM is aware of the painful reality that no matter how strong he is, no matter how powerful or brilliant he is, he will ultimately be vanquished by death. His only hope, therefore, is to link himself to a Being and a cause that were there before he was born and will continue after he dies. This is meaning of sacrifice: to give up one thing of value in exchange for something of greater value. Jesus said it this way: 'For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it' (Matthew 16:25). This is the meaning of Leviticus 1.