Leviticus is organized in a very logical way and if a Table of Contents were created for this book, it would probably look something like the following:
Chapters 1-7: The Laws on ritual sacrifice
Chapters 8-10: The Ordination of the Priesthood
Chapters 11-16: Ritual purity and cleanliness
Chapter 17-27: Incorporating holiness into one’s daily lifestyle
The truth be told, historically speaking, Israel only fully obeyed the laws and regulations in Leviticus sporadically.
And how closely they properly adhered to the instructions as detailed in this book varied from generation to generation.
One interesting example of Israel veering away from proper Torah protocol had to do with the blood line of the High Priests.
According to the Torah, all High Priests had to descend from the line of Aaron.
But sometime later at Shiloh, priests who were descended from Moses’ line took over the priesthood.
This is a no-no, but again later during the reign of King David, the priesthood was restored to the family of ZADOK, who was a proper descendant of Aaron.
When Israel was split into the two kingdoms of Ephraim and Judah, each kingdom had established their own priests, sacrificial temples and worship practices.
This was another no-no as there is supposed to be only one priesthood at one central location with all worship practices conforming to Torah regulations.
Another perfect example were the Samaritans, a group of people who veered way off the track during Yeshua’s time.
These folks were totally despised by the mainstream Jews who were based in Jerusalem.
And here’s why.
On Mount Gerizim, the Samaritans had built their own separate Temple in Samaria.
They had created their own version of the Torah now known as the Samaritan Pentateuch.
They had set up their own priests and rituals, none of which were accepted by the rabbis in Jerusalem at the time.
Even Yeshua told the Samaritans that they worshipped whom they do not know.
However, we shouldn’t be too critical of the Samaritans.
Because just look at the state of the church today.
We have a group of people who have pretty much relegated the Torah to the trash bin, and this in spite of pledging their wholehearted allegiance to the Messiah of Israel.
Seriously, if you attend a Christian church, when was the last time you received a great spiritually-nourishing Torah message?
In the final analysis, what we must understand about Leviticus is that it is a book that points us back to pure worship as ordained by the Lord.
When we get off track, Leviticus is the original blueprint to which we can return to be restored.
Leviticus also communicates to us some very important SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES that we would never otherwise grasp as we are physical beings bound by time and space.
See, the ultimate objective of Leviticus is to communicate to us what WHOLENESS with the Lord is.
When I say “wholeness”, I mean complete order and perfection, the ideal condition for Israel, which to this day has not been met, but will be when Messiah returns.
We are taught the difference between “clean” and “unclean” and the “holy” and “unholy”.
We will also see that flaws and imperfections which exist in the natural world were to be outlawed from God’s servants and the sanctuary.
Leviticus gives the us priestly perspective how a state of perfect union between Israel and the Lord is to be maintained.
So in many places, Leviticus will also talk about the many potential threats to Israel’s life with God.
That is why a fairly complex matrix of instructions and laws are introduced in this book.
They are there to instruct us on how to be pure and how to be restored when we become contaminated by impurity or sin.
In addition, Leviticus lays down a code of behavior according to the Lord’s justice system, effectively separating Israel from any other nation on the planet.
All of these laws, teachings, regulations, and instructions were to PROTECT the priests, the land, the people, and the Lord’s earthly dwelling place from worldly contamination that if left unchecked could cause the terrifying SEPARATION from a Holy God.
In other words, these laws and regulations were for Israel’s benefit.
Did you get that?
Let me say that again.
Far from being a curse, these laws were for the benefit of and to protect Israel.
More than any other book in the Bible, Leviticus will teach us what sin really is (the true definition!) and the many faceted nature of how to be atoned and redeemed for our sin.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Sir,” the woman said,
“I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain,
but you Jews claim that the place
where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
“Woman,” Yeshua replied,
“believe me, a time is coming when you
will worship the Father neither on this mountain
nor in Jerusalem.
You Samaritans worship what you do not know;
we worship what we do know,
for salvation is from the Jews.
Yet a time is coming and has now come
when the true worshipers will worship
the Father in the Spirit and in truth,
for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
God is spirit, and his worshipers
must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”