The Daunting Book of Leviticus

As you may be aware over the next several weeks, I am going to be preaching through a series on the book of Leviticus.  Now if you have been around the biblical block a few times, you know that Leviticus is not the easiest part of the Bible to read.  In fact, it may be the toughest.  With all its rules, ceremonies, and sacrifices, more than a few sincere believers have puzzled over Leviticus’ relevance for today.  So you might be asking yourself, “Why on earth would Pastor Ryan choose to do a series on this particular portion of Scripture?”  That is a certainly a valid question, and Lord willing, I intend to address it in some detail this coming Sunday.  So before you adjust your schedule to conveniently be out of town for the next few weeks, I want to encourage you to come and hear me out.  

I am actually quite excited about preaching this series, for in my preparation I have often been reminded of the character of the Savior whom Leviticus so frequently anticipates.  Here’s a couple of quotes that I hope will whet your appetite for what the Lord has in store for us in the coming weeks.      

“Unlike the deserved veneration given to the Book of Leviticus among the Jews, the book has been largely ignored by the church.  At no point, for many Christians, does the Bible appear more mysterious and seemingly irrelevant than when it focuses on the temple and the sacrificial system.  But the truths found in these texts and what they foreshadow must be grasped if the New Testament teaching is to be understood.” – Mark F. Rooker (The New American Commentary: Leviticus. Nashville:  Broadman & Holman, 2000, p. 22)

“The biblical writers believed, and the Church has always accepted, that they were writing more than history.  They were recording God’s word to his people.  Leviticus is therefore more than a description of the past historical events and more than a collection of dated laws.  It tells us about God’s character and will. . . Those who believe that God the Lord ‘is the same yesterday and today and  for ever’ may look to the book’s theology for insights that are still valid and relevant.”- Gordon J. Wenham (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: Leviticus.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979, pp. 15-16)

Yes, Leviticus can be challenging, and yes, properly understanding this book may take a good deal of work.  Nevertheless, I believe the rewards will be well worth the effort.  I hope you will join us as we dig into this oft-neglected portion of God’s Word and once again “taste and see” the goodness of the Lord.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Ryan