In chapters 8 and 9, in which the ordination of the priests is described, the word “blood” is found twelve times, either in reference to the priests themselves or their garments or the altar. This was to purify and to make atonement. Leviticus is quite a bloody book, but not in the way that contemporary culture glorifies blood in grotesque movie scenes. As the Lord tells Moses in 17:11 – “The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life” – the people of Israel, and we, are brought near to God by the blood. Left to our own, how ungrateful we are to God for all we have. How we despise our Creator. How greatly do we sin against him. And how great a debt does our sin place upon us. That debt, however, for us, has been paid with a great price, the blood of the Son of God.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins . . . But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-- by grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:1,4-5). This really is the story of the book of Leviticus. We must take care that we do not see all this as just a bunch of rules and regulations; rather, the book of Leviticus is the story of God redeeming his people from sin.
Of course, the redeemed are to live in a certain way, and God instructs Israel – dietary and many instructions regarding health matters – because he is concerned not only about the people’s eternal redemption but, also, our day to day welfare. The laws were not to be a burden but a great blessing. What God does and says, always, is for his own glory and for our good.