God’s people have been rescued and he’s said they need to be a kingdom of priests. God is in the middle and Leviticus shows us this picture. There is a glorious God from whom we all get life, in the middle of everything.
The fire that does not go out
God says to them three times that the fire must not go out. Our God is a consuming fire. At the centre of the camp, there is a fire that mustn’t go out. It gives us a picture of what is real. There is a God who is at the centre of everything, burning in his perfection. Holiness. God is three persons, loving each other. There is a dynamic of pure love in the middle of everything, burning with holy love. This burning fire of God spoke to Moses from the tent.
We can’t even get close to God without being destroyed. This sacrifice that’s given has blood sprinkled round the door outside the tent. God is all for us coming to know him but that can only happen if we see there’s a problem with us. If we are even going to start coming near the fire, our uncleanliness needs dealing with. You are not a good person who sometimes does bad things. We are all corrupt. Without atonement, we can’t get to the door. In ourselves, we are so fallen, so far from the perfection of God who’s at the centre of everything, that we need atonement. We think it’s us in the middle and God is on the outside. Jesus’ body was torn apart and he did that to make atonement. God seems to like the smell of these offerings. It’s admitting that God is at the centre.
He is the centre, not you
The centre of everything is the God who is the burning fire. It all belongs to him. How much do you need to keep? Once you trust Jesus, your choices can be pleasing to God. Jesus is the one who rules from the throne. The one who owns us is also the one who atones for us. It’s better for stuff to be in his hands than yours.