When Moses wrote the Book of Leviticus, the Israelites were camped at Mount Sinai. Leviticus was a how-to book of sorts for God’s people. It gave them specific instructions from God on how to live—how to come before a holy God and how to walk with Him.
Many of the kids you teach will not be familiar with the Book of Leviticus. Use this session as an opportunity to teach kids about God’s holiness. These laws were to help God’s people be holy too. (Lev. 11:44)
Explain that God required a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. (See Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22.) Each year, the Israelites made blood sacrifices for their sin. But they kept sinning, and the sacrifice was required again the next year.
Help kids discover what this Old Testament book teaches us about Jesus. Read aloud Hebrews 10:4.
For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
(Hebrews 10:4, HCSB)
Wait a second … If the blood of bulls and goats can’t take away sins, why did God require the people to make blood sacrifices? The institution of sacrifices was a shadow—an indication of something greater to come. God’s plan was to send His Son to be the blood sacrifice:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
(Romans 3:23-25, ESV) emphasis mine
The word forbearance means “a refraining from the enforcement of something (as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due.” God held off punishing the sin of His people because He planned to send Jesus to pay for it.
When Jesus died on the cross, shedding His own blood for our sin, He offered the blood sacrifice once and for all. We don’t obey the rules in Leviticus today because we trust in the finished work of Christ. He has paid our debt, making peace with God and bringing us near to Him. (Col. 1:20; Eph. 2:13) Jesus is the perfect and final sacrifice who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)