Monday, February 21, 2011

Jesus Christ in Leviticus

I read the book Radical by David Platt. It messed me up. That's all I can say. I decided in December when I finished Radical that I would read through the Bible in 2011. I started out really strong. I blew through all 50 chapters of Genesis, no problem. I was a week ahead of schedule. So how is it that in February I find myself behind already? The answer is: Leviticus. I was on pace (or close to it) all the way through the book of Exodus. The end got tough but when I found myself wading the deep waters of Leviticus...well, Exodus looks like a cake walk in retrospect.

And now that I'm finally done with Leviticus I can tell you this: the juice is worth the squeeze.

Jesus is everywhere in the Bible, you just have to look for Him in the pages. In Leviticus, it is much more obvious than some other books. I mean the entire book is basically about sacrifice and priest law. And the cool thing is, I've read the Gospel accounts and Hebrews before. So it's so clear that Jesus is supreme over all these sacrifices and sacrificial law. I mean, Leviticus just goes on and on about the different sacrifices and their different uses and all the rules and regulations that go with each one. I mean I can't imagine having to memorize these things and then carry them out on a daily basis!

So when Hebrews says the Law was a shadow of good things (i.e. Jesus) to come, I believe the text. When Hebrews says that by the Will of God we (Christians) have been sanctified (cleansed, purified) through the one time offering of the body of Jesus and that one time sacrifice is sufficient's not hard at all for me to believe that text, because now I've read Leviticus. I see that Jesus is better. Why would anyone go back to he Law after tasting and seeing that Jesus' Way is so much sweeter?

Just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with the Law, there is something wrong with us. We are broken, not the Law. But Jesus overcame our inability to keep the law.

It's so clear that His preisthood is higher and supreme over all other priests. After all, he's the first (and only) High Priest to ever sit done and declare that His work as a High Priest is finished. He foffered one sacrifice and hHe was done. He said, "It is finished." Every other priest has had to make another sacrifice...and then another and another and another. They were never done. They could never sit down as if they were finished. And they always had to come up with another sacrifice. More blood had to be shed in order to continue the sacrifices. But, Jesus' sacrifice was a one time deal that was eternally satisfactory to the Father. It was one and then done because it was eternally and infintely worthy as a sacrifice for guilt, sins, and everything else found in Leviticus.

Jesus is the Great High Priest. He has earned His priesthood by way of His indestructible life.
Jesus is the Ultimate Sacrifice. He was worthy to be slain as an all-satisfying sacrifice.

You can't see the Supremacy of Christ at its highest heights in the book of Leviticus until you read Hebrews. And you can't see our desperate need for Jesus at its deepest depths in Hebrews until you've read Leviticus. The entire Bible is important. The entire Bible is relevant. You can read the entire Bible...and find Jesus all along the way.


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