I continue to say that this study of Leviticus may be the dumbest thing I've ever done! This Sunday I'm going to share a story of how Leviticus almost cost me my ordination ... but I'm saving that for Sunday ... hope you're there to hear about it. But here's the problem with a sermon series through Leviticus - there's just too much good stuff in there to adequately cover and do real justice to it. However, we're gonna give it a shot and see what the Lord does over these next few months. If you haven't started reading Leviticus yet, that's okay. Actually, let me encourage you to read through Genesis and Exodus which really provide a context for our study. And then read through Leviticus!
Leviticus answers a very basic and important question for us - "How can sinful man live in the presence of a holy God?" While we've probably been conditioned to view this book as rather burdensome and hard the Israelites viewed it as a blessing because it answered this question for them. Sure, there are lots and lots of rules, laws, rituals, etc. throughout the book but they are all given to help God's people better know their King as well as return to the original purpose for which they were called and set apart. I trust this same thing will happen among us as we go through Leviticus.
Here are some themes we're going to see throughout this book: God is holy, eternal and living, personal, powerful, righteous, sovereign, gracious, jealous; God's people are set apart as a holy nation and kingdom of priests, bear His image, are to live in community, and must have their sin atoned for through a perfect sacrifice, and live in faith according to the covenant God made with them. Pretty interesting huh ... all this sounds very new testamentish of sorts doesn't it?!?! I'm confident we're going to see Jesus all through Leviticus.
We'll be going through the book in fairly large chunks. For instance, this Sunday we'll cover the entire first chapter. That may not happen every week but it certainly won't be unusual. With that in mind, I do ask you to invest time in reading these sections each week and prayerfully asking God to instruct your heart in the Gospel. As I mentioned this past Sunday at the conclusion of our Galatians series, I want us to leave each service utterly stunned and in awe of what God has done for us in Christ rather than just wondering what we're now supposed to do as good Christians. This will be the work of God's Spirit so I beg you to pray ... pray for God to give you discernment to see Jesus but also pray for me as I prepare and deliver these messages. The big challenge in preaching through something like Leviticus is definitely not struggling to find enough material to preach each week; there's more than enough for a 3 hour weekly sermon. Rather it is trying to wisely discern what not to say so we won't be there all day.
Anyway, I look forward to this study and I trust you are to. May God grant us all eyes to see more clearly and hearts to believe the amazing love, grace, and work of our King and Savior, Jesus Christ. I really hope to see you this Sunday. And invite a friend to come along in order to be exposed to God’s Word and God’s people.