I’m attempting to read through the Bible again this year. I’m being more aggressive this time and am trying to finish in six months. This morning, my reading was Leviticus 1-7. I have read these chapters before, but this morning, So many questions ran through my mind. Why are these chapters in the Bible? Why do I need to read them? What can I possibly learn and apply to my life from this reading? I can’t be the only one who asks these questions, and I do not doubt their veracity and authority as the inspired Word of God, but what’s the point? I am accustomed to telling others how they should apply scripture to their lives, but not so accustomed to doing it to my own life. The following points are my attempts at some answers.1. The instructions in Leviticus 1-7 show me that I cannot save myself—The instructions for all the offerings shows me that even on my most organized day I cannot follow all of God’s instructions. Has anyone here ever tried to make a chart of all the offerings and their instructions? Does anyone think any of the Israelites were able to follow the law to the letter? I got lost after the third chapter and was never able to reorient myself. In the middle of my confusion I felt God whispering, “aren’t you glad you don’t have to save yourself?”
2. This business of atonement and restitution is messy: Does anyone know how much blood would come out of a bull after it was slaughtered? We’re not talking about a small golden chalice of blood. We’re talking about at least a five gallon bucket, and maybe more. Can you imagine a priest having to drag a bucket of blood into the tent of meeting, and even if he didn’t have to drag all the blood somewhere, it’s still a lot of blood. Our atonement was always meant to be messy. It was never meant to be clean. Our sin is hideous in the sight of God, and how could the atonement for our sin be any less messy?
3. Sin cost the sinner dearly—The consequences of sin were that the Israelites had to give up a portion of their flock or herd. Did they already account for having to give an offering in their herds or flocks? Did they already have the sacrificial animal set aside? Their sin, intentional or unintentional, cost them something, as did their continued fellowship with God. This may sound fundamental, but go back and read Leviticus 1-7 and see the enormous cost of sin. I think the loss of a bull, goat, sheep, or two quarts of fine flour was a substantial sacrifice for these families, and I still haven’t figured out if they had to make a sacrifice every time they sinned or just once a year, or once a month. Like I said, I got lost in chapter 3.
4. God takes sin seriously—Those of us who have been Christians for many years know the seriousness of sin, but do we live it? The Israelites had to live the seriousness of sin, and we should as well. Do we grieve over our own sin? Do we confess our sin? Do we go before the Lord daily and ask for forgiveness? Do we take sin seriously? If we don’t take sin seriously, then we’ll never take grace seriously.
Does anyone else have any thoughts on Leviticus 1-7? Why is it in our Bible? Do you agree or disagree with any of my points above? I want to hear what you think.
This post may have been incomplete, but thanks to my friend Levi Simpson: I would just cap it off with a NT passage (Hebrews ‬ ‭9:11-12‬): “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” Praise God!


One thought on “Leviticus 1-7:  Why is this in the Bible? Updated

  1. Hi Tony,

    Found your blog through sbcvoices (great job on that post by the way). I really enjoyed this posting about Leviticus. I think those who are in the ministry and laypersons who hold to the authority and inspiration of the scriptures still have those questions. It was not too long ago when I was going through the same book and felt the same questions coming to mind. I believe these questions are so common, but often times we are afraid to express them unless we are looked upon with skepticism. While I do not have to add much on the application of those chapters of Leviticus, I agree with your interpretation. As you described the priest bringing a “bucket” of blood, I thought about how much blood Christ must have shed as a sacrifice for sin. How much does God hate sin, but love us. As Hebrews states all of this was an early picture of the gospel. Thank you for this post and your honesty. Keep blogging.


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