Leviticus – A call to repentance(Large portions of this sermon are taken from http://www.youversion.com/notes/21205)
The Book of Leviticus is the third in the Bible and the third one, therefore, in our series on the books of the Bible. Leviticus is the book that usually stops people who try to read the Bible right through, in order, from cover to cover. Genesis is filled with interesting stories and teaching and history and Exodus, too, is loaded with adventure, meaning and history. But Leviticus just seems to be a book filled with boring, strange, outdated laws that really seem to have very little (if anything) to do with our lives today. Right?
You would be amazed to see, as modern Christians, how relevant the book of Leviticus is to us today. Let’s begin the overview.
I. The Name of the Book – Leviticus – Greek name meaning – “that which pertains to Levi”
II. The Author of the Book – Moses 著者 モーセ
A. In 36 places the book claims that the Lord spoke these words to Moses (1:1; 1:4; 5:18; 6:1, 8, 19, 24)
B. Jesus attributes its authorship to Moses (Mk. 1:44; Lev. 13:49)
III. The Recipients of the Book 宛て人
A. Generally – “The Sons of Israel” (1:2) イスラエル
B. Specifically – “Aaron and his sons” (6:8-9)
IV. The Date of the Book – About 1439 B.C. 書かれた年代 紀元前1439年ごろ
V. The Purpose of the Book – To make God’s people holy
A. To show Israel how to live as a holy nation in fellowship with God.
B. To prepare Israel for the ministry of mediating the redemption of God to all nations.
C. To firmly implant in the minds of the people the holiness of God. Three ways:
I. The Sacrificial System
2. The Precepts of the Law
3. The Penalties for violating the Laws
D. To instruct the Priest in their ministry of offering sacrifices.
VI. Key Words キーワード
I want you to take special note of these key words. We’re going to see why they’re so special very shortly. These really are key words and they have an even greater importance for us today than they did for the Israelites 3,500 years ago.
1. Offering, Sacrifice, Oblation – 348
2. Priest – 194
3. Holy, Sanctify, Sanctuary, Hallow -137
4. Unclean – 129
5. Blood – 88
6. Atonement – 44
7. Clean – 46
8. Redeem – 30
These words are so special because – I wonder if you’ve seen this already as we went through the words – they were ultimately fulfilled in Christ. In the book of Leviticus, we can see foreshadowings of Christ everywhere.
VII. Christ is Presented in Leviticus: キリストがレビ記に登場している
A. As an Offering ささげ物として
1. The Sweet Offerings present Christ in His obedience to the Father’s will showing what His sacrifice meant to God (ch. 1-3)
a. The Burnt Offering (ch. I) presents Christ offering Himself without blemish to God (Heb. 9:14)
b. The Grain (Meat) Offering (ch. 2) presents Christ’s perfect manhood (Heb. 4:15; 1 Jn. 3:5)
c. The Fellowship (Peace) Offering (ch. 3) foreshadows Christ as the provider of peace for man who is alienated from God by sin (Rom. 5:1; Gel. 1:20-22)
2. The Non-Sweet Offerings present Christ as the sin bearer, with repetitious refrains of “It shall be forgiven.” (ch. 4-7)
a. The Sin Offering (ch. 4) presents Christ as our substitute, as the One who was made sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21)
b. The Trespass Offering (ch. 54) presents Christ as the One who forgives all our trespasses (Col. 2:13)
B. As a Priest (Heb. 4:14-16) 祭司として
C. As a Scape-Goat (Lev. 16) 身代わりとして
D. In the Annual Hebrew Feast (ch. 23) へブル人の例祭に
1. The Feast of the Passover (23:4-8) pictures Christ as our Passover Sacrifice (1 Cor. 5:7-8)
2. The Feast of the First Fruits (23:9-14) pictures Christ as our Resurrected Lord (1 Cor. 15:23)
3. The Feast of Pentecost (23:15-22) pictures Christ a baptizer of the church with spiritual power for a great harvesting of souls (Acts 1:8; 2:1-47)
4. The Feast of the Trumpets (23:23-25) is a prophetic picture of Christ Second Coming (1 Thess. 4:13-18)
5. The Fast of Atonement (23:2&-32) pictures the nation Israel turning to Christ during the Tribulation (Rev. 7:1-8)
6. The Feast of the Tabernacles (23:33-44) pictures the Millennium reign of Christ (Rev. 20:1-6)
And so, although I’ve covered these presentations of Christ merely as a brief overview, you can see how important – and interesting! – Leviticus becomes for Christians in the light of its content pointing to Christ in so many ways. We have a lot to learn from the book!
Note: While the rules, regulations, offerings and ceremonies discussed in Leviticus were extremely important in the establishment of the Nation of Israel as a theocratic nation, its value for Christian Believers is best understood in light of the sacrifice of Christ. We are reminded over and again in the New Testament Scriptures that we are not under a system of law, but rather under a system of grace. Understanding the message of Leviticus will aid us in appreciating the holy character of God and encourage us to live exemplary lives, but we must never confuse that with an attempt of approaching God on our own merits.
Ephesians 2:8-10 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
VIII. Practical Lessons from the Book
A. There is a difference between clean and unclean.
B. God is Holy and demands that we approach Him in Holiness.
C. The only way sinners can approach God is through a substitutionary sacrifice.
This was ultimately made in Jesus Christ, and this is what we remember on Good Friday and celebrate on Easter Sunday.
Practical Application: God takes His holiness very seriously, and so should we. The trend in the postmodern church is to create God in our own image, giving Him the attributes we would like Him to have instead of the ones His Word describes. God’s utter holiness, His transcendent splendor, and His “unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16) are foreign concepts to many Christians. We are called to walk in the Light and to put away the darkness in our lives so that we may be pleasing in His sight. A holy God cannot tolerate blatant, unashamed in His people and His holiness requires Him to punish it. We dare not be flippant in our attitudes toward sin or God’s loathing of it, nor should we make light of it in any way.
Praise the Lord that because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, we no longer have to offer animal sacrifices. Leviticus is all about substitution.The death of the animals was a substitute penalty for those who have sinned. In the same way, but infinitely better, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was the substitute for our sins. Now we can stand before a God of utter holiness without fear because He sees in us the righteousness of Christ.
The great Missionary Statesman, Oswald Chambers, said, “The root of all sin is the suspicion that God is not good.” Our ancestors in the Garden of Eden exemplify this. The serpent called into question the goodness of God’s plan and command for Adam and Eve, leading to the Fall. Nothing has changed. One of our enemy’s primary tactics is to incite us to doubt the absolute goodness of God and His ways. All sorts of negative feelings and sinful attitudes naturally follow.
On the other hand, a serious understanding and embrace of God’s goodness actually leads us to repentance. His goodness compels us to draw near, get right, and live well in light of His truthfulness, trustworthiness, tenderness, long-suffering, kindness, mercy, love, and grace that are all summed up in the attribute of His goodness.
Prayers of repentance, prayers for holiness, prayers of supplication and prayers of praise.