“…I am the Lord who sanctifies him.””
Leviticus 21:15 ESV
As you read this, I’m in the middle of a trip to Israel. I’m so thankful that I am seeing the Bible come alive at the most challenging part of the reading plan! I’ve begun each morning of my time in Israel reading Leviticus. My brain has gone numb at verse after verse of law. I’m praying for all the people that are about to give up on their goal of reading through the Bible because Leviticus is so tedious.
Later this week we will visit the Temple Mount. We will pray at the Western Wall, the only part of Herod’s Temple that still remains, after it was destroyed by the Romans in 70AD.
We will walk up the Southern Steps. I’ll read a Psalm of Ascent on each step, just as pilgrims did when they came to Jerusalem for Passover. I’ll imagine the sound of sacrificial sheep bleating. The smell of smoke rising from the altar. The sight of decades of dried blood spattering its sides.
It struck me today that the high point (literally) of our tour is the site of a temple that’s not there anymore. And the glorious truth of the gospel is that it is no longer needed!
Because the same day we visit the Temple Mount, we will also visit Gethsemane. Calvary. The Garden Tomb.
Where Jesus prayed that the cup might pass from Him.
Where God said no.
Where the ultimate Passover Lamb was sacrificed.
Where the grave couldn’t contain Him.
Where the sacrificial system was made obsolete; where the chains of the Law fell free. Where Leviticus 21:15 found its fulfillment.
At the end of the day, it is not my obedience that sanctifies me. It’s not my perfect keeping of the Law. It’s not my ability to discern what is civil, ceremonial, or moral law.
At the end of the day, it is God who sanctifies me. I contribute nothing to my salvation save the sin that makes it necessary.