For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.
To say that God is holy is to say that God is not only separate from sin, but that God is separate from everything. God is different from everything else in the universe. God is far above everything else and everyone else in the universe. Nothing can even be compared to God. God is the holy God. As the exalted seraphim call out in Isaiah 6:3, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
The Book of Leviticus proclaims that God is the holy God. Every sacrifice, every law, every command, declares that God is holy. In fact, the word holy appears in Leviticus more than in any other book of the Bible.
Moreover, several times in Leviticus God commands his people that they also must be holy, separate from all sin and dedicated wholly to God.
For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy (Leviticus 11:44a).
For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy (Leviticus 11:45).
You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy (Leviticus 19:2b).
Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God (Leviticus 20:7).
You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine (Leviticus 20:26).
The people of Israel were to be different because they belonged to God. They were a chosen people, a special people.
That is also our calling as followers of Jesus. We are a special people, a chosen people, a holy people, the people of God, set apart from sin and dedicated wholly to God. “But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16).
This is our identity. This is our calling. This is our destiny as God’s holy people.