K:JNWTS 30/1 (May 2015): 3-12

THE END IN THE BEGINNING:
A BIBLICAL-THEOLOGICAL CATECHISM FOR YOUNG AND OLD
Leviticus

James T. Dennison, Jr.

What do you observe about the position of Leviticus in the Pentateuch?

            It is the central book of the five

What does this suggest?

            Leviticus is the keystone to the five books of Moses

 

                                                LEVITICUS

                                    Exodus                     Numbers

                        Genesis       Deuteronomy

 

Explain

            Genesis and Exodus flow into Leviticus; Numbers and Deuteronomy flow out of

            Leviticus. The movement of the narrative-revelation is from outside Leviticus to

            inside Leviticus, then moving on out (moving forward/beyond) from Leviticus.

 

Let me suggest a macro-structural biblical-theological paradigm for the Pentateuch

 

            Creation (Paradise land of Eden)

                        Rebellion (Fall)                                               Genesis

                                    Sojourn (Patriarchs)

                                                Exodus (Reed Sea)                             Exodus

                                                            Tabernacle (God’s Glory-Presence)    Leviticus

                        Rebellion (Carcasses fall in the desert)                       Numbers

                                    Sojourn (Wilderness)                                     

                                                New Exodus (Jordan River)   Deuteronomy

            New Creation (Paradise milk-and-honey land of Canaan)

 

What is the central theme of Leviticus?

            Life within and around the Tabernacle of the Lord

We have already learned that the Tabernacle is eschatologically oriented in our BT catechism on Exodus.[1]

            Yes, the Tabernacle is: (1) God’s condescension-humiliation; (2) God’s identification-

            incarnation; (3) God’s Immanuel-presence

Thus, life within and around the Tabernacle is heaven-oriented

            Yes. How a sinner approaches God (via propitiatory sacrifice)

                    How a sinner communes with God (via a fellowship meal)

                    How a sinner lives with God (via holiness and purity of heart and life)

                    How a sinner celebrates God’s unmerited grace (via festivals in remembrance of his

                    mighty acts or magnalia Dei)    

So the book of Leviticus is an invitation to come into God’s dwelling place concretely miniaturized via symbols, rituals and festivals.

            Yes

If Leviticus is heaven oriented, then it is also Christocentric—and that protologically as well as eschatologically?

            Protological high priest in Leviticus anticipates eschatological High Priest (God’s Son)

            Protological tabernacle sacrifice projects eschatological Sacrifice (once-and-for-all)

            Protological tabernacle and community holiness reflects Incarnate Holiness (Christ)

            Protological spatial tabernacle arena anticipates aspatial dwelling place infinite in extent

            Protological temporal tabernacle projects eschatological eternal dwelling place in heaven

How does a sinner travel in Leviticus?

            From the outside the Tabernacle in (through sacrifice to and communion with the Lord)

From the inside the Tabernacle out (through cleansing and holiness of life in and through the Spirit of the Lord)

Where is the transition point in the book of Leviticus?

            Yom Kippur (“the day of atonement”)—Leviticus 16, the hinge point of the book

May we thus regard Leviticus as an unfolding narrative?

            Yes, it is the story of a sinner’s life from outside the grace of God (heaven), to inside the

            grace of God (via sacrifice), to becoming clean (nothing unclean in heaven), to the great

            atonement (annually repeated), to becoming holy (without holiness, no one sees heaven),

            to celebrating Sabbath and Jubilee (heaven’s perfect rest and perfect liberation).

How does the book of Exodus end?

            With the completion of the tabernacle (mishkan, Hebrew = “dwelling place”)—Ex 40:30

How does the book of Leviticus begin?

            With God speaking from the tabernacle (ohel moed, Hebrew = “tent of meeting”)—Lev.   1:1

So what, you may ask?

            The unfolding organic narrative of the history of God’s relationship with his

redeemed people flows through Leviticus; the seamless narrative requires literary

continuity and cohesiveness, not redaction, invention and mythologization (as higher

critics suppose).

Comment on the macro-structure of the book of Leviticus.

            Numerous scholars have noticed the alternating pattern of legal and narrative material in

            the chapters of the book.

Outline this for me

            Legal (ch. 1-7)—Narrative (8-10)—Legal (11-15)—Narrative (16)—Legal (17-24:9)—

                        Narrative (24:10-23)—Legal (25-27)

This means Leviticus is composed of seven building blocks in alternating fashion, i.e., legal,

            narrative. The whole of Leviticus is a seven-fold tableau.

