You can watch the video for Leviticus here!
Session Overview: Leviticus
The book of Leviticus is the third book of the Torah. At first glance, Leviticus can seem overwhelming and culturally irrelevant to the modern reader, but a closer look reveals a gracious opportunity for sinful people to come into the presence of a holy God.
The contents of the book fall into 3 main categories: Ritual, Priesthood, and Purity.
RITUAL – Leviticus is book-ended by chapters about ritual sacrifices (1-7) and ritual festivals and holy days (23-27). Some sacrifices were performed as a way of saying “thank you” to God, and others were a way of saying “I’m sorry.” The Jewish calendar was also marked with events that were intended to remind them of who God was, who they were, and how he had rescued them.
PRIESTHOOD – Chapters 8-10 focus on the divine appointment of the tribe of Levi as mediators between God and his people. Chapters 21-22 focus on the qualifications for this office of priesthood. If the Levites are going to minister in God’s presence, they will be called to a higher moral standard.
PURITY – Chapters 11-15 and 18-20 deal with ritual and moral purity. The bigger offense to God is not simply being in a state of imperfection, but rushing into his presence while being unclean. God is holy, and he wants his people to be holy, particularly so that they can be a light to the nations of the world around them who do not know God.
DAY OF ATONEMENT – Right in the middle of Leviticus are chapters 16-17 describing a special day when the high priest would sacrifice a goat for the sins of Israel, and he would place his hands on the head of a second goat, confess sins, and release the goat to roam free in the wilderness. The Day of Atonement was meant to remind God’s people that, if they would repent and trust in God, the punishment for their sin would be placed on another life, and they could be set free to live for God instead of their sin.
Join us next week as we move on to the book of Numbers!
- Read Exodus 40:33-35, Leviticus 1:1, and Numbers 1:1: How does
Moses’ inability to enter the tent demonstrate the problem between
God and Israel? How do the first sentences of Leviticus and Numbers
give us clues about the purpose of the book of Leviticus?
- Skim through Leviticus (Old Testament) and Hebrews (New Testament) and talk about the differences and similarities between the ancient Jewish sacrificial system and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. What does God provide in both instances? What is required of a person in both instances?
- Skim through Leviticus 18-20: In these laws about moral purity, notice the
emphasis put on sexual purity and social justice. Notice how living by
these laws would set Israel apart from all other nations (see especially
Leviticus 18:1-5). Why does God call his people to holiness in these
- Discuss the meaning of “atonement.” How does it highlight both God’s justice and mercy at the same time?
- Notice the different Jewish calendar rhythms and how they reminded the Jewish people of who God was and who they were. Are there any kind of rhythms like this in your life? Why or why not?
Mark your calendars for something unique coming up on Friday, October 20!