Introduction to Leviticus – Galatians 3:21-22

Galatians 3:21-22

“Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”

After Israel constructed the tabernacle, God’s presence came down to dwell among His people. He then laid down a “few” laws for the people to survive and enjoy His glory among them.
God gave these laws for three specific reasons:

  1. To separate His people from the World
  2. To reveal God’s standard for righteousness 
  3. To move people to redemption and the cross, because no one can meet God’s standard.

Leviticus is where these laws get specific relating to priestly duties, worship, healthy living, holy living, and finding forgiveness. The laws are tough, but they reflect a way of life that assures God’s blessing and represents His relationship with humanity.

Many people mention the dread of reading this book. Yet, imagine a world where God did not tell us what He expects nor separate a people to Himself. So, Leviticus is paramount to understanding God’s expectations for righteousness and the offering for forgiveness. In His love, God lets the world know in detail what He is thinking.

Even more, God reveals a divine plan in Leviticus that Hebrews correlates to the atonement of Jesus Christ. J. Vernon McGee sums up the theme well when he says, “The message is twofold: 1. Leviticus teaches that the way to God is by sacrifice. The word “atonement” occurs 45 times. 2. Leviticus teaches that the walk with God is by sanctification. The word “holiness” occurs 87 times. 

And finally, surrounding nations could see God’s power, longsuffering, wrath, and providence through Israel. Why? Because God set them apart to be His. So, Leviticus details the requirements for that life.

Pastor Stephen Williams

original photo by Kent Banes on Unsplash

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