We’re just around the time when many people have fallen off the rails with their Bible reading plans. Genesis was solid; Exodus started strong but by the end was getting challenging. And then, Leviticus. Laws. More laws. Very specific laws about every area of life.
For us, in our current context, these laws seem strange. They don’t fit with how we relate to God, nor to one another. So we tend to ignore them, which is so different than the psalmist who wrote, “I will delight in your statutes” (Psalm 119:16)—a delight which included Leviticus.
The psalmist knew Leviticus was good for him. He knew it was a means of relating to God, of identifying himself as one of God’s people, even as the Law inflamed his sin (Rom 5:20). He loved it, delighted in it, even as he knew it wasn’t enough to save him. It was a steward. A temporary restraint against even greater evils. A teacher, preparing him for the greater freedom to come. The freedom that ultimately comes through faith in Jesus, the one who fulfilled the Law not simply in precept, but in principle.
When we read Leviticus, we should read with this same kind of mindset. We should read it in light of the story that is playing out in Scripture, the story of God redeeming his people through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We should read it in anticipation of the gospel. Without the gospel, Leviticus will crush us. But with it, we may truly be able to delight in all that God says through it.