From the day they are presented to serve as priests to God, Aaron and his sons can expect to receive these allotments from the gifts of God. This is what God commanded the People of Israel to give the priests from the day of their anointing. This is the fixed rule down through the generations. Leviticus 7:35-36 (MSG)
When the law of Leviticus was given to Moses around 3500 years ago, the fledgling nation of Israel were nomads wandering in the desert and they were split into twelve tribes. The sons of Aaron (Moses’ Chief Operating Officer) and the rest of his tribe of Levites, were appointed the job of priests and caretakers of the Tabernacle, which was a giant tent sanctuary that they took with them and set up wherever they went. Once the people had settled in the Promised Land, the plan was for the Levites to continue to be caretakers of God’s temple. As priests, they would not own and control a section of land from which to earn their living. The daily sacrifices offered by the other tribes would provide what they and their families needed to survive.
In the Levites, we find another brilliant word picture of God’s ultimate plan. God’s message calls those who follow Jesus a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9-10). Just as the Levites found their provision in the sacrifices offered in the Tabernacle and the Temple, those of us who follow Jesus find our provision in the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus made when He gave Himself up to die on a cross.
This morning as I read the chapter and the bread offerings that became daily provision for the priests and their families, I couldn’t help but think of the prayer Jesus taught His followers to pray: Give us this day our daily bread. And I thought of the last supper when He broke the bread: This bread is my body given for you.
As followers of Jesus, we are given daily sustenance and provision through the sacrifice of Jesus. He is the Bread of Life. The system of sacrifice set up in the law of Leviticus is a beautiful word picture that foreshadowed God’s plan to send Jesus, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, to be the ultimate sacrifice for sin. It was a metaphor for the royal priesthood Jesus’ followers become, and the daily provision Jesus’ sacrifice becomes for those who partake. Without Leviticus, we don’t have a complete a picture of who Jesus was (and is, and is to come).