THE WAY TO LIFE MINISTRIES
Let us talk about the Book of Leviticus
1. Author and Time of Writing
Leviticus starts with the words: "And the Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation." Such introductory words appear over thirty-five times in Leviticus. They emphasize that Moses received these many revelations and communications personally and that he wrote them himself (compare Deuteronomy 31:9). - God spoke out of the tabernacle of the congregation but also on Mount Sinai (see chap. 25:1). Thus, Moses was able to write it all down and to communicate it to the people of Israel (compare Joshua 1:7-8).
The Lord Jesus testifies to the fact that Moses was the author of Leviticus in Matthew 8:4 (comp. Leviticus 13:49; Leviticus 14:2-32).
2. Purpose of Writing
The book of Leviticus is the book of fellowship (or communion). In Exodus God saved His people and formed an alliance with them. In Leviticus, the principles of approaching God are shown. Therefore, Jehovah speaks primarily out of the tabernacle of the congregation in this book (chap. 1:1).
In the first seven chapters, we will find the offerings which the people of Israel should bring to God. They are the expression of fellowship in worship based on atonement. Then follow the dedication of the priests who were the mediators of this fellowship in chaps. 8-10.
In Chaps. 11-15, the hindrances to fellowship are dealt with.
Chapter 16 forms the center of the book: the Great Day of Atonement. This Great Day of Atonement is declared the once for all offering of Christ in Hebrews 9; Hebrews 10.
Further instructions for the practical cleanness of the people of Israel follow in chaps. 17-22.
Chap. 23 describes the seven feasts of Jehovah which have a spiritual as well as a prophetical signification. Then follow instructions concerning the tabernacle, the administration of the penal law, and about the Sabbath year as well as the year of Jubilee (chaps. 24-26). The book closes with an appendix on vows and sanctified things in chap. 27.
Leviticus corresponds to the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament. The subject of Hebrews is the approaching of men to God as well.
For many Bible readers, the Old Testament sacrifices are difficult to understand. But God Himself presented this thought already to Adam and Eve when He clothed them with coats of skins (Genesis 3:21). By this means, He showed them that they could not hide their guilty nakedness by their own efforts, but only by the fact that an animal died for them in their stead.
In Leviticus God shows His people Israel that the blood of the offered animal (which is the sign of ransoming life) is the only way of atonement for committed sins (Leviticus 17:11). The presentation of offerings, therefore, played an important part in the life of the people of Israel. The two following kinds of offerings are to be distinguished:
One kind where the offerings which were to be repeated at certain times. They picture various aspects of the work of Christ on the cross (for example the Passover, 1 Corinthians 5:7; the Great Day of Atonement, Hebrews 9:6-12).
The other kind of offerings could be brought by the individual Israelite either voluntarily (such as Burnt, Meat, or Peace Offering in Leviticus 1; Leviticus 2; Leviticus 3) or when they had sinned (sin and trespass offering in Ch. 4-5). Thereby various graduations were made. These graduations reflect the personal apprehension of the offering of Christ.
Similarly, the Christians are called upon to bring spiritual and material1 offerings and even to present their bodies as a living sacrifice. All this is acceptable to God by the offering of Christ only (compare 1 Peter 2:5; Philippians 4:18; Romans 12:1).
I hope you enjoyed reading this and may this help you to better appreciate what Jesus did for us.
Much Love and Blessings,
Prophetess Diane Berry