“You shall eat no fat of ox or sheep or goat. The fat of an animal that dies or was torn by wild animals may be put to any other use, but you must not eat it. If any of you eats the fat from an animal of which an offering by fire may be made to the LORD, you who eat it shall be cut off from your kin.” Leviticus 7:23b-25
Choices have consequences, notice the personal decision to do something forbidden (something that makes one unclean) causes me to be separated from the family. My choices affect not only myself but others. Deviation from holiness, which God defines, separates me from God and others.
Core Term - Holiness
The basic biblical meaning of holiness is total dedication to the Lord God, and therefore total separation from all that pollutes, defiles, or draws people away from God. Holiness is the central theme in Leviticus. The word holy occurs more often here than in any other biblical book. God’s people are told repeatedly, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” So the key fact and dynamic is this: Israel must be holy because of their relationship to God – because the Lord has called, liberated, and formed them into a people for God’s mission. Leviticus 6 and other passages make it clear that true holiness is moral and ethical, not just ceremonial. Anyone who defrauds or cheats another must make full restitution, adding a fifth to the value. Thus holiness is intimately connected with justice. God is love – holy, just, all-encompassing love. This is the character of God, and therefore (as John Wesley emphasized), it must be the character of God’s people. (Wesley Study Bible pg 127)
So when Jesus summarizes the Law telling us to Love God first, love others and love ourselves as God loves, he is not dumbing down the law, or making things more permissive. He is commanding us to love as God loves – “God is love – holy, just, all-encompassing love”, O that I would live that way, love that way – help me Lord!