Leviticus focuses on the worship and walk of the nation of God. In Exodus, Israel was redeemed and established as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex. 19:5,6). They have been led out of bondage(Exodus), and into the sanctuary of God (Leviticus); now they must move on from redemption to service, from deliverance to dedication. It has been said that it took God only 1 night to get Israel out of Egypt, but it took 40 years to get Egypt out of Israel (Bruce Wilkinson).
Leviticus is God’s guidebook for His newly redeemed people, showing them how to worship, serve, and obey a holy God. Both access to God (through the sacrifices) and fellowship with God (through obedience) show the awesome holiness of the God of Israel. Indeed “you shall be holy; for I, the LORD, am holy” (Lev. 11:44).
The Book of Leviticus is filled with types and allusions to the person and work of Jesus Christ. For example, we see this in the 5 offerings of Leviticus 1-7. The burnt offering typifies Christ’s total offering in submission to His Father’s will. The meal/grain offering typifies Christ’s sinless offering. The peace offering is a type of the fellowship believers have through the work of the Cross. The sin offering typifies Christ as our guilt-bearer. The trespass offering typifies Christ’s payment for the damage of sin (from Bruce Wilkinson’s Walk thru the Old Testament).
Leviticus 1-15 teaches that God must be approached by the sacrificial offerings (Lev. 1-7), by the mediation of the priesthood (Lev. 8-10), and by the purification of the nation from uncleanness (Lev. 11-15). The blood sacrifices reminds the worshipers that because of sin the holy God required the costly gift of life (Lev. 17:11). The blood of the innocent sacrificial animal becomes the substitute for the guilty offerer: “without the shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb. 9:22).
We thank God that under the New Covenant that the same animal sacrifices do not need to be offered over and over again. Christ, the great High Priest and the good Shepherd, sacrificed Himself once, taking away our sin (Heb. 10:11-14). The blood of animals could only cover the guilt of sins, and point to the future Messianic Redeemer.
Let us give thanks to God for the better ministry, better High Priest, better sanctuary and the better sacrifice of the New Covenant (Heb. 7-10). Let us not be slack in our sanctification and service of the LORD. Let us ” enter boldly the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body; and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:19-24). In Christ’s love & service, Pastor John