Friday, August 26, 2016

Book Review: Exalting Jesus in Leviticus

Exalting Jesus in Leviticus. Allan Moseley. 2015. B&H. 288 pages. [Source: Bought]

Without a doubt the book of Leviticus is an under-appreciated book even among Christians, or perhaps especially among Christians. Truth be told, few would rank it a favorite even if you were to narrow it down to Old Testament books or the Pentateuch. Moseley's commentary on Leviticus may just help you better appreciate what you're probably only skimming.

Early on, he lists FIVE reasons why Leviticus is important:
  • Leviticus describes the entire religious system of ancient Israel. If we hope to understand how religion worked in Israel, we must understand the book of Leviticus.
  • Leviticus provides the theological foundation for the atoning work of Christ. The idea of a substitutionary sacrifice receives its fullest explication in the book of Leviticus.
  • Leviticus demonstrates how important holiness is to God. Holiness is the main theme of Leviticus—God’s holiness and the holiness God expects from His people. Holiness is still important to God, and God reminds His people of that crucial fact in the book of Leviticus.
  • Leviticus is important because it contains the very words of God in direct speech. 
  • The New Testament frequently alludes to the contents of Leviticus.
Though he lists five reasons, really only one is needed:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Each chapter of the book focuses on a chunk of Scripture. Sometimes a few verses--sometimes a few chapters. Each chapter is well-organized. Each begins with a main idea, follows an outline, and ends in reflection questions. 

I haven't always loved the book of Leviticus. But I have come to better appreciate it over the last seven or eight years. I have come to see it not as a boring book of rules but as a how-to book of worship. God's glory is very prominent in Leviticus and God's glory is a beautiful thing. Reading this book has deepened my appreciation for the book of Leviticus.

Some of my favorite quotes:
Atonement is a central theme in Leviticus. The root word translated “atone” or “atonement” occurs 53 times in Leviticus, and only 43 times elsewhere in the whole Old Testament. Thus, Leviticus says more about atonement than any other book in the Old Testament.
God is perfectly holy, and sin is not allowed in His presence. Therefore, for sinners to be in the presence of God their sin must be removed, and that is the purpose of atonement.
All of God’s Word teaches us that sin is serious. We may not like it, but sin is what is wrong with humanity; it’s what is wrong with us. The question is, What do we do with sin? Praise God, He not only tells us our problem, He also gives the solution to our problem!
Our fallen nature will always be prone to think that the fire we invent is better than the fire God commands.
To be free of sin they had to confess sin. So do we. The reason for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was our sin, and to be reconciled to God we confess our sin and our need for the salvation from sin Jesus offers.
The message of the Bible is that all of humanity is in a war, and a hand grenade landed next to all of us. That hand grenade is sin, and it will destroy our lives and send us to everlasting condemnation. Jesus, who is the best friend we could possibly have, has jumped on that hand grenade for us. When He died on the cross as our substitutionary sacrifice, He was dying in our place, taking our sin and its penalty on Himself so that we might live. He could have chosen to let us die for our own sin; we deserve it. Instead, He gave Himself as our sacrifice, even though it cost His life.
Our holiness arises from a relationship with God. The key to holiness is staying close to God.
God is perfectly holy and cannot abide where there is sin, and sin leads to death. So the question of the Bible is not How could a loving God possibly send people to hell? but How could the holy God who always judges sin possibly allow guilty sinners in heaven?

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...


What are the reasons men reject, abandon, or do not understand the truth concerning God, His terms for pardon, or His commandments for living the Christian lifestyle?


John 12:42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue;

Are there men today who do not confess Jesus as the Christ because they fear being ostracized or banished by their secular friends, anti Christian groups, or other religions?

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

Why will these men perish? 1. They were deceived by wickedness. 2. They did not love the truth. 3. They chose not to believe the truth. 4. They took pleasure in wickedness. NOTICE: God sent a deluding influence so they would believe what was false after they had rejected the truth.

Matthew 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.
Matthew 24:11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.

Many are and will be mislead away from the truth about Jesus.
No man has to be mislead. It is a choice.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Men who sincerely seek God will not be mislead.

Roman 10:14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?

Men cannot believe the truth about Jesus unless they have heard the truth preached.

2 Peter 3:16-17 as also in his letters, speaking in them of things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall your own steadfastness,

The reasons some men do not understand some difficult passages of Scripture and teach error, are, that they are untaught, unstable, and unprincipled.


Acts 22:12-16.... Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name!

What would be the reason that men say, Saul had had his sins forgiven on the road to Damascus three days prior?

What would be the reason why that men would say, Saul had had his sin forgiven because of "faith only" the moment he believed three days ago on the road to Damascus?

Why would men deny that even though Saul was confronted by Jesus on the road to Damascus, and repented three day prior to arriving at Damascus, that Saul was still in his sins until he was baptized in water calling on the name of the Lord? (Acts 9:1-19, Acts 22:1-16, Acts 26:12-18)

Saul's sins were not washed away until he was baptized in water calling on the name of the Lord. Saul was not saved on the road to Damascus.