Leviticus 19-21…Various laws, punishments for sin, and rules for priests.
We need forgiveness not merely because we have sinned against others; rather, we need forgiveness because we have failed to reflect the image of God, having fallen far short of the glory He intended for us (Rom. 3:23). Our Creator demanded that His old covenant people be holy just as He is holy — set apart from all uncleanness and pure in character. This is very clear in Leviticus 19-21, especially when we consider the severity of the punishments. Ultimately, holiness is a call given to all, Jew and Gentile alike (Acts 17:22–34), and especially to the church (Matt. 5:48; 1 Peter 1:13–16).
The demand could not be higher — everyone is to be as holy as God is holy; our predicament could not be greater — sinners cannot possibly be this holy; and the Father’s answer could not be more gracious — His Son died in our place to satisfy His wrath, making Him able to forgive without forsaking His own righteousness. May we always recognize our failure to be holy as God is holy, our inability to obligate our Creator to forgive us, and the great mercy He has shown us in His Son, Christ Jesus.