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The remainder of Exodus gives many more laws for the people of Israel to follow. Exodus also contains stories of Israel’s disobedience to God’s laws and God’s anger over that, but his anger falls short of destruction.

Leviticus is a book of laws that Moses received from God. One can’t help but wonder why all these laws were necessary. Certainly, if Israel had lived by these laws, they would have had a very successful society, but the laws also show that people could not achieve God’s standard of holiness. Chapter 1 tells what has to be done as a result of people not living up to God’s standard. The animal’s death is said to be “in your place” or some versions of the Bible say “atonement.” The idea is that the people fail to keep God’s rules and deserve death, but God accepts an animal’s death instead. It is a picture of what Jesus will do in the future for them. Hebrews 10:8-10 refers back to these sacrifices and says Jesus sacrificed himself as a replacement for these sacrifices and that it only needed to be done once.

Many commands, many acts of disobedience and many sacrifices to make up for it; it’s good not to be living in that time! The biggest difference from then to now is not fewer rules; it’s that we depend on Jesus’ sacrifice that only had to be done once.