Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Book of the Covenant

If you're following the Scripture-reading plan discussed HERE, then today you finished the book of Leviticus.  Congratulations!  This is probably the book that presents the greatest challenge to modern-day Bible readers.

So... why should we read it?

Well... this is the book in which God gives his Old Testament people instructions concerning what their whole lives should look like:  worship life... social life... legal life... the physical life of your body... the relationships in your life... sexual life... just everyday life.

God here spiritually and morally forms Israel into a nation.  Yes, there are lots of details here, but that's because this world matters to God.  And how we live in this world matters to God.  If someone thinks otherwise, they obviously haven't read Leviticus.

Here we read about the Old Testament offerings to God, about the life of God's priests, about how God's people were to handle being "unclean," about the spiritual richness of the Day of Atonement, about what Old Testament holiness looked like (regarding food and sex and morals and justice and rituals), about week-long Festivals and Sabbaths and Jubilee, about blessings and curses and vows...

It's the handbook of life with God under the Mosaic Covenant... 27 chapters, 859 verses... and in various and sundry beautiful ways it's preparing us for meeting Jesus Himself---our ultimate Priest, our true Atonement.
"Leviticus not only presents the entire religious system of ancient Israel, but it also lays the theological foundation for the New Testament teaching about the atoning work of Jesus Christ."
~Allen P. Ross
"The word holy is used 91 times in Leviticus, and words connected with cleansing are used 71 times.  References to uncleanness number 128.  There's no question what this book is all about."
~Warren W. Wiersbe 
"Leviticus locates the individual in the context of the larger community.  Human life is lived in the context of the larger community.... The primary theological image of Leviticus is the holy God dwelling in the midst of the Israelite community.  Leviticus takes the concrete presence of God seriously and seeks to discover what it means to live life in the presence of the holy God."
~Frank H. Gorman, Jr. 


No comments:

Post a Comment