What is unique about each of the three narrative units?

            They all contain a death story

Explain

Chapters 8-10 contain the death of Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron

Chapter 16 contains the death of the sacrificial goat of the annual day of atonement

Chapter 24:10-23 contains the death of a man who blasphemes the name of the Lord

In a book about holiness of life in God’s presence, the antithesis of death and sin sounds

forth from the interstices of the unfolding fabric of the book           .

Chapters 1-7 deal with sacrifices. What is unique about this section?

            Each type of sacrifice is mentioned twice

Explain

            The whole burnt offering appears in chapter 1 and 6:8-13

            The grain offering appears in chapter 2 and 6:14-23

            The peace offering appears in chapter 3 and 7:11-34

            The sin offering appears in chapter 4-5:13 and 6:24-30

            The guilt/trespass offering appears in chapter 5:14-6:7 and 7:1-10

Why are they mentioned twice?

            To underscore or emphasize the importance of sacrifice to the Lord. The beginning of the

            book is framed in twofold patterns of sacrifice and forgiveness—twice over revelation of

            God’s open accessibility, forgiving grace and joyful communion.

Why is sacrifice important?

            It is a symbol or figure of the relationship of the one making the offering to the Lord in

            his Glory-Tabernacle.

What is the figural or symbolic meaning of sacrifice?

            Sin requires a substitute; sinners require a mediator

What is another word for “substitute”?

            Vicarious

What is another word for “mediator”?

            Intercessor or go-between

In Leviticus, the mediator is ________?________ (the priest and especially the high priest)

Who is the eschatological substitute or vicarious offering?

            The Lord Jesus Christ

Who is the eschatological mediator?

            The Lord Jesus Christ

Who is the eschatological priest/high priest?

            The Lord Jesus Christ

The protological Tabernacle-sacrifices figure or point to the eschatological sacrifice of the Lord of Heaven.

            Yes

Is there any other substitute for the sins of sinners than Jesus Christ?

            No, he alone is all-sufficient in his marvelous person and saving grace.       

Do we need any other priest than Jesus Christ?

            No, he is the once-and-for-all eschatological (last) and final priest for the people of God.

            Priesthood is abolished in his finished priestly work.

How do you know this is correct?

            When Christ said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), he completed and abolished the OT

            sacrifices, their priestly intercessors and the earthly Tabernacle-Temple.

How do you know this is correct?

            God himself confirmed what we said above when he split the veil of the Temple from top

            to bottom. The Temple with its sacrifices, priests and earthly location had “passed away”;

            “new things” were brought forth from then on.

What relationship between God and the sinner is symbolized by the whole burnt offering (Lev 1; 6:8-13)?

            As the whole sacrificial victim is burnt on the altar as a pleasing aroma to the Lord, so the

            sinner belongs wholly and entirely to the Lord. His whole being is to be offered up to the

            Lord as a result of God’s creating, redeeming and sanctifying that person. The sinner is

            confessing, “I belong body and soul to God, my Lord, to whom I yield or offer myself

            wholly as my Creator, my Redeemer, my Lord.”

Where will this wholeness be perfected?

            In the perfect arena which the Tabernacle symbolized, i.e., in heaven the life of the

            believer belongs wholly and entirely to the Triune God for eternity.

You are saying that the eschatological perfects the protological even as the protological anticipates the eschatological?

            Yes—and that in a biblical-theological or redemptive-historical manner. This is true of all

            the sacrifices detailed in Lev 1-7.

What relationship between God and the sinner is symbolized by the grain offering (Lev 2; 6:14-23)?

            A portion of the fruits of the sinner’s labor is offered to the Lord as an expression

            (symbolic figure) that all the efforts of his labors in toiling and producing have their

            source and fruition in the will, the strength and the grace of God. The sinner is

            confessing, “I believe all my labor and toil in producing fruit unto the Lord is due to his

            abundant blessing and provision as my Creator, my Redeemer, my Lord.”

Where will this labor be perfected?

            In the perfect arena which the Tabernacle symbolized, i.e., in heaven, believers lay their

            labors down as completed perfectly in the fruit of the labors of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What relationship between God and the sinner is symbolized by the peace offering (Lev 3; 7:11-34)?

            This offering displays the result of the sinner offering himself and his labors wholly to

            the Lord. The result is the peace of reconciliation between God and sinners. The sinner is

declaring, “I confess that all the enmity between myself and my God has been placated in

the substitute who bears that enmity to death in my place; so that I may eat with  and

communion in peace before God my Creator, my Redeemer, My Lord.”

How is this peace (shalom) evident in the details of the offering?

            The fellowship meal within the Tabernacle courts of God’s Glory-Presence displays the

            shalom which now exists between God and sinner (cf. Lev 7:15; also 3:1, 7, 12 and the

            phrase “before the Lord”). They are reconciled—no longer at enmity with one another on

            account of sin—and thus may sit at table with one another in peace.

When will this peace and reconciliation be perfected?

            In the place where the supper of everlasting peace is spread in all its glory—the banquet

            between God and his children in heaven is the testimony to perfect reconciliation secured

            by the blood of the Lamb of God (NB: Lev 3:7 and Rev 19:7-9).

What relationship between God and the sinner is symbolized by the sin offering (Lev 4-5:13; 6:24-30)?

            Sin places a barrier between God and man. It is an offense against God’s infinite and

            eternal holiness and righteousness which requires satisfaction and forgiveness.

Why is satisfaction required?

            Because a debt of demerit has been incurred (or a merited/deserved punishment has been

            earned), God requires payment of the debt/demerit of sin. That debt is death (“the wages

            of sin is death,” Rom 6:23). The protological punishment of sin, which is death (Gen

            2:17; 3:19), is recapitulated in every sinner in every era of history. It is the penalty of the

            protological curse and remains an eschatological reality (i.e., Hell as the lake of eternal

            fire of eternal death, Rev 20:14), unless it is removed by the payment of the penalty and

            the forgiveness of the guilt.

But how is a sinner to pay the debt and cleanse the guilt?

            Only in the manner prescribed by God himself. The sin offering illustrates the gracious

            (not meritorious!) manner which God appoints for satisfying the debt of sin and forgiving

            the guilt of sin.

How is this accomplished?

            Vicariously—through a substitute

What do you mean?

            By means of a substitute (sacrificial animal), God accepts death as payment for the sin

            which offends his holy righteousness.

Is this why the sinner, offering a sin offering at the Tabernacle, was required to “lay his hands on the head” of his offering (Lev 4:4, 15, 29, 33)?

            Yes, he was transferring his sin to the substitute (symbolically/figuratively) so that his

            sacrifice would die in his place. Laying his hands on the victim was his confession that he

            deserved to die, but that God’s grace allowed a substitute to pay his penalty.

You say a transfer—what was being transferred?

            The punishment and guilt of the sinner was transferred to the sacrificial victim; from the

            sacrificial victim to the sinner, satisfaction of the penalty (victim’s death means sinner

            lives) and remission of guilt (victim’s blood means sinner’s guilt is cleansed or washed

            away) was transferred.

But how could temporal bulls, goats and lambs remove an eternal penalty?

            They could not, as Hebrews 10:4 tells us. They could only symbolize or figure that which

            alone could satisfy and atone for sin.

Who is the eschatological sin offering for the people of God?

            The Lord Jesus Christ

How?

            Once-and-for-all, he vicariously pays the penalty for their sin by/in his death and cleanses

            their guilt in his precious blood. The transfer is: sin’s death penalty is transferred to

            Christ; Christ’s life sufficiency is transferred to the sinner. Again the transfer is: sin’s

            guilt and criminality (sin a crime against God) is transferred to Christ; Christ’s

            guiltlessness and purity washes the sinner in forgiveness (guilt is washed away in the

            blood of the eschatological victim for sinner’s slain).

How is this eschatological sacrifice/victim an eschatological payment for an eschatological debt?

            He alone is an eschatological person able to endure (and remit) an eschatological debt—

            whose death is of infinite value (on account of his infinite person) so as to cancel an

            infinite eschatological death penalty. No Hell is due to the person of Christ; no Hell is

            due to those vicariously united to him (i.e., “in Christ”) in his death-resurrection life

            story.[2]

But Christ was 1400 years away. How did an Israelite sinner receive Christ?

            By proxy anticipation—Christ was present in advance through the symbolic and

            figurative reality of the Tabernacle sacrifices. So rich and pervasive is his all-sufficient

grace that his eschatological work is present to those who believe under the old

covenant. They too are “in Christ” from afar. This is the wonderful message of the epistle

to the Hebrews.[3]

What relationship between God and the sinner is symbolized by the guilt/trespass offering (Lev 5:14-6:7; 7:1-10)?

