Thursday, November 8, 2007

As I've been reading lately studying for an exam I'll be taking in a few weeks, I have come to appreciate, yet again, the profundity of the Old Testament. Longman and Dillard has an Introduction to the Old Testament with this as the last phrase of his introductory statement for Leviticus:

The book of Leviticus is often seen by the church as irrelevant to the
present day. In those few cases where it is considered significant, an
allegorical interpretation is used to "bridge the gap" between the time of the
OT and today. A close study of its contents, however, will reveal its rich
contribution to our understanding of God and the history of redemption without
recourse to allegory

I appreciate this statement so much. As I was remembering the book of Leviticus, this book helped me remember some of the key theological truths revealed in this masterful work:

1) The Holiness of God.

Leviticus 11:45 45 'For I am the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, to be your God; thus you shall be holy for I am holy.'" It seems as though this is a resounding chorus throughout the entirety of the book.

2) The Sacrificial system. The emphasis on sacrifice is not at all surprising since it is the most important activity of formal worship during the OT period (Longman and Dillard, 85).

3) The Priesthood. First of all, the teaching on priesthood in the book of Leviticus accentuates the overall theme of God's holiness. After all, the priests spend much of their time in the presence of the Holy One. Thus, as Longman and Dillard conclude: "Thus we may briefly summarize the main function of the priesthood according to the book of Leviticus: they were to protect the holiness of God in the camp" (p.89).

Let us bear in mind that the New Testament book of Hebrews reveals that Jesus Christ is the perfect high priest who offers himself as the perfect sacrifice:

Hebrews 9:26 - 28 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

Praise God that Jesus is the ultimate High Priest. Praise God that He has given a mediator, an intercessor, a priest to intercede between us and God, and, by the perfect sacrifice of himself, has procured salvation eternally for all those who would believe upon Him.


Dave said...

Thanks for the reminders. Important concept, and that book is a great book. I'll be praying for you with the upcoming test.

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