The book of Leviticus has been the death of countless millions of well-meaning Bible reading resolutions. If the second half of the book of Exodus drags, with its detailed descriptions of the furniture of the tabernacle, the book of Leviticus is the sequel that bombs, a volume devoted to arcane minutiae about the sacrifice of animals, cleansing after sexual discharges and ancient skin diseases, agricultural feasts, and ceremonies for installing priests into office. Much of the book is given over to details about sacrifices that seem totally irrelevant to us:What animal should be offered? What sex must it be? What age? Who should offer it? When? In what manner? How should it be cut up and divided? How should the pieces be arranged? What shall be done with the blood? How should it be cooked? Who shall eat it? Where shall they eat it? Within what period of time should it be eaten?
When you actually start to get to grips with the symbolism of Leviticus all of these details slowly begin to make more sense, and Leviticus can even become a profoundly fascinating book. However, before we do so, there are still some very broad and incredibly important lessons to draw from it. Perhaps one of the greatest of all of these is that God is a god for whom the body is important.
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