Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Leviticus: Key Message

Key Message / Verse: Leviticus 26:46; 27:34

Leviticus means “of the Levites,” from its Greek title Leutikon in the Septuagint (Greek OT). The Hebrew title, Vayikra, “And He called” comes straight from the book’s first verse. Calling is important in Leviticus, because it refers our calling to worship and holiness. What’s cool is that the Greek word for church – ekklesia – means “called out.”

Worship Manual. Genesis begins with God and ends with a coffin. Exodus begins in gloom and ends with the glory of the Lord filling the Tabernacle. Leviticus gives the rules of worship in the Tabernacle. Throughout Leviticus, the Lord speaks to us from the Tabernacle, explaining the Tabernacle. Most of all, Leviticus reveals Jesus Christ through the sacrifices, priestly laws, and feasts. It is filled with sacrifice, ritual, ceremony, instructions, liturgy, holy days, and warnings to teach us spiritual truths (1 Corinthians 10:6). Leviticus is reverse Platonic thought. Platonic thought involves using something on earth to describe something in the heavenly places. The book of Hebrews is an example of Platonic thought, using concrete terms here to describe the spiritual realities in heaven. Leviticus does the opposite, putting spiritual realities in heaven in concrete terms for Israel here on earth.

Book of Atonement: Leviticus 16:30-34. Atonement is found 45 times in Leviticus.

Holiness to YHWH “Be ye holy as I am holy,” Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7, 26)
Leviticus teaches that the way to God is by sacrifice (Atonement is found 45 times). Leviticus teaches that the walk with God is by holiness. (Holiness qodesh is found 87 times, sanctify is found 17 times; the root q-d-sh “holy” in adjective, noun, and verb forms is found 152 times). Leviticus teaches us that the worship of God is through celebration. Leviticus is a book of directions for a holy life with a holy God embracing the total well-being of Israel, physically, morally, and spiritually.