The Book of Leviticus - The Foreshadowing of Jesus?


What is your expectation when you think of this book? Is it a legalistic legacy from the Law or maybe just a relic of the Hebrew ritualistic worship of their God? For some it might only be a collection of prohibitions that yield personal condemnation. But if you take a closer look at this book, you will notice that it provides a fascinating insight into the prophetic purpose of the sacrifices and services before God.

Deeper Meaning

According to my understanding of the books of Hebrews, the Law is a foreshadow of that which is to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

Hebrews 8:1-5

From a Hebrew Midrash (textual interpretation) point of view, prophecy is not only proclamation, it can also be pattern. There are four levels of Hebrew interpretation. They are represented by the acronym PaRDeS.

  • [P]eshat is the simplest most straightforward interpretation. This is the direct meaning
  • [R]emez is that which is implied in the text. This is their hermeneutics or where they see how to understand the meaning of the text.
  • [D’]rash is that which can be gleaned from the text to better our behavior as human beings. This is their homiletics or where they see how to apply the text in their lives.
  • [S]od or the deepest most spiritual meanings of the text. This is the mystical meaning. Caution is advised here as it is easy to slip into a dangerous interpretation of the text.

The book of Exodus is all about WHERE God is to be worshipped. Using typology, we see Jesus as the Tabernacle of Meeting and Jesus is the Sanctified Priest. However, the book of Leviticus is all about HOW God is to be worshipped. Again using typology, we see Jesus as the Sacrificial Portion which is to come.

When reviewing the outline of the book, don’t be fooled by the chapter and verse partitions. They were introduced in the 13th century by Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury in England. Given that fact, I chose to look at this book from the standpoint of its outline and structure. Therefore, when you partition by themes you see that there is an interesting symmetry and structure of the book.

  • Chapters 1-7 The Offerings.
  • Chapters 8-10 Consecration of the Priests
  • Chapters 11-15 Clean Living
  • Chapter 16 The Day of Atonement
  • Chapters 17-20 Clean Relationships
  • Chapters 21-23 Priesthood & the 7 Feast Days
  • Chapters 24-27 Promises and Punishment

A Teacher’s Challenge

I have taught verse-by-verse through the Bible many times. During those journeys I have passed through the rich fields of Leviticus and mused on the best way to present the detail. Each time I discover something new and refreshing. The problem I find is how much commentary is enough. Because of so many details you can easily get lost in the proverbial weeds. Chuck Missler’s commentary took sixteen session. My last time through took fourteen sessions.

After moving to Florida, my family and I committed to fellowship at Calvary Chapel Merritt Island. Its senior pastor, Malcolm Wild, is a life-long friend. We both go back to the early days of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California during the 1970s Jesus Revolution. We find it nice to be in an environment where they have expositional Bible teaching and excellent Body ministry.

Given our long-term friendship, Pastor Malcolm knows of my passion for the ancient history of the Children of Israel, and so he asked me if I could teach the Book of Leviticus in just seven weeks. The challenge will be to make it more than a summary and yet not miss the impact of the detail.

A Seven-Part Summary

Starting Wednesday, May 8, 2024, I will begin a series framed around the outline that I have listed above. If you are in the area of Central Florida, you are welcome to join us each Wednesday night. The church address is:

Calvary Chapel
3500 North Courtenay Parkway, 
Merritt Island, Florida 32953, 
Telephone (321) 453-6779, email: