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Leviticus: Thank You Jesus

I’ve been reading the book of Leviticus. You’d think after all these years I’d find it easy. You know, everything fits into place and this passage means this and that passage means that and the application is obvious as I encounter ‘Bible Gem’ after ‘Bible Gem’. 

Instead, I’m struggling. What is God trying to tell me? Nevertheless, certain truths have hit home, even if (from my perspective) strangely expressed. Here’s some of what I’ve learnt:

  1. God is holy, set apart. He is Other, the Creator Lord. He calls the shots. We don’t.
  2. Sin, rebellion against God and disregard for his law and rule, is serious business. It can’t be overlooked. Something has to be done to set things right. And so we have lengthy descriptions of all sorts of offerings that must be made to atone, or cover over, the sin of Israel. Animals are sacrificed, grain and oil are offered up, again and again and again.
  3. Sinful humans cannot approach God lightly. Because of this ordinary, sinful men are symbolically purified through elaborate rituals to serve as priests. Only they can approach God and represent sinful Israel before him.
  4. That which is impure is like a disease which infects and spreads. Removing impurity, then, is not a quick fix but requires a complete transformation.

Leviticus may be a strange book, but it’s all about Jesus. Leviticus highlights our sin defect and then presents laborious, imperfect, partial solutions. Jesus, our Great High Priest, the one perfect sacrifice for sin, is its only fulfilment.

When I read Leviticus, I give thanks for Jesus.