            That as with the sin offering (cf. Lev 7:7), God is offended and must be placated by an

atoning substitute. However, one additional element is essential in the trespass offering:

            restitution of the value of the sin plus 20% (one-fifth) is required. The sinner is

            acknowledging, “I am guilty of trespassing against the righteous holiness of God, both

            intentionally and unintentionally. In addition, I must redress any potential loss to those

            whom I have offended by a 20% gift of value above and beyond what the loss was

            worth.”

Why is restitution of value required?

            Justice requires value for value—that is equitable. Ultimately, God has been defrauded.

But why is 20% added?

            Because justice requires that the loss of value be compensated by an additional one-fifth

            of the value of what the sin involved. The equity of loss of use is therefore compensated.

            Cf. the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:2-10.

The next section of Leviticus is the narrative unit of chapters 8-10. What is the unfolding story-line featured here?

            We are told of the anointing and installation/consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests

            at the Lord’s tabernacle. This includes making sin offerings (8:2), burnt offerings (8:18),

            grain offerings (9:17) and peace offerings (9:18) for them; thus folding their narrative

            story into the narrative of the offerings themselves (chapters 1-7).

But Nadab and Abihu did not survive this full narrative.

            No, they “died before the Lord” (Lev 10:2).

Why?

Because they offered “strange fire” before the Lord (Lev 10:1).

How did they die?

            Fire devoured them, issuing from the glory-presence of the Lord in the Holy of Holies of

            the tabernacle. Fire met fire!

What is “strange fire”?

            No one knows for sure. But whatever it was in particular, God was particularly offended.

            It was so wicked that the Lord consigned them to eschatological fire instantly.

The next section (Lev 11-15) contains laws of clean and unclean animals, clean and unclean physical conditions and leprosy.

Why are these laws in the OT? They seem very strange to us today.

            Yes, they are strange. However, they are associated with holiness in the presence of the

            Lord, i.e., as one comes to the tabernacle.

Therefore, since the tabernacle is a symbol of heaven, are these laws prohibiting access to

heaven for anything or anyone unclean?

            Yes, they have a moral/ethical vector/aspect. As Geerhardus Vos observes, “God teaches

            his people to feel about sin as they are accustomed to feel an ignominious and

            uncomfortable exclusion from the ritual service” (Biblical Theology: OT and NT [1948

            Eerdmans edition] 200; [1975 Banner of Truth edition] 182).

We may add to Vos’s “exclusion from the ritual service” the following: exclusion from the ritual dwelling, i.e., the Tabernacle.

Why do you add this?

            Because unholiness, uncleanness (symbolic of sinfulness) cannot be admitted to God’s

            perfectly clean and holy presence. These cleanliness laws ultimately have an

            eschatological vector—they point to heaven, the arena of perfect holiness and pristine

            cleanliness.

Israel was then being given visual reminders of God’s presence and God’s person.

            Yes. In their everyday life, the children of Israel saw (and felt) visual (and tangible)

            reminders of the pollution, corruption and repugnance of sin. Unclean animals

            demonstrated that only clean beasts could be brought to the tabernacle. Unclean

            conditions (both bodily and structurally, i.e., in buildings) evidenced the on-going

            presence of sin in one’s life and in the world—and thus a barrier to living as such (i.e., in

            that condition) in God’s presence.

But that which barred a sinner from God’s presence could be removed.

            Yes. The Lord mercifully provided a way for cleansing, purification and removal of sin

            so that the believer could come into his presence “whiter than snow”.

Thus, Leviticus 11-15 may be read for edification and celebration.

            Yes. Edification for our understanding of sin and its consequences by physical and

            tangible realities. Celebration in that Christ Jesus has taken all the pollution, uncleanness

            and repugnance of our sin upon himself so as to wash us in his blood, cleanse us

            through his cross, and to embrace us in his saving grace so that we are fit to appear in the

            arena of the eschatological tabernacle. Praise be to his blessed name!!

Previously, you labeled chapter 16 the hinge or pivot point of the book of Leviticus.

            Yes

Why?

            Because it contains the narrative of the most wonderful day of the OT year—Yom

            Kippur.

What does Yom Kippur mean?

            Day (Yom) of atonement (Kippur) or Day of covering

Covering what?

            Israel’s sins

Covering how?

            By the blood of a substitute hiding the guilt, shame and pollution of sin from the

            omniscient eye of God.

What was covered?

            The mercy seat or lid to the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle.

