A friend gave me insight into New Testament Scriptures. She said the New Testament is a commentary on the Old Testament. After thinking about it, I realized she made a lot of sense.
Paul, in 2 Timothy 3:15-17 said that all scripture is profitable for teaching, correction and training in righteousness. In verse 15, he said the scriptures were the writings Timothy knew from childhood, what we know as the Old Testament.
Peter, in 2 Peter 1:17-21 claimed the voice of God he heard on the mountain confirmed the prophetic OT scriptures about Jesus.
While Paul and Peter would have claimed the words they wrote were authoritative, and from the Spirit of God, I doubt they considered they were writing scripture to be held on par with the five books of Moses. None the less, Peter was correct, “men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God”. We acknowledge Peter and Paul’s writings as scripture, the Word of God. Considering what they wrote in the passages above, I would hazard a guess that they would be aghast to think anyone would consider their writings to be a replacement or a new improved version of the Old Testament.
Jesus didn’t JUST fulfill the Law, He established it in Matthew 5:1-7:29 The Sermon on the Mount (Romans 3:31). Not only did He establish it, He raised the bar and reiterated disciplines for life and holiness.
Are they the requirements to gain salivation? No! Absolutely not! They are the behaviors of those being saved by the Spirit of God. You can recognize those being saved by their behaviors and what motivates them.
I think this literal, contextual, understanding is necessary to understand then how Leviticus applies to today.
I am looking at the Bible, not with the idea it has an old, outdated testament and a new improved testament. I’m looking at the Word of God as a testament of uninterrupted contiguous thought… the thoughts of God of which Leviticus has a current, relevant part because it points to the truth of who and what we are supposed to be in Christ 1 Peter 1:23-25. Let me explain…
Offerings to God
Leviticus 1:1-7:38 is about offerings to God. The root of the Hebrew word offering is TO DRAW NEAR. Offerings bring us close to God.
Jesus is our sin offering that tears down the veil of separation between God and man and allows us access to God. Leviticus tells us we need a sin offering. Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham long before Moses wrote Leviticus. A sacrifice must be made to atone for our sins.
1 Cor. 15:3, 21-22, For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
Other offerings draw us near to God, as well; our thank offerings, love offerings, and offerings that remind us of God’s provision. Our bodies and lives dedicated to God is our greatest personal offering… but everything we have is an offering too.
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
Luke 12:31-34 But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. 33 “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The Priesthood of God
Lev. 8:1-10:20 Is about the consecration and separation to service of the priests. The priests were the only ones with true access to God. They were the go mediators between God and man and they maintained the holy dwelling place of God.
The apostle Peter and John both taught all who have had their sins forgiven by Jesus ARE now the Priests of God! 1 Peter 2:9-10, Rev. 1:6. Not only that, we are the temple of God! No longer does God dwell in man made houses, He dwells in us, Emmanuel (God with us). Eph. 2:19-22, 1 Cor. 6:19-20.
We the people of God are the temple and the priests of God. We are sanctified and separated and dedicated to Gods service. Gods priests are holy.
Leviticus demonstrates how the priests of God are sanctified and made holy and separate from the rest of man for service to God.
2 Cor. 6:14-7:1 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
17 “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
“And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
18 “And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.
7:1Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Laws for Holy Righteous living
Leviticus 11:1-27:34. The Laws of God for a Holy and Separate People..
The Laws of Leviticus were for all the people, priests and citizens alike. God separated His people Israel from all the people of the world and set His priests even more separate from His people. Today, all the people of God are the priests of God, doubly separate, to serve God. The laws are a call and command for a holy people. Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:1-7:29) didn’t just reiterate the laws, He raised the bar of holiness and separated living. He spoke these words to the people who He was calling to the kingdom of God whom He was going to redeem.
Psalm 119:1-3, 9-11
How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the Lord.
2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
3 They also do no unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways.
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
Deut. 30:10-14 Obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. 11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.
2 Corinthians 3:6 God who made also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
All the elements of Leviticus are present in the New Testament.
1 Peter 2:2-10 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,
“The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,”
“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”;
for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Just as this passage says, the people of God long for the Word of God and they are being built into the House of God as the Priesthood of God, that we may bring sacrifices and offerings to God by the power of Jesus Christ.
If the power and Spirit of Christ is not in you, you will be unable to look like a temple of God or a priest of God, much less be holy or bring a decent offering.
Leviticus shows us the elements of what and who we are. Leviticus is not the Old Testament, it is part of THE Testament. Jesus didn’t do away with Leviticus, he threw the door open wider and included us.
If you are looking at yourself and you and others around you don’t see a Holy Temple of God or a Holy priest…. call on the Lord that you may yet be found.
Jeremiah 29:13-14. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you declares the Lord.
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.