Why Read Leviticus

After New Attitude, I felt the Lord prompt me to read through the Bible. No timeline, no goal of when I want to be done. Just faithfully read through the entire Bible. So, I am! I began around the beginning of June and I just started reading Leviticus. :) Instead of trying to read the entire Bible in a month, I think my goal should be how long can it take one person to read through it. :) To be honest I've approached Leviticus hesitantly. As I kid I thought it was SO boring. So, I decided to approach it with prayer and faith. God would reveal things to me and He would become bigger. Well, in His kindness my ESV Study Bible came in before I started reading this book. It has a 4 page introduction, with an outline of the book and much explanation of the book. How kind of God, how cool is that! Here's a portion of what I read:

What do these legislative texts of Leviticus have to do with the church today? At this point, only a broad picture may be presented, and it will be painted in three brushstrokes, merely offering examples of the value of Leviticus for the Christian believer. First, the sacrificial system of Leviticus has ceased for the people of God; it has been fulfilled in the coming of Christ. Yet studying these laws is important because they enable the reader to understand how the work of Christ saves people, since the sacrifices point to different aspects of the meaning of Christ's sacrifice of himself.

Second, the festal calendar of Israel enumerated in Leviticus has strongly shaped the Christian church's traditional calendar. The three main national pilgrim feasts of Israel are the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Harvest, and the Feast of Booths. For those churches that follow the traditional calendar, these celebrations find their climax in Good Friday, Easter, and Pentecost. To fully understand the celebrations , one must see their initial purpose in the OT. At the same time, some aspects of the legislation in Leviticus (such as the laws regulating clean and unclean food) had the goal of separating Israel from the other nations. Although this separation has been done away with in the Christian era, these laws still teach the people of God to be morally clean.

Third, the entire Levitical Holiness Cod deals with sanctification, i.e., the idea of holiness affecting how one lives in the covenant community. The NT applies to Christians the same principle of life stated in Leviticus 11:44, "be holy, for I am holy" (quoted in 1 Peter 1:16). In fact, many of the moral requirements reflected in the Holiness code reveal the kinds of moral conduct that are still either pleasing or displeasing to God. On the other hand, several details of the Holiness Cod concern more symbolic aspects of holiness that should no longer be followed in the Christian era (such as laws prohibiting garments of two kinds of cloth, prohibiting the shaving of the edges of one's beard, and excluding people with physical defects from presenting offerings). Further, the NT envisions a people of God that transcends national boundaries, and thus it dissolvers the bond between the specifically theocratic system of government that was OT Israel. Therefore, current civil governments need not replicate the civil laws specific to the Mosaic theocracy (such as capital punishment for adultery in 20:0 or for blasphemy in 24:16, or the Sabbath year and Jubilee year in 25:1-22), although of course all governments must pursue justice (and Leviticus may certainly help Christians develop their notions of justice).

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