For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4
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LEVITICUS - INTRODUCTION

 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000, 2004 James Melough

INTRODUCTION

 

Moses is generally accepted as having been the writer of this book, the date of writing being in the late 15th century B.C., the instructions being related to Israelís worship and walk, and having therefore typological application to our own worship and walk.

 

The Epistle to the Hebrews is generally seen as being the corresponding NT counterpart of Leviticus.

 

Before beginning our study of this book of instructions to the Levites - hence its name Leviticus - it is necessary to look briefly at the typological significance of the offerings, and we should note that the burnt offering represents Christ doing everything first for the Fatherís glory, and then for the redemption of menís souls. 

 

The meat (meal) offering speaks of the Lordís sinless humanity, and while there were instances where it could be offered as a distinct offering in itself, it was almost invariably presented as an accompaniment of the other offerings, the lesson in this being that it was only as Man that He could offer Himself in sacrifice to God, and die in manís guilty stead, for as God He could not die.

 

The peace offering speaks of Him as the One Who has made peace by the blood of His cross, reconciling sinful men and a holy God. 

 

The sin offering speaks of Him as the One Who has dealt, not just with our sins, but with our sinful nature which produces those sins;


In the trespass offering we see Him as the One Who has put away all our sins by His death on the cross.


The offerings were divided into two classes: sweet savor, and non-sweet savor, the burnt, meal, and peace constituting the former were voluntary; the sin and trespass, the latter, and were compulsory.  The sweet savor were for the offererís acceptance; the non-sweet, for the expiation of his sin.

 

It is necessary to note also that these offerings were appointed to be offered by Israel, Godís redeemed people, so that while an application may be made relative to the conversion of a sinner when he presents Christ to God as his trespass offering, and the steps by which he becomes a worshiper in his presentation of the burnt offering, the typological picture is of the life, service, and worship of a believer.

 

The order of presentation begins with the burnt and ends with the trespass offering, giving us a typological picture of God coming out to men to bring them back to Himself.  He takes the initiative.  He seeks us.  We do not seek Him, as it is written, ď... there is none that seeketh after God,Ē Romans 3:11.

 

Man, on the other hand, begins with the trespass offering.  Whether he be a sinner or an erring saint, he is aware that he has committed sins, and the type of the trespass offering is fulfilled when the repentant sinner trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ as the One Who has died for those sins; or when the repentant saint is restored to communion with his Father by seeing that Christ has died even for the sin which broke that communion. 

 

But as the believerís knowledge increases he becomes aware that Christ has done more than make atonement for menís sins.  He learns that the Lord, as the sin offering, has dealt with manís inherent sinfulness, with his sinful nature; and this soon brings him to the truth portrayed in the peace offering.  He learns that every sin which that old nature ever has or ever will produce in his life has all been dealt with through Christís death, and he has peace in his own conscience, and with God, for he sees Christ as manís peace offering, as it is written, He has ďmade peace by the blood of his cross,Ē Colossians 1:20.

 

As his knowledge continues to increase, the believer becomes ever more conscious of the fact that apart from the Lordís incarnation the great work of atonement could never have been accomplished.  He had to become Man in order to die for us, for as God He could not die: His assumption of humanity is the lesson of the meal offering.  And finally he comes to realize the truth portrayed in the burnt offering: transcending the expiation of manís sin, is the truth that everything the Lord did was first for the Fatherís glory.

 

With this brief introduction, we will now begin our study.

[Leviticus 1]

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     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough
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