If you could devote ten years of study to one book of the Bible, which one would it be? OK, let’s say are going to read one book in the Bible for thirty days, what would be your first choice? Your top three choices? How about your plan over the next twelve months? Would Leviticus make it on any of those lists?
Well, Jay Sklar studied Leviticus for ten years (although I am sure that he studied other portions of the Bible as well. . .and he is an OT seminary professor), and he lived to tell about it! I found his article 4 Things That Happen When You Study Leviticus More Than 10 Years very fascinating and refreshing. I’d encourage you to read it and find out not only what four things happened to him (and can to you) but some of the different ways in which those truths were emphasized to him and others. Really good read! Here’s an excerpt:
About two years into my studies, something new began to happen to me in church. Whenever we sang a song that mentioned sacrifice, or atonement, or the Lord ransoming us from our sin, I struggled to make it through without crying. None of these ideas was new to me; I had been going to church all my life. But Leviticus helped me to see with even greater clarity how far the Lord has gone—in his love for guilty sinners like me—to provide a way of forgiveness.
This became especially clear in a verse like Leviticus 17:11. It explains that the Lord allowed the Israelites to ransom their guilty lives from his judgment by offering the lifeblood of a perfect animal in place of their own. Significantly, the Lord emphasizes his role in providing atonement by adding an extra “I” in the verse: “And I myself have given [the animal’s lifeblood] to you on the altar to make atonement for your lives.” God turns the idea of sacrifice upside down! It was not just what the Israelites gave to the Lord. It was first and foremost something he gave to them, in his grace, as a means of atoning for sin and achieving the forgiveness they so desperately desired.
And it gets even better with Jesus. . . .