Summary: Today as we survey the book of Leviticus we will discover that Leviticus is in deed, a relevant book for Christians even today and that it is a book abounding in great teachings.
COME AND SEE
In the first chapter of the Gospel of John we read about when Jesus began to call His first disciples. One of the first was Philip, who like Andrew and Peter was from the town of Bethsaida.
Philip went out immediately found Nathanael and told Him about Jesus of Nazareth. Nathanael responded to Philip "Nazareth! Can anything good from there?" Philip didn’t argue with Nathanael he just said "come and see." Well Nathanael went with Philip and he really wasn’t expecting too much. However, after meeting Jesus, Nathanael realized that Jesus was much better than he had expected and within minutes was calling Jesus the Son of God. and Nathanael would spend the next three years with Jesus and his life was never the same.
This month we are going to study the book of Leviticus. And when I say to you that it’s a great book and that’s it is going to be a great study. You may feel a little leery like Nathanael did and you might be thinking "Leviticus! Can anything good, can anything practicle, come from there?"
A somewhat cynical analyst has observed: "Leviticus is a dust heap containing a single pearl-you shall love your neighbor as yourself". As casual reading of Leviticus may cause the reader to feel that Leviticus is the epitome of Old Testament irrelevance.
Leviticus is full of ritual and sacrifices, that have not been performed for nearly 2000 years. It goes into great detail describing a priesthood that no longer exists and feasts and Holidays that are no longer observed.
All of these factors is probably why Leviticus is the least read book of the Bible. How many times have we read through this book? Doctor Smith in his survey of the Pentateuch writes:
"The prejudice against it notwithstanding, Leviticus is a Christian book. The Bible of Jesus contained this book. More than 40 New Testament references to Leviticus have been identified. What appears on the surface to be a barren wasteland proves to be a gold mine to those with the patience to plunge its depths.
As we begin our study of Leviticus I invite you, to COME AND SEE. Come and see what treasures God has for us as we study this book.
Today as we survey the book of Leviticus we will discover that Leviticus is in deed, a relevant book for Christians even today and that it is a book abounding in great teachings. Leviticus teaches God’s people about :
I. THE GREAT PROBLEM OF SIN
Let’s talk about sin:
A. What sin is?
The word sin is used 90 times in the book of Leviticus, more than any other book in the Bible and it is used over 4 times as much in Leviticus than in Genesis and Exodus combined. In Exodus, which we studied in May, we find God being concerned with, getting His people out of Egypt. God was concerned with releasing them from he bonds of Egyptian slavery. In the book of Leviticus, which covers a one month period of time after the building of the tabernacle, we find God now concerned with, getting Egypt, out of His people. God was concerned with dealing with His people’s problem of sin. The problem of Sin However, is not something new. Ever since Adam and Eve started the process in the garden, mankind has continually throughout the years, sought to do things their own way, and they have openly rebelled against, and rejected God’s way. Sin is disobedience to God’s laws, to God’s commands. And as Paul says in Romans, we sin, when we fall short, when we don’t measure up to, what God expects us to be, and what God expects us to do.
B. What sin does?
Sin is disobeying God, breaking His Laws. And in many places in the book of Leviticus we read that those who break God’s commands, that those who disobey, that those who are unclean, are to be cut off. This phrase is used 15 times in the book of Leviticus. This terms teaches us that those who are disobedient, that those who sin, are to be separated from God and from God’s people.
That is what sin does, it separates us from God. Our God is a Holy God. Four times in the book of Leviticus (Chs., 10, 19, 20), God tells His people to be Holy because He is Holy. When God’s people sin They become stained, they become impure, and they no longer can approach or stand in God’s presence. The prophet Isaiah, writes in the 59th chapter that "our sins separate us from God and that our sins also hide God’s face from us". Sin separates us from God.
C. Whose problem is it?
It’s everyones problem, Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned... In the book of Leviticus, we see this principle illustrated. In chapter 4 the Lord speaks to Moses and addresses the people’s sin. In doing so God refers to the sins of: the anointed priest, the whole Israelite community, the leaders and all Individual members of the community. It does not matter who we are, or what we do, all are guilty of sinning against God.