Today’s reading was perhaps the most challenging so far because the entire book of Leviticus is concerned with ceremonial and ritual matters connected with the tabernacle. These first chapters cover the animal sacrifices required to “atone” for various types of sins, and the necessary protocol for performing those sacrifices. Repeatedly God tells Moses that these sacrifices will provide atonement for the sinners. The word atonement is the translation of the Hebrew word kaphar, which means to cover. This conveys the idea that the blood shed by the sacrificial animal would “cover” the sins of the guilty. As Christian readers of these accounts, we correctly interpret these sacrifices as prefiguring the sacrificial death of Christ which provides the covering of our sins. But by automatically making that interpretation of those ancient rituals, are we missing anything about what those sacrifices originally meant to the Israelites? Looking through these early books of Exodus and Leviticus, I have trouble seeing that the Israelites understood that these rituals were actually pointing forward to the future death of a Messiah. There really isn’t anything I can find at the early stage of biblical history regarding the true basis of our salvation. Perhaps there was information given that is missing in those books of the Bible regarding the meaning of those sacrifices. But if my only source of information was the Pentateuch, I would have a very hard time seeing the purpose of those sacrifices. Any thoughts on this question?