What’s Lurking in the Shadows of Leviticus?
Will Graham Reveals Hidden Treasures in Ancient Tale
June 28, 2012 - “When the Shadows Speak” marks Will Graham’s first seminar at the Training Center where he serves as executive director. The June 29 session will be webcast free on The Cove website at 7:15 p.m. ET.
by Janet Chismar
As you flip open the Old Testament, you may be tempted to skip from Genesis to oh, say, Joshua. But if you did, you would miss a book laced with unexpected shadows and splashes of color.
Leviticus, says Will Graham, paints a beautiful picture of the ultimate sacrifice of Christ.
“Yes,” says Graham, who is devoting an entire weekend (June 29-July 1) to teaching about Leviticus at The Cove in Asheville, N.C. “When the Shadows Speak” marks Graham’s first seminar at the Training Center where he serves as executive director.
The June 29 session will be webcast free on The Cove website at 7:15 p.m. ET.
“The webcasts are an area of our ministry we are trying to expand,” says Graham. “We want to give people a taste of what The Cove is like, of the teaching that takes place here. This is one of the greatest facilities to teach in, where people can learn the Scriptures.”
Another great thing about the webcast, Graham says, is that it doesn’t matter what time zone you are in. “We’ve had dozens of countries at one time be a part of previous webcasts, along with thousands from across the U.S. It helps people who can’t travel to western North Carolina experience some of wonderful speakers we have throughout the year. It opens up the doors of The Cove to reach around the world.”
But why Leviticus?
“This year we are celebrating 24 years of ministry at The Cove and in 24 years, no one has ever taught from the book of Leviticus,” Graham explains. “God laid it on my heart that the first seminar I would ever do at The Cove would be on Leviticus.”
While it may seem an unusual choice, Graham is confident that unpacking the book is worthwhile. “Leviticus is one of those books that few people read in the Bible. They wonder how it can be relevant.
“But I believe that every word of God—even those things that don’t seem profitable at times—can teach us spiritual truth. The things we want to skip over—for example, the ‘begat’ sections (i.e., 1 Chronicles chapters 1-8)—may teach us about God’s faithfulness to every generation.”
In the book of Leviticus, says Graham, we learn in detail about the Day of Atonement. Think of it as Spiritual Spring Cleaning—or Autumn Cleaning to be more precise. Israel’s annual Day of Atonement, which fell every year in September or October, was a day of national mourning and repentance.
Leviticus shows how an unholy people can approach a holy God. While people would come to the temple and offer sacrifices every day of the year, the Day of Atonement was the one day in the Jewish year when God dealt with sin on a national level.
The high priest would go into the Holy of Holies, behind the veil, and sprinkle blood on the top of the Ark of the Covenant, where the visible representation of God was located.
“So what we see in the Day of Atonement is a foreshadowing of something far greater coming later on,” says Graham. “It’s a beautiful picture of what Jesus accomplished on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice.”
Leviticus—and the entire Old Testament—is more vivid than anything Hollywood can create, he adds. “There is nothing boring about the Old Testament