Leviticus can also be called “The Book of the Law of the Priest’s”. It contains very little historical matter but concerns itself with priestly legislation and the practice of the Law among the people. Much emphasis is placed upon the separation of Israel from all heathen influences in order to maintain it’s religious purity.
Two key verses to pay attention to:
Leviticus 17:11 – “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”
Leviticus 20:7-8 – “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”
Leviticus 16 is a key chapter in this book. “Yom Kippur”, the Day of Atonement, was the most important day in the Hebrew calendar because it was the only day that the high priest entered into the Most Holy Place to “make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord” (16:30).
Observations of the Book of Leviticus
1. Leviticus is God’s guidebook for His newly redeemed people. It shows them how to worship, serve, and obey a holy God.
2. In Exodus, Israel was redeemed and established as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Leviticus shows how God’s people are to fulfill their priestly calling.
3. In the twenty-seven chapters of Leviticus, it is stated that God imparted these laws to Moses fifty-six times.
4. The children of Israel remain camped at the foot of Mount Sinai, no geographical movement takes place in Leviticus.
5. It has been said that it took God only one night to get Israel out of Egypt, but it took forty years to get Egypt out of Israel.
6. The overwhelming message of Leviticus is the holiness of God and how sinful man can approach Him. To be holy means to be “set apart” or “separated”. They are to be separated from other nations unto God.
A. The way to God is only through blood sacrifice
B. Blood sacrifices remind the worshippers that because of sin, the holy God requires the costly gift of life.
C. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood and I have given it to you upon the alter to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for your souls.” Leviticus 17:11
D. The walk with God is only through obedience to His laws.
There are two major divisions in the book of Leviticus:
In chapters 1 – 17 the Israelites are taught that God must be approached with sacrificial offerings, by mediation of the priesthood, by the purification of the nation from uncleanness, and by the provision for national cleansing and fellowship. The blood of the innocent sacrificial animal becomes the substitute for the life of the guilty offerer.
“And according to the law, almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)
Chapters 18 – 27 teach that the Israelites serve a holy God who requires them to be holy as well. To be holy means to be “separated” or “set apart”. In the Book of Leviticus, the idea of holiness appears 87 times: sometimes indicating ceremonial holiness (rituals) and sometimes indicating moral holiness ( purity of life). This sanctification extends to the people of Israel (chapters 18 – 20), to the priesthood (chapters 21 – 22), to their worship (chapters 23 – 24), to their life in Canaan (chapters 25 – 26), and to their special vows (chapter 27).
It is necessary to remove the defilement that separates the people from God so that they can have a walk of fellowship with their Redeemer.