Summary: Today as we examine the 8th chapter of Leviticus we will discover four similarities that teach us that the Priesthood of the Old Testament is like the Royal Priesthood of the New Testament in certain respects.
"SHOULD WE WEAR COLLARS"
TEXT: LEVITICUS CHAPTER 8
By now many of you are over half way through your reading in the book of Leviticus. How are you doing? Do you feel a little weary and worn from struggling through all those passages? Are you having a hard time seeing the relevance of this book? Hang in there, because your effort will be well worth it. Ask someone who was at our wednesday study and they will tell you that Leviticus is full of neat stuff.
As we read Leviticus and much of the O.T. for that matter, we need to understand that God was dealing with a very spiritually immature people. The Israelites were not ready for, or able to understand deep spiritual truths, they had just not developed far enough yet.
Therefore, God dealt with and taught them, on a level that they could understand. We do that with our children don’t we. Anyone trained in childhood development or just about any parent can tell you, that there are things and concepts that a 15 year old can understand that a 3 year old would have no idea what you were really talking about.
"A nurse, preparing 6 year old Bobby for heart surgery said `The doctor is going to fix your heart, so you will feel better’ Immediately Bobby became very upset, crying and screaming, Don’t let him fix me’ Bobby’s anxiety and fear was increased because his father frequently tried to fix his toys, but usually Bobby had to throw them away because his dad couldn’t fix them. Bobby feared the doctor would be unable to fix him and he too would be thrown away. A better way to explain this to a child like Bobby would be to explain it on his level. Something like "Bobby the doctor is going to help you so you can run and play with your friends and not get as tired as you do now."
In a similar manner God knew that the Israelites were not ready to have the Gospel of Jesus preached to them. They were not ready to hear of the virgin birth, they were not ready to hear of God taking on Human flesh and they certainly were not ready to understand Calvary and the cross. They were too immature, they had much more growing to do, and what we have in the O.T. is a history of God preparing His people, a history of God patiently waiting for His people to be ready for the coming of Christ.
Listen to what the writer of the book of Hebrews says:
"the law is only a SHADOW of the good things that are coming-not the realities themselves"(10:1)
And in the 9th chapter, the Hebrew writer talks about the worship that took place at the tabernacle, and He writes in verses 9 and 10, "This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshipper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings-- EXTERNAL regulations APPLYING UNTIL THE TIME OF THE NEW ORDER."
If we are going to understand the book of Leviticus we need to understand that the sacrifices, the priesthood, the feasts, the laws and the atonement are only shadows, shadows pointing to there ultimate fulfillment in Christ and His Church.