Updated: May 9
Exodus 35-40, Leviticus 1; 16; 19
[No video available]
Leaving Egypt—as important and miraculous as that was—didn’t fully accomplish God’s purposes for the children of Israel. Even future prosperity in the promised land wasn’t God’s ultimate objective for them. These were only steps toward what God really wanted for His people: “Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). How did God seek to make His people holy when they had known nothing but captivity for generations? He commanded them to create a place of holiness to the Lord—a tabernacle in the wilderness. He gave them covenants and laws to guide their actions and, ultimately, to change their hearts. And when they fell short in their efforts to keep those laws, He commanded them to make animal sacrifices to symbolize atonement for their sins. All of this was meant to point their minds, their hearts, and their lives toward the Savior and the redemption He offers. He is the true path to holiness, for the Israelites and for us. We have all spent some time in the captivity of sin, and we are all invited to repent—to leave sin behind and follow Jesus Christ, who has promised, “I am able to make you holy” (Doctrine and Covenants 60:7).
For an overview of the book of Leviticus, see “Leviticus” in the Bible Dictionary.