Leviticus from a Christian Perspective

In Exodus, Abraham’s descendants have multiplied, becoming a mighty people group cohabitating with the Egyptians. The Pharaoh enslaved the people for a few centuries until God rescued them. After a dramatic exit from Egypt, God makes a special agreement with Israel, making them his people and himself their only God. The people then build a tabernacle, and the Creator of the world begins dwelling among his people. That’s why Leviticus is so important. It’s a new normal: The LORD God is publicly living with humans. This hasn’t happened since the Garden of Eden, when God would visit with Adam and Eve. Last time God shared a place with humans, the humans (with help from an evil serpent) messed it up. How can they get it right this time? Not a lot of narrative takes place in Leviticus. The people stay camped at Mount Sinai throughout the book. It’s not until the book of Numbers that they resume their journey to the promised land—and that journey isn’t completed until the book of Joshua. Leviticus is about holiness (being set apart, separate)—both God’s holiness and the holiness He expects of His people. Whereas Exodus displays God’s holiness on a cosmic scale (sending plagues on Egypt, parting the Red Sea, etc.)  Leviticus shows us the holiness of God in fine detail. God spells out His expectations for His priests and people so that the congregation can worship and dwell with Him. The call to holiness in Leviticus resounds throughout Scripture, both the Old and New Testaments. To see why Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s holiness in the world, is best read about in Hebrews 9:11-28. Parts of the Levitical law are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, such as distinctions between clean and unclean foods, See Mark 7:18-19, but the call to holiness still stands—Peter even quotes Leviticus when he encourages us to be holy in all our behavior, see 1st Peter 1:15-16. What does holiness mean to you?

His Goal/our goals

God gave a goal and Paul describes it well in Philippians 3:14, with two words, “SKOPOS” translated goal, from which we get our English word scope, and the word prize from “BRABEION” which is like the trophy we get from winning a game. What exactly is this goal or prize? Jesus pointed his critics to it, when he described what they were trying to force their way into, it is the Kingdom of God. See Luke 16:16. Both John the immersionist and Jesus the Christ preached with the theme of the Kingdom coming, being established and after the church was brought into the world. The apostles taught that they and we were translated into it. Read carefully Colossians 1:12-13 and you can see how this transfer from the domain of darkness and into the Kingdom was a past tense reality for Christians millenia ago. Truly in one aspect, Christians today are already citizens of the Kingdom, Philippians 3:20, but we do not have all the glory of inheriting it, until we reach Heaven. In the meantime, the words of Jesus are alive and well in our hearts when He says, we are in this world, but not of it, John 15:19, 16:33 & 18:36. So in one sense, our goal is the glory of Christ in our heart today, but in a different sense that glory won’t be fully realized until we get past those pearly gates. Read carefully 2nd Corinthians 4:5-7.

This is God’s goal for the church, a full realization of His holy glory as He comes into each Christians heart & daily life. However, as we grow the fruit of His Spirit, we learn about using the gifts or talents that we mentioned in the previous discussion. Therefore when we multiply those gifts and use those talents in our daily life, we discover goals in our service to God. How is this made true for us today? By seeing ministries and services in the daily life of the church bless the world with the furtherance of the gospel. Our personal goals all work together to spread good news, creating new Christians. How bright is this congregation shining in our community through good works, wherein we use our many gifts? Jesus said his followers would be like a city on a hill, lit for the world to see, Matthew 5:14. Jesus wasn’t necessarily goal-minded, instead, he was very mission-minded, his mission was full of healthy habits and tasks that led Him to getting back home to His Father through His resurrection & ascension. Today, we should have a mission minded church, instead of setting specific goals that might end up disappointing people. Why don’t we stay focused on the mission of Christ, living daily lives with healthy habits and grow the fruit of His Spirit, who enables us to share the powerful love and words of Christ with people in the world? Be purposeful in your devotion to good works, (Titus 3:8-14 & Hebrews 10:24)