The book of Leviticus is often seen by Christians as one of the most challenging books to study and understand. The third book of the Bible, Leviticus might seem like little more than a dry set of ancient laws and regulations that have little to do with our contemporary context. Not only that, but many of those seemingly irrelevant laws include instructions that might be considered bloody and barbaric. Take Leviticus 1:10, a passage that gives instructions to the Israelites about burnt offerings made to the LORD: “You are to slaughter the offering at the north side of the altar before the LORD, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. You are to cut it into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. You are to wash the internal organs…” etc.
It’s not a surprise that section isn’t usually included in any of the Children’s Bibles I’ve seen.
As I reflect on the sermon for this week, it occurs to me that the problem of Leviticus is really the problem we often have with the rest of the Bible. How do these strange words and customs from an ancient context hold any relevance to our lives today? While it might initially seem like there isn’t anything there, I’d encourage us to look more deeply into the face of this challenging question. Perhaps if I can understand the connection between my own life and the proper procedure for cutting up a sacrificial goat, I can better discern the role that the entirety of scripture should have in all things.
I’d invite you to join us as we enter the first week of our four-week series, “The Law”. We’ll be looking at the role the book of Leviticus played throughout the Bible – from a dusty group of Israelites in the wilderness to the early Apostles of the Christian church, we’ll see that the Law weaves its way throughout the story of God and God’s people, stretching into today. It’s going to be a challenging, thought-provoking series – one you surely will not want to miss.
Christopher J.C. Wurpts
Director of Youth Ministries
Office: 602-840-8360 Ext 147
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