Leviticus needn’t be a trek through the desert

I’ve read through the Bible many times just like many of you. I must admit that one of myDES least favorite books in the Bible was Leviticus. Can anyone else relate? The book focuses mainly on the sacrificial rites and the role of the Levitical priesthood. There’s a lot of intricate detail about the sacrifices, the priesthood, ceremonial uncleanness, and Israel’s national religious feasts. It’s very dense, challenging reading. Needless to say, you won’t hear many sermons in church based on Leviticus. A Google search of “least popular books of the Bible” brings up many articles pointing to Leviticus.

Ahhh, but let’s not be too hasty. Somewhat obscured by all the ritual and detail in Leviticus is some absolutely amazing Christ typology! The lamb without blemish. The sacrifice for sin. The scapegoat. The blood on the altar. The high priest. The laver. The censer and incense. The lampstand. The shewbread. The veil screening the Holy of Holies. The Lord Jesus Christ is alluded to throughout the book.

My wife and I are reading through the Bible together as part of our daily devotion and Leviticus was our next book. I was tempted to skip it to spare my wife such difficult reading but we plowed ahead. The day before we read a chapter I would study it thoroughly using John MacArthur’s one-volume Bible commentary, J. Vernon McGee’s Thru-the-Bible Commentary, and Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Folks, using some helpful Bible resources like the ones mentioned adds greatly to an understanding of Leviticus. I was able to share many of the allusions to Christ with my wife as we read. Tonight we read the last chapter of Leviticus. I can’t say if my wife will be sorry but I have a new fondness for this under-appreciated book.

If you dread reading Leviticus, or even skip over it, I suggest you pick up a few Bible references that will help you to better understand some of the amazing Christ typology in the book. Many, many times my mouth dropped wide open as I fully realized the clear pictures of Jesus Christ in this Old Testament book.

11 thoughts on “Leviticus needn’t be a trek through the desert

  1. I will definitely Check out some of those commentaries mentioned. It is definitely always good to have a good commentary because they tend to point out a lot of significant points that we miss or don’t think to pay extra attention to. They definitely brought a huge amount of understanding to my wife and myself compared to when we would just read ourselves. Leviticus is definitely an interesting book and can definitely be controversial at times. I will have to make a note to go back to it after my wife and I get through the Gospels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looking for Jesus in every verse -behind all the ritual – was like putting a puzzle together. More than enjoyable although my wife would disagree because she did not read the commentaries like I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom, a coincidence. I just finished reading Leviticus. Your advice of using helps is a good one. My experience of reading it this time was that I understood much more of it in the NIV.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Maria. Some coincidence! Using those references, especially McGee’s commentary – it’s actually a transcription of his old Thru-the-Bible radio show – brought to light so much typology. I don’t like to admit it but when I read Leviticus in the past, my eyes glazed over and I read the words perfunctorily without them hardly registering. Leviticus was something to get through rather than learn from. Glad you had more understanding with the NIV.

      Liked by 1 person

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