Leviticus, the third book of the Bible, has received a bad (and misinformed) reputation for being a boring or irrelevant book. The reality is, without the book of Leviticus, much of the New Testament makes little sense. The book of Leviticus is necessary to understand the book of Hebrews, the Gospels, and even salvation itself. The book is not just legal jargon, but a narrative of historical significance. It is not just significant historically or legally, but its theological depth is profound. Leviticus primary goal is to show God’s people how to live holy before their holy God.
The book begins in a very interesting way, “And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him OUT OF THE TABERNACLE of the congregation, saying,”. What makes this phrase so interesting is that God speaks to Moses from inside the tabernacle, while Moses is outside the tabernacle. See in Exodus (chapter 20 and on) God explained the Tabernacle: how it was to be built and used. Even in the midst of this instruction giving, the people had major moral failure with the Golden Calf. They were God’s people, but they didn’t act like it. They knew little of what was actually required to live set apart and holy unto their God.
In Numbers 1:1 we read, “And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, IN THE TABERNACLE of the congregation…”. Numbers shows us a people who have fellowship and holiness (although they still had their failures). It is significant that before the enacting of Levitical law, the people were outside but after Levitical Law is enacted they have fellowship on the inside.
Leviticus is not a book to explain the building of the tabernacle, it is not instructions on how to assemble and disassemble the meeting place of God, nor is it a series of rituals and systems they were required to put into place. No, the book of Leviticus is to show Israel how they can be HOLY and set apart unto God. It’s sacrifices, dietary laws, priest practices, practical living, and more all point to this truth BE YE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.
Galatians 3:22-24 says, “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” We need Leviticus to show us how sinful we really are; the great distance that exist between God and man. Sinfulness separates sinners from God.
The book of Leviticus could be divided into five categories or sections:
As you journey through this book over the next few days, see the amazing picture of Christ in every law given. Remember the reality that Christ came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it! Be amazed as you read chapter 16, that Christ is our atonement, our propitiation, our savior. Be willing to push pause on your reading, and discover the great wonder of each sacrifice, dietary law, priest responsibility, and cleansing practice put in place. Enjoy the journey through the Law of Leviticus!