Bitesize Bible Study – The Book of Leviticus
What does the word "Leviticus" mean?
Levi was the tribe of Israel from which the priests of Israel were chosen
The priests work, the Levitical work, was that of helping the people follow God's law, including all the rituals and sacrifices
The Book of Leviticus includes all the details about these priestly duties
The first High Priest was Aaron, the brother of Moses
How many types of sacrifice are there, and what are they for?
Generally sacrifices reminded the people that they had sinned and needed their sins taken away.
The specific sacrifices are as follows:
Chapter 1 – The Burnt Offering – Giving yourself to God
Chapter 2 – The Meal (Cereal) Offering – Giving gifts and thanks to God
Chapter 3 – The Peace Offering – To be at peace with God
Chapter 4 – The Sin Offering – A covering for general sin
Chapter 5 – The Trespass Offering – Forgiveness for specific personal sins
Chapter 16 – The Day of Atonement – A day of national cleansing with God
The deeper meaning of sacrifice:
Ultimately the Levitical priesthood failed, and the Law could not save
The people knew they needed a permanent Saviour – God would later provide a perfect Priest – his son Jesus
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." – 1 Timothy 2:5
Jesus was a perfect offering for all our sins because he himself was sinless
"We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." - Hebrews 10:10
What else is in the Law?
Chapters 8-9 – setting apart of the priests to do their special work
Chapters 11-15 – many rules for health and cleanliness
Chapters 18-20 – rules on social behaviour and relationships
Chapters 23 and 25 – feasts that must be kept
What feasts did the Jews keep – and what do they mean for us today?
Passover (April time) – signifies the death of Jesus
First-fruits/Harvest (June time) – signifies Christ and his followers
Trumpets (October time) – signifies the return of Israel to the land (1948)
Atonement (October time) – signifies the repentance of Israel (in the future!)
Tabernacles/Booths (October time) – signifies the Kingdom Age (in the future!)
Note that April time was the first month of the Jewish year.
Every 7th year was a Sabbatical Year, and after 7×7 (49) years the 50th year was the Jubilee Year.
The Jubilee Year is also a symbol of the Kingdom to come!