Holy Like The Lord (Leviticus 11-26)

 

  1. Leviticus may be least read book
    1. But best New Testament commentary is Old Testament
    2. Already seen this with Genesis and Exodus
  2. Now Leviticus shows Christ through instructions for tabernacle
    1. Seen this through…
      1. Offerings, feasts, special days
        1. Rest, worship, sacrifice
      2. Priests
        1. Mediators
      3. Tithing
        1. Gratitude toward God for Promised Land

Now: various laws

    1. Remember: skipping around, NLT = find Christ / gospel
    2. Difficult to read (tedious)
      1. Perhaps tempted to skip
      2. Might not see relevance
      3. Some seem bizarre
    3. But all point to Christ in some way
      1. To see this I want to categorize by type:
        1. “Ceremonial” laws
          1. Religious rituals
          2. Priesthood, tabernacle, sacrifices, offerings
        2. Moral laws
          1. Lifestyle
          2. How to treat your neighbor
      2. However, categories only exist to see different ways they point to Christ
        1. As far as the Law is concerned, there is no division between moral and ceremonial. No writer (New or Old) divides them:

 

 

        1. Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (Jas. 2:10)
        2. I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.” (Gal. 5:3)
        3. It is all just God’s Law
      1. For the Jew, breaking any law was immoral
    1. Important because “Law men” today teach half is relevant but not other half
      1. Miss the point / create a checklist of works
      2. Moral commands are still relevant but no more so than ceremonial
        1. All of them point to Christ and teach God’s character
        2. What was commanded in the Old Testament is fulfilled for us through the Holy Spirit in the New Testament

So that’s what we’ll look for…

  1. Ceremonial laws
    1. Israel was a theocratic society
      1. Meaning they had no king
      2. Yahweh was their King and his servants governed
      3. Religion was of utmost importance
      4. Waiting for Messiah
    2. Already covered offerings and priesthood (1-10)
    3. Now ready for 11-15
      1. Won’t read but peruse pages while I speak
      2. Certain things made people ceremonially unclean
        1. Unfit to enter into God’s presence
      3. For instance: certain foods (11)
        1. Both detailed / cumbersome
        2. No explanation why
          1. Some people see a code for superior diet
          2. But misses point (no gospel)
        3. Used in New Testament to explain separation between Jews and Gentiles (Acts 10)
          1. Idea is holiness / separation
          2. Israel was not like the rest of the world
          3. Had to be picky about what they ate (even when hungry)
          4. Think what that says about Christ’s holiness
            1. About his flesh and blood as food and drink
            2. About spiritual sustenance for New Testament believers
      4. Childbirth caused women to be unclean (12)
        1. Sacrifices had to be made afterward
          1. As with food, no reason given
        2. Sometimes seen as patriarchal / misogynistic
        3. But look at v. 7: “she will be ceremonially clean again after her bleeding at childbirth.”
          1. Childbirth was not sin
          2. Blood makes unclean
          3. Think of prominence of blood in Scripture
            1. Man’s blood = unclean / unfit
            2. But what does Christ’s blood do?
            3. Again, stresses holiness of God
      5. Impurity also caused by skin diseases / mildew in clothes (13-14)
        1. Those who suffer from a serious skin disease must tear their clothing and leave their hair uncombed. They must cover their mouth and call out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46As long as the serious disease lasts, they will be ceremonially unclean. They must live in isolation in their place outside the camp.” (v. 45-46)
        2. Less than perfect = no access
          1. Despite no fault
      6. Also caused by sexual diseases / reproductive emissions (15)
        1. Seems bizarre
        2. But not considered unclean because they’re “dirty”
        3. Think of brokenness of man
          1. Adam passed sin nature to descendants
          2. Cannot reproduce anything clean
          3. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” (Job 14:4)
      7. As did idolatry and eating blood (17)
        1. Prominence of blood in sacrifices and New Testament
    4. So they required priests who were up to the task (21-24)
  2. Packed between are what are often called “moral” laws (18-20, 27)
    1. Again, no division between moral and ceremonial
      1. Not reading a to-do list for you
      2. Look for Christ!
    2. Deal heavily with sexuality
      1. Incest, homosexuality, bestiality forbidden (18)
      2. These things defile
    3. Laws concerning personal conduct (19-20)
      1. Respect, care for the poor, theft and lying, taking advantage of the weak
      2. Generally = covers life
      3. You shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.” (19:2)
      4. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (19:18)
  3. Promises and warnings (26)
    1. Blessing for obedience (26:3-13)  
    2. A curse for disobedience (26:14-46)
      1. Shows seriousness of sin
      2. Shows holiness / justice of God

 

The Old Covenant affected every area of life.

The New Covenant proves freedom in Christ in contrast to excessive laws.

 

The Old Covenant dealt death and exile to the disobedient without grace.

The New Covenant shows grace and truth by Jesus Christ (Moses has no jurisdiction).

 

The Old Covenant made people unclean just by living life and showed irreparable brokenness.

The New Covenant shows we’re made clean just by Christ’s blood.

 

The Old Covenant commanded changes in behavior for people belonging to God.

The New Covenant shows those changes are only wrought by the Spirit and inward change.

 

The Old Covenant prevented access to God while impure.

The New Covenant purifies us completely and permanently through Christ to give us full access.

 

The Old Covenant promised blessing for obedience.

The New Covenant shows those blessings are secured through Christ’s obedience.

The kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s