Steve Ellison: Worship Manual

Friday, October 13, 2017 - by Steve Ellison

Few Christians would put Leviticus up at the top of their list of favorite books to read, but it is a terrific book filled with many illustrations, types, and symbols.  In fact, some have argued that the entire book is symbolic. Leviticus serves as a how-to-manual for Christian worship. It is a call to personal and collective holiness. Leviticus is clearly connected to the preceding book of Exodus.

  The last third of Exodus is concerned with getting the Tabernacle constructed to the exacting specifications of God.  Once the Tabernacle is in place, Leviticus will be needed to teach the children of Israel the proper way to use it.  If one wants to know about atonement, this larger passage (Exodus 25 through Leviticus) is the place to start.  The word atonement is used 88 times in the Bible. Sixty-two of those are found in this passage.  Hallelujah for covering for sin!

 

In Genesis, God revealed Himself as Creator.  Because God’s created children had sold themselves into slavery, in Exodus, God revealed Himself as Redeemer and Deliverer.  In Leviticus, God reveals Himself as the Great High Priest who offers the once-for-all sacrifice and at the same time He reveals Himself as the once-for-all sacrificial offering.  Too often, we struggle to do that which we could never do and Christ has already done.  We will be holy, set apart, sanctified only by recognizing and bowing to King Jesus.  This worship manual which commands us to be holy ends with five chapters describing great feasts.  The message of Leviticus is holiness through atonement that will result in great joy.

 

If the book of Leviticus gets ahold of me, some great changes in my life will be wrought. If the truths of this book are burned into my heart, I will get a proper view of sin. Having sin in my life will become exceedingly painful to me.  Others have rightly pointed out that one does not love the Lord any more than he hates sin.  A great humbling truth is that under the right circumstances I am capable of every sin listed in the Bible. Without the restraining mercy and grace of God, I might possibly (probably?) commit the most heinous of sins.  Meditating on Leviticus ought to give me a new and burning desire for a holy life.  At least six times, Leviticus commands me to be holy like God is holy.

 

Studying the book of Leviticus will give me a proper view of worship.  No longer will I be seeking what I can receive from a worship service. Rather, I will come to understand that worship is not about me but instead it is about giving the proper homage and praise to the Supreme Being of the Universe.  I will learn that it is not acceptable to “worship” in my own way, but rather I must come on God’s terms and in His way.  I must come with an attitude of submission. I will recognize myself as nothing more than a death deserving sinner who deserves nothing from God except punishment.  Apart from that realization, there is no worship.

 

If Leviticus becomes real to me, I will get a whole new appreciation for the blood of Christ.  The word “blood” appears 86 times in the 27 chapters of Leviticus.  This huge emphasis on blood should impress two truths upon my mind.  The seemingly unending list of blood sacrifices ought to burn into my heart and mind the terrible price paid by innocent creatures (typifying Christ) for my sin. The oceans of blood in Leviticus should point me to the limitless supply of the all-encompassing, all-sufficient, atoning blood of Jesus, without which there is no forgiveness of sin.


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