            Mercy placated with cleansing blood speaks atonement, payment, satisfaction,       forgiveness, sin removed and banished.

How is this narrated?

            By the story of two goats—one of which gives its life in death, the other of which is set

 free from death to live.

Why are there two?

            To dramatize the wages of sin (death) and the reverse, i.e., freedom from death

            when sin is atoned (liberty).

How often did this occur?

            Yom Kippur was observed once a year. Thus, once a year Israel saw a visual

            dramatization of what sin produces (death) and what God graciously dispenses (freedom

            from death by way of atonement and satisfaction).

But this occurred once a year, over and over again.

            Yes, this OT ritual was never finished. It could not truly remove the penalty of sin and

            bestow the benefit of grace because it had no endless life in itself, so as to once and for

all cancel sin, annul death and grant everlasting freedom and life.

Then the symbol of Yom Kippur was powerless to complete or fulfill itself?

            Yes, it needed a supernatural person and a supernatural work to put an end to its

            ritualistic drama once and for all.

Who was this person and what was his work?

            He was our sweet Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, eternal Son of God together with his

            spotless, blameless, pristinely clean, perfectly holy life and atoning death.

Was his life and death an eschatological atonement?

            Yes

Why?

            As an eternal, supernatural person, he was able to make eternal and eschatological

            satisfaction for our sins. That is, his atoning sacrifice was final, absolute, never needs

            repeating, effectual once-and-for-all. It displaces and replaces Yom Kippur because

            he is the eschatological victim as well as the eschatological high priest. This is the

            teaching of the epistle to the Hebrews.[4]

What is the next unit of material in Leviticus?

            The legal matter in chapter 17-24:9

This unit contains the Hebrew feasts in chapter 23. List them.

            The Sabbath, Passover, First-fruits, Pentecost, Tabernacles (or Booths) are the major

            ones. Blowing of Trumpets and New Moon are also listed.

Three of these are so-called ‘pilgrimage’ festivals.

            Yes. Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles were the three that required a journey to the

            tabernacle/temple each year (Deut 16:16; cf. Ex 23:14-17).

What is the biblical theology of these feasts?

            Consider them:

                        Retrospectively           Past Historical vector/aspect

                                    Existentially                Present rehearsal or re-living

                        Prospectively               Future eschatological vector/aspect

How does the Sabbath function biblically-theologically?[5]

            Retrospective              Historical creation Sabbath (God’s rest)

                        Existential                   Present re-living weekly Sabbath (man’s weekly rest)

            Prospective                  Future eschatological Sabbath (eternal rest—redeemed man in

                                                            God’s rest forever)

                        Israel’s Saturday Sabbath displaced by the Christian Lord’s day Sabbath

How does the Passover function biblically-theologically (it includes the Feast of Unleavened Bread)?

Retrospective              Historical exodus from Egypt by the blood of a lamb

            Existential                   Re-living liberation from bondage to evil principalities

Prospective                  Eschatological exodus redemption/liberation by eschatological

 Lamb of God (1 Cor 5:7)

                        Israel’s lamb displaced by the Lamb of God

How does First-fruits function biblically-theologically?

            Retrospective              Historical spring (barley) harvest in the Promised Land

                        Existential                   Re-living possession of the first portion of the bounty of

                                                                        God’s land

            Prospective                  Eschatological bringer of eternal possession of the first-fruits of

                                                            God’s Spirit, i.e., Jesus Christ as First-fruits of the new

                                                            creation glory-land (Jam 1:18; Rom 8:23; 1 Cor 15: 20, 23)

                        Israel’s first-fruits displaced by Christ Jesus, the true First-fruits of creation

How does Pentecost function biblically-theologically?

            Retrospective              Historical first-fruits of wheat harvest in the Promised Land

                        Existential                   Re-living the out-pouring of blessing in the grain harvest

            Prospective                  Eschatological out-pouring of blessings of the Holy Spirit as the

                                                            harvest of the nations unfolds (Acts 2:5-42).

Israel’s harvest in-gathering displaced by the harvest in-gathering of nations through

            the Holy Spirit

How does Yom Kippur function biblically-theologically?

            Retrospectively           Historical annual day of atonement

                        Existentially                Re-living forgiveness of sins via a scapegoat

            Prospectively               Eschatological atonement day through Messiah-Christ

                        Israel’s tabernacle/temple altar displaced by the cross of Jesus Christ

How does the Feast of Tabernacles function biblically-theologically?

Retrospectively           Historical conclusion to the wilderness 40-year sojourn and

conclusion to the agricultural year (Hebrew

“Thanksgiving”, i.e.,  Fall harvest in-gathering)

                                    Existential                   Re-living the pilgrim status of the people of God by

                                                                        dwelling in booths like Israel of old

                        Prospectively               Eschatological pilgrim (Jesus Christ) and eschatological

                                                            conclusion to the in-gathering of the people of God (NB:

Zech 14:16-21)

Israel’s booths displaced by the Son of God who is the end of the Feast of Tabernacles and its imagery: he is the fountain of living waters (John 7:37-38) and the light of the world (John 8:12), as well as the very tabernacle of God in the midst of men (John 1:14; 2:19; Rev 21:22)

Are the feasts of the OT to be observed and celebrated by Christians in the NT age?

            No

Why not?

            Christ Jesus is their full, complete and final meaning. Having him, we have all and need

            no festival elements of the prior age to encumber us. We do not live in the past, but in

            the future wonder of the glorious Son of God of heaven where festivals, times and

            seasons have been transcended by eternity.

The next unit of Leviticus (24:10-23) is a narrative interlude about the death of a blasphemer. Why is it present in the text of the book?

            It is a demonstrable instance of the just wrath of God (even as the deaths of Nadab and

            Abihu were). This incident places an exclamation point (!) on the dire consequences of

            blaspheming the person, the name, the work of the living, all-holy Triune Lord God.

What is unique about this narrative unit?

            It contains a chiasm (vv. 13-23)[6]

How so?

            The narrative text begins as it ends with the Lord speaking to Moses (v. 13 with v. 23).

            It pivots at the center point of the chiasm on the so-called lex talionis (Latin, “law of

            retaliation” or law of proportionate justice)—“eye for eye, tooth for tooth” (v. 20).

How does Leviticus end?

            With the Jubilee celebration (chapters 25-27)

What is the year of Jubilee?

            It was the year after a period of seven sabbatical years (or 49 years altogether). Thus, the

            year of Jubilee was the 50th year.

What occurred in the year of Jubilee?

            All debts were canceled; all slaves went free (save those who chose to remain

            indentured); all land was returned to the original owners or their descendants; all

            borrowed property was returned; the land was not planted nor harvested.

It was a semi-centennial celebration of liberty, freedom and rest. Why?

            To permit the people of God to enjoy temporal life without the usual burdens and

            encumbrances. Also it provided a heart of hope for the future when, in the seven

            sabbatical years in which they may have been burdened with debt, etc., they would

            anticipate the year of Jubilee in which they would be unburdened, unencumbered and

            granted, by the gift of God, temporal rest, relief and liberty.

How does Isaiah 61:1-2 relate to the year of Jubilee?

            The prophet projects an eschatological Jubilee

How do we know this?

            The Lord Jesus reads the Isaiah passage in Luke 4:18-21 and says, “Today this Scripture

            has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Thus, Leviticus closes on an eschatological note—a note of temporal Jubilee anticipating the eschatological Jubilee; a note which projects Isaiah’s vision and Christ’s realization.

Then, what kind of a Jubilee land is Isaiah’s vision and Christ’s realization (symbolized in Israel’s land)?

            Not Israel-Palestine, but the Kingdom of Heaven

            Not temporal release, but eternal release

            Not freedom from debt, but freedom from sin permanently

            Not release from bond servitude, but the everlasting liberty of the sons and daughters of

                        God

The keystone of the Pentateuch is a rich tapestry of how sinners come into the dwelling place of a just and holy God. Israel is granted the visual revelation of the invisible realization; and Christ completes, “sums it up”, brings it to full semi-eschatological accomplishment for those united to him by grace through faith (“in Christ”, even from Leviticus).


[1] Here: http://kerux.com/doc/2902A4.asp .

[2] The reader will enjoy George Herbert’s “The Sacrifice” as a brilliant poetic reflection on our Lord’s death.

[3] Se the author’s audio series on the epistle to the Hebrews here: http://nwts.edu/audio/JTD/Hebrews.htm .

[4] Cf. the author’s series on Hebrews here: http://nwts.edu/audio/JTD/Hebrews.htm .

[5] Review the treatment of the Sabbath in the Genesis and Exodus BT Catechism here http://kerux.com/doc/2803A5.asp and here http://kerux.com/doc/2902A4.asp .

[6] Cf. the full outline in N. Klaus, Pivot Patterns in the Former Prophets (1999) 219.