I’ve been reading in Exodus and Leviticus over the past couple of days. Leviticus is a bit difficult to get through in spots, as is Exodus. There are many detailed requirements as to the size and shape of the furniture in the tabernacle and the number and type of offerings that were to be given to God. Have you ever wondered why God cared so much about the dimensions and materials for the altar of incense or the table of showbread? Ever wonder why an offering had to be two turtledoves instead of one…or a turtledove instead of a robin? It can be sort of exhausting reading about the requirements; let alone having to follow those requirements.
I’m not sure that I have the right answer to the dilemma but I think I have an answer. I think that God wanted to clearly prescribe how it is that man could approach Him. I think God wanted to make it very clear that man could not just approach God “any old way” or in a way that was haphazard or carefree. Why? Well, because God is holy but I also think that the Old Testament law sets the stage for the New Testament salvation in Jesus. Jesus came to provide salvation but Jesus is the only way to salvation. There is no other way. Coming to Jesus is not “difficult” for us but it was very “difficult” for Jesus and the Father. I see a parallel between the Old Testament and New Testament in that the way to reestablish a relationship to God…the way to deal with sin…is very specific. In the Old Testament, the way was clearly marked…no deviations allowed. In the New Testament the way is clearly marked…no deviations allowed.