In the book of Leviticus, God begins laying out instructions for the Israelites so they would know how to bring offerings to the sanctuary. There was a specific reason for this: so they would know that they were accepted by their God. "If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to offer a male without defect. He must present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord. He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him." (vs 3-4)
Knowing you were accepted by your god was a huge thing in the Old Testament world. Every nation was engaged in "communion" with the gods. They offered sacrifices, they prayed, they pleaded, they hoped and waited. Of course, if they were making offerings or sacrifices to a god that didn’t exist, they would never have the satisfaction of having a personal reception.
But our God is different. He not only wanted the Israelites to know that He was interested in having a relationship with them, but in the context of that relationship, He wanted them to fully realize that they were accepted.
This is still the case today. God loves us. He accepts us. May I repeat that? He accepts us... just as we are! So often, we mistakenly believe that the problem with sin is that God won’t accept sinners. Well, after reading the accounts of Jesus’s life on this Earth, we can’t believe that any longer. He was accused of hanging out with sinners!
The problem with sin is not that God won’t accept us, but that we won’t accept Him. We don’t always understand how that could happen... but if we don’t allow God into our lives to heal us of sin, we won’t want to have anything to do with Him. (Not the other way around.)
God always loves us. God always accepts us. And, at the beginning of Leviticus, we see that He is interested in finding ways to help us understand that He accepts us. We can relax and know that our problem is not with God! His arms are always open.