What? That thought-provoking, possibly controversial title didn't immediately draw you in? Not too interested in an ancient, complicated law book? I know, I know: Leviticus has a pretty bad rep for being one of the most boring books....well...ever. Some would even claim that the only exciting things that happen in Leviticus are Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu being struck dead by God for offering strange incense to Him (chapter 10) or the stoning of a half-Egyptian half-Israelite man because he blasphemed the name of God (chapter 24). I realize that a lot of the book of Leviticus is very difficult for the average reader to understand, and, truth be told, I don't fully understand many of the laws myself. It's hard to wrap your mind around laws and customs that you've never personally observed or obeyed. I mean, why should I care about the ceremonial cleansing of leprosy when I've never had or even known someone who's had leprosy?
Yes, I just finished reading through the book of Leviticus. And the fact that Almighty God inspired and included this book in His holy, life-giving Word means it is important for us to read and essential to our understanding of the gospel. And honestly, every time I read Leviticus, I'm completely overwhelmed and humbled by it.
"Why does it humble you, Hannah? What's so overwhelming about these snooze-inducing laws?" I'm so glad you asked. Jesus Christ, the God-man, lived His entire life perfectly and completely fulfilling the Law. Perfectly. Completely. Read it again.
He lived His entire life perfectly and completely fulfilling the Law.
If there was no book of Leviticus, that sentence wouldn't mean much to me. I wouldn't understand why that was such an accomplishment. It wouldn't register that fulfilling the law is something I could never do, something NO ONE can do. Only one person ever did it.
Listen, if I picked one thing out of Leviticus to concentrate on doing and fulfilling perfectly my whole life, I would fail miserably. I would fail every day. I would fail in the first 10 minutes. This is not an exaggeration. Can we be justified by the law? No! By knowing the law, I know I'm a sinner. Read Romans 3. Actually, while you're at it, read all of Romans. And then the rest of the New Testament.
Because of the book of Leviticus, the gospel is so much deeper. So much sweeter. When you're reading the Old Testament and thinking how impossible it is, remember: Jesus did it.
I got a little preachy today. Maybe this wasn't what you were expecting, but hey, it's my blog, right? And it's all about what I'm reading and how that reading is impacting me. (There's that narcissism I was talking about.) But guess what, if I could only read one thing as long as I lived, I'd pick God's Word every time. So if you're gonna "follow" this blog, you might as well know right now that I wasn't just being trite when I quoted 1 Corinthians 10:31 in the first post.
So talk back to me now. I know I only scratched the surface with this post. Have you ever read Leviticus? Did you find it interesting, boring, overwhelming? Let's talk.