Sunday, July 12

Journey Spiritual Conversations

Dear Parents,

“I tried to read the Bible all the way through, but I stopped at Leviticus.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard some variation of this sentence, I’d have at least enough for an extra value meal at McDonald’s. Leviticus is hard. Unless you frequent law libraries in your spare time, this book—covering mostly tabernacle rituals and sacrifices—will probably feel a lot like reading the iTunes terms and conditions.

But God knows what He’s doing. Even the Book of Leviticus has a purpose in God’s great plan for humanity. Not only does it demonstrate God’s holiness, but it also points to Jesus. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Leviticus 16-17. In these two chapters, God instructs Moses about the Day of Atonement—a time for the high priest, Aaron, to make sacrifices for his family and the Nation of Israel. In it God makes a very odd command: Aaron is to lay his hands on the head of a live goat, and confess the unspoken sins of the entire Nation of Israel. The hidden sins of the Jewish people were being placed on this poor animal’s head!

Verse of the week

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life."

-Leviticus 17:11

Video for the week

The BibleProject, Leviticus Overview

In this video from The BibleProject, God invites Israel to live in close proximity to His holy presence. Which seems awesome, but it’s actually dangerous. This book explores how the sacrificial rituals and purity practices cleared the way for morally corrupt Israelites to become God’s covenant partners.
 
This video really helps break down the important parts of Leviticus. I hope you enjoy it!

Challenge of the Week

Read Leviticus 16-17

Scripture focus

Leviticus 16:20-22

20 “When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. 21 He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. 22 The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness.”

Spiritual conversation

Have you ever heard the term scapegoat? Dictionary.com defines a scapegoat as “a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.” That famous word had its origins right here, in Leviticus 16! The idea that a goat could take on all the unspoken sins in the lives of an entire nation is more than a little odd. But that’s what happened!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve felt like a scapegoat before. Whether you’ve been wrongfully accused for something someone else has done, or you took the blame to keep a friend or sibling from getting in trouble, all of us have been the goat released in the wilderness at some point in our lives.
(I recommend your whole family takes turns answering these questions. It’s always better when parents give their input, too!)

One

Think of a time when you took the blame for someone else’s actions. What happened? Did you do it on purpose, or did you get wrongfully blamed?

Two

Has anyone taken the blame for something that you did? What happened?

Three

Was there ever a time when you lied and said that someone was responsible for your bad behavior? Tell me about it.

Four

Would you be willing to take on the sins of the entire world if you knew that those people would be forgiven? Why or why not?

Prayer

How has Jesus acted as a scapegoat in our lives?

Prayer

Spend some time praying for one another
Let me know if this was helpful for you and your family!
In Christ,
Michael Chase, Middle School Director - Centerpoint Community Church