Leviticus 21-23; Psalm 45; Matthew 20:17-34; Acts 27:27-44 Leviticus 21-23: Leviticus 21 explains how the office of priest does not exclude him from having to have both real and ceremonial holiness, and in fact the standards are higher for him and his family. It also stipulates exactly what degrees of next of kin can eat…

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Leviticus 18-20; Psalm 44; Matthew 20:1-16; Acts 27:1-26 Leviticus 18-20: These chapters obviously have some tricky elements to them, and it is worth reading them in a slightly unusual way in order to be able to unpack their meaning. Start with the end in mind! If you look at verses 22 to 26 of chapter…

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Leviticus 16-17; Psalm 43; Matthew 19:16-30; Acts 26:19-32 Leviticus 16-17: Now at last we come to slightly more familiar territory! The Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month, a special fast day, where God’s people are to have their sins “atoned,” or paid for, the punishment that they deserve is taken, as…

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Leviticus 14-15; Psalm 42; Matthew 19:1-15; Acts 26:1-18 Leviticus 14-15: Once again we are diving into the precise regulations for maintaining healthy communal living in a tight-knit, ancient society, immersed at a time without modern medical procedures, modern plumbing or building materials, and the like. Various skin diseases could easily spread; mold in houses could…

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Leviticus 11-13; Psalm 41; Matthew 18:15-35; Acts 25:13-27 Leviticus 11-13: Part of the difficulty with interpreting these laws as contemporary followers of Jesus is that the situation then was not only so different from today—a large nation, on the move, in camp, without modern medical techniques, where problems with sanitation and “cleanliness” must have been…

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Leviticus 8-10; Psalm 40; Matthew 18:1-14; Acts 25:1-12 Leviticus 8-10: The details of these sacrifices continue to be explained so that all is done “as the Lord commanded” (8:4, 9, 13, 17, 21, 29; 9:7, 10; 10:15). That emphasis on doing as God says, according to his word, is emphasized over and over again throughout…

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Leviticus 5-7; Psalm 39; Matthew 17:14-27; Acts  24  Leviticus 5-7: We now have descriptions of the burnt offering (Lev. 1, 6:8-13), the grain offering (Lev. 2, 6:14-18), the sin offering (Lev. 4:1-5:13, 6:24-30), the guilt offering (Lev. 5:14-6:7, 7:1-7), the ordination offering (Lev. 6:19-22), and the peace offering (Lev. 3, 7:11-21, 28-36) (7:37). These are…

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Leviticus 1-4; Psalm 38; Matthew 17:1-13; Acts  23:12-35  Leviticus 1-4:  Leviticus is a book of the Bible that many people, when they start to read, quite soon give up! It appears a little obscure, overly detailed, and (frankly) irrelevant. In context, Moses is giving instructions to the Levites, the priests. Having established the tabernacle where God’s…

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Exodus 38-40; Psalm 37:23-40; Matthew 16:13-28; Acts  23:1-11  Exodus 38-40:  At first glance these chapters seem yet more instructions, of a rather arcane kind, about how to construct the tabernacle and make priestly garments, instructions that, while perhaps of antiquarian interest, have no real pertinence spiritually today. However, there is a repeated refrain throughout these…

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Exodus 35-37; Psalm 37:1-22; Matthew 16:1-12; Acts  22  Exodus 35-37: Moses now assembles the people and gives them instructions concerning the Sabbath (35:1-3), the Sabbath rest that ultimately points, as the book of Hebrews instructs us (Heb. 4:9-10), to the Sabbath rest that we can have by faith in Jesus. These instructions are serious and…

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