Leviticus used to be the first book of the Bible read and studied by children in the synagogue. In the church, it is perhaps the last one read, if it is ever given any attention at all. One of the reasons that the book of Leviticus is so little studied in the church is a lack of understanding about the relevance of the literature to the New Testament Christian. What do all these legislative texts in the Pentateuch have to do with life in the church?
In this matter, we should take to heart Paul’s admonition that ‘All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.’ Thus, Leviticus, being part of ‘all Scripture’, must have an enduring value and quality for the believer of any age.
The book of Leviticus is indispensable for teaching the Christian the depth and heinousness of human sinfulness. The chasm that separates a holy God from an unholy humanity stems from this pervasive iniquity. Yet Leviticus holds out a promise that mankind can be made right with God and live according to his statutes. It truly underscores the love of God for his people, and that he has a plan of salvation for them. But one also realizes that the sacrificial system of Leviticus is insufficient and cannot make people right with God. It points out that something greater is needed. It demands a final atonement. Thus, more than any other book of the Old Testament, Leviticus foreshadows and adumbrates the coming of the Messiah and his wondrous work of atonement.
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