Finding Christ in the OT

Leviticus. The final frontier. Or so it seems.

This book has often been the demise of wide-eyed Bible-plan readers. Things start so well in Genesis, with the recounting of creation, Noahís ark, the tower of Babel, Abraham, and Joseph. Itís engaging, fascinating, and fast paced. Then comes Exodus and the jailbreak from Egypt, the splitting of the Red Sea, and Mount Sinai.

Then comes Leviticus. Sacrifices, blood, detailed laws about cleanness, five separate descriptions of offerings. It can seem confusing and irrelevant.

So what are we to do?

Jesus himself gives us the starting place. In Luke 24:27 we read:

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

All the scriptures point in one direction, to one person. Ultimately, all scripture (including Leviticus) points to Jesus Christ. Bryan Chapell explains it this way:

In it’s context every passage possesses one or more of four redemptive foci. Every text is predictive of the work of Christ, preparatory for the work of Christ, reflective of the work of Christ, and/or resultant of the work of Christ.

So when youíre reading Leviticus and finding yourself lost in a maze of details, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How is this passage fulfilled in Christ?
  • Does this passage predict the coming of Christ?
  • Does this passage demonstrate manís need for Christ?
  • Does this passage in some way prepare Godís people for the coming of Christ?
  • Does this passage reflect the work of Christ?
  • Is this passage a result of the work of Christ?

This list is not exhaustive, only meant to get you started.† When you read the OT (or any portion of scripture), look for Christ. Itís all about him.

What questions would you add to this list?

Comments

  1. says

    Apparently Gordon Wenham has a fantastic commentary on Leviticus.

    My Old Testament and Hebrew lecturer at Queensland Theological College did his PhD under Wenham on the book of Leviticus. Some of the stuff he tells us is fantastic! He did a preaching series at a local church here in Brisbane and you can download the series (free) here:

    http://www.mpc.org.au/resources/resources08.html

    Scroll down to around July.

  2. JJ says

    Yes, Gordon Wenham, as is quite to be expected, has an excellent Leviticus commentary. However, the best thing I have seen, in order to understand the connection to Christ in Leviticus, and the Levitical focus on cleaness/holiness, has got to be Allen P. Ross, Holiness to the Lord.

    I see it is now available from Logos as well.

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