What is the book of Leviticus about? Why is this still important to Christians today?
The book of Leviticus
This book, more than any other book in the Bible, is about the holiness of God. There is no equal and even though it is in the Old Testament, God is still concerned that his holiness be known. Most people, unfortunately, skip this book, but there is incredible and powerful symbolism about Christ and His atoning work on Calvary in the book of Leviticus. As the name suggests, it has a lot to do with the Levitical Priesthood. Written by Moses (probably between 1440-1400 BC It is a guide to the holy life, teaching and worship. This book also shows us the meaning of worshiping God in truth and in spirit.
The holiness of God
As I have written before, this book is more about the holiness of God than any other book in the Bible and mentions holiness 152 times. If there was one verse that sums up this whole book, it would be Leviticus 19: 2 which says “I am the Lord your God. I’m holy so you gotta be holy. “Part of knowing the holiness of God is that sin is costly and involves the need to shed blood. Animal sacrifices pointed to Jesus Christ who alone can take away sins, not just cover them. as was the case in the Old Testament. These sacrifices had to be repeated over and over again, but with Christ a supreme sacrifice was sufficient for all times and effective for all men. Hebrews 9:22 makes it clear that “under the law almost everything is cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. “
Reasons for holiness
Part of the reason for this book was to keep Israel clean and alive in holiness before God as Hebrews 12:14 says “Strive for peace with all, and for holiness without which no one will see the Lord. “Many of the pagan nations surrounding Israel were doing such abominable things as sacrificing children (including infants) as a living sacrifice in fire! This explains why Moses wrote that ‘everything Israelite or any foreigner living in Israel who gives one of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community must stone him. I will set my face against him and cut him off from his people; for in giving his children to Molech he defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when this man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will turn my face against this man and his family and I will cut him and his people from their people. all who follow him by prostituting themselves in Molech”(Leviticus 20: 1-5). The historical facts are that many of the ancient pagan religions also practiced animal sacrifices, but they also made human sacrifices and in particular, sacrificed children in fire, which is about as loathsome and all to say. cruel fact that one can even imagine. These were practiced by the Incas, Aztecs, Moabites (in the Middle East), Phoenicians and many other places in the world, but were strictly prohibited by the laws of God (Leviticus 18:21, 20: 3 ).
Reasons for mercy
God has always been concerned with the poor like widows and orphans and this was covered in Leviticus 19: 9 which says “When you reap the harvest of your land, you will not reap your field to its edge, neither will you gather the gleanings after your harvest.. “The reason is explained in more detail in Leviticus 23:22”And when you reap the harvest of your land, you will not reap your field to its border, nor will you gather the crops after your harvest. You will leave them for the poor and for the inhabitant: I am the Lord your God. “Furthermore, God cared for those who were far from their land and from their people, as we read in Leviticus 19:34”You shall treat the stranger that sojourns with you as the native of you, and love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.. “
Reasons for justice
DYou will not do any injustice in court. You will not be partial to the poor and you will not bow to the great, but with justice you will judge your neighbor. “God is no respect for persons and He expects us not to be respectful of persons either. This extends in the New Testament as Paul writes”There is no Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus“(Ga 3.28). God is always concerned with justice.
The book of Leviticus highlights the work of Christ and focuses on the holy requirements of the priesthood (Lev 8-10), the lives of believers (Lev 11-15), practical and daily applications of holiness ( Lev 17-33), and the conditions for receiving God’s blessings or curses (Lev 26-27). If you would like to learn more about the holiness of God, spend some time in the book of Leviticus and see how holy God is and how he expects us to live a life that is holy and pleasing to him because without holiness. “no one will see the lord”(Heb 12: 14b) and there is only one way to see the Lord (Acts 4:12) and this is how you achieve that holiness that God expects; “It is because of us that he made of him a sin which did not know sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.“(2sd Co 5:21).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is the pastor of Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the senior editor of What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage and energize Christians and answer questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.