This study coincides with the first day of Lent, and it is a great way to begin the Lenten season. After all, the Christian calendar -- Advent, Epiphany etc -- is meant to help us think through the life of Christ, and this study on blood helps us link Leviticus to the work of Christ. We sing so much about blood sometimes ("What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!"), and somehow in the Christian belief, blood is for washing, and makes us white and clean. This is somewhat counterintuitive, because certainly we don't use it for washing in our daily lives, and we know that blood stains!
Lev 17 helps shed light on the significance of blood to the Christian belief.
The important background to today's study comes from Lev 10:1-2. It records for us the death of Aaron's 2 sons from offering unauthorised fire to the Lord. They put fire and laid incense in their censers even though God did not command them, and as a result, fire came from the Lord and consumed them. This sets the stage for us to understand Lev 16.
This study looks at the cases of bodily discharges, but first, let us introduce ourselves to a NT case study of bodily discharge, in Mark 5:24-34. In Mark 5, the healing of this woman is sandwiched between more spectacular healing -- the healing of the demon-possessed man, and the dead child brought to life. The passage describes the woman's fear and stigma against her clearly. We are told that she "suffered much", "grew worse" and "spent all that she had" (v.26). It was with "fear and trembling" that she approached Jesus, and "fell down before Him and told Him and told Him the whole truth" (v.33). It is not hard to infer how she suffered. Why? It is important for us to understand Lev 15, for it forms the backdrop of this NT encounter.
How many of you have had spots on your skin before? Rashes, pimples, burns, etc. This passage might be of interest to you for it tells you how you can tell an unclean spot from a clean one. In fact, the passage has so many different types of spots that it is almost certain you could at least be suspected to be unclean.
In today's study, we look at another set of instructions to the people of God, this time, for after childbirth.
This is our first study in Leviticus, and this is certainly no easy book. Before we begin, it's important to consider one obstacle to understanding this passage. You see our secular mindset -- the philosophy and mindset of the age, the mind of the flesh, what we possess naturally -- causes us to approach the Bible and passages like Leviticus with man as the starting point. The secular mindset says man is the starting point of all things and man decides what makes sense and what is right and wrong. Problems, solutions and successes are defined according to man. This is why we struggle with the Bible and passages like Leviticus, because things don't make sense to us. Even Christians can be secular. How do you know if you have a secular mindset or not? How do you pray? If you pray around what you want, what you deem as needful or not, what is good according to your standard, chances are, you are still operating with a secular mindset. In contrast, the Spirit-filled mind (c.f. Rom 8) starts with God, letting God decide the agenda, praying that our Father in Heaven will have His name hallowed, and that His will be done in Heaven and on Earth. The Spirit-filled mind starts with God.