Moses and Aaron entered the Tent of Meeting. When they came out they blessed the people and the Glory of God appeared to all the people. Fire blazed out from God and consumed the Whole-Burnt-Offering and the fat pieces on the Altar. When all the people saw it happen they cheered loudly and then fell down, bowing in reverence. Leviticus 9:23-24 (MSG)
The sacrifices resulted in God’s glory and God’s presence, which resulted in worship. There was an order to the process. Sin separates man from a holy God. When sacrifice for sin was made, and the price for sin was paid, then the separation between God and man was lifted and the way was made for God’s glory and presence. The people, awed by God’s glory and presence, bow in reverence and worship.
Fast forward 2500 years. Jesus made the sacrifice for sin and conquered sin’s consequence, which is death and the grave. The result was a glorified Christ appearing to his followers and God’s presence in the form of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the hearts of all believers. The result is our grateful worship.
Once again I find that the systematic set of sacrifices and offerings was a foreshadow of God’s ultimate plan. All of the laws, rules, and sacrifices set out in Leviticus serve to remind the human race what an impossible state we were in. Trying to attain perfection in the keeping of every law and the offering of every prescribed sacrifice was a heavy burden. No one could do it perfectly, and that was the point. We don’t earn forgiveness and salvation by systematically and sacrificially doing good things. We are graciously given forgiveness and salvation by what God did for us on the cross.