An Unlikely Love Story

Happily Ever After 1

Once upon a time there were burnt offerings and sin sacrifices and blood and oil and fire and ritual and…

What? That’s not what comes to mind when you think “love story”?

Me neither. But that’s what I found in Leviticus.

I’m currently following a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year program, which is why I began trudging through this particular book in the first place. And I do mean trudging. Oh boy was I tempted to skip entire chapters.

Leviticus is a tough read. The rules—the exhaustive, endless rules. The rigorous requirements. The horrific penalties. Some of it makes me scratch my head. And to be honest, some of it makes my skin crawl. (Don’t worry, I’m not telling you anything that I haven’t already told God.)

The whole book can be summed up in one word—impossible!

At first, reading it left me feeling defeated. But as I slogged along, chapter after chapter, something changed. I soon found my comfortable view of my loving God being challenged. Each passage drove me to my knees, filling my soul with awe and dread and reverence and humility.

I began to realize that Leviticus was so much more than a consuming list of unachievable dos and don’ts.

It was the unveiling of the most unlikely love story.

But Leviticus gets a bum rap. It’s the book from which our culture will pull verses, wielding them like weapons to mock believers and disparage our God. And it’s the book that leaves some confused, truly wondering:

Why would you love and follow a God like that?

I think that is how we respond in our fallen state. We scoff in our human arrogance and scorn in our haughtiness.

What kind of God would expect those He loves to adhere to such incomprehensible laws? What kind of God would demand such consequences for disobedience? What kind of God?

Well. A holy God. That’s the answer. God Himself tells us over and over in Leviticus: I am holy.

Holiness is a tough concept, I know. I don’t think any of us can truly grasp it in full, while we are on this side of eternity.  But——–

God is using Leviticus to shake awake my lackadaisical view of His holiness.

If there is one thing this book makes clear, it is that holiness and sin are utterly and unequivocally incompatible. Holiness cannot be in the presence of sin. Can NOT. The two are incapable of coexisting. Like light and dark, they cannot share the same space. It just cannot happen.

Another thing Leviticus shines a light on is how desperately sinful we are…and how hopeless our condition is.

God is holy.

We are riddled with sin. He loves us and wants to be with us. But we don’t have what it takes to meet the demands of true holiness. Our sinfulness cannot enter into the presence of His holiness.

We simply can’t do it. And God knew it. So He did it for us…He made a way for us to be with Him.

Leviticus lays bare our hopelessness. It shows us, in a radical way, just exactly why Jesus had to die. This book, that at times has made me wrinkle my nose and furrow my brow, has broken me, revealing anew the awesome and beautiful picture of the gospel.

This misunderstood and underappreciated book is one not to be missed. It sets the stage for the greatest rescue, the most impossible love story in all of history.

The one true, living, righteous, perfect, almighty, HOLY GOD loves me…and you. He loves us so much, He was willing to do whatever it took to make a way for us to be with Him. He sacrificed everything so we could come into His holy presence and dwell with Him for eternity.

He saved us. But we can’t claim that salvation unless we first realize that we need to be saved.

We have to recognize what we need to be saved from.

Only then can we begin to absorb the awesome nature of His gift.

R.C. Sproul says it clearly in his book, The Holiness of God:

“When we understand the character of God, when we grasp something of His holiness, then we begin to understand the radical character of our sin and hopelessness. Helpless sinners can survive only by grace. Our strength is futile in itself; we are spiritually impotent without the assistance of a merciful God. We may dislike giving our attention to God’s wrath and justice, but until we incline ourselves to these aspects of God’s nature, we will never appreciate what has been wrought for us by grace.”

That is what Leviticus does for us. It opens our eyes to our hopelessness without Jesus Christ and to God’s holiness.

God knew we needed Leviticus…or we could never appreciate His offer of happily ever after.

Your DoAhead Friend,


About Dana Boyd

Dana is a lifelong lover of words with a passion for sharing stories of the heart—both her own and others. Her writings draw from her experiences as a woman, a writer, a wife, a mother of three, and a Bible-believing Jesus follower. She is a defender of truth, an avid proponent of common sense and a recovering (often relapsing) perfectionist still learning to lean in to grace. Her writing is an honest outpouring of her introverted heart, driven by a longing to inspire others to feel deeply, think critically and act compassionately. Dana shares her words as a monthly contributor at DoAhead Woman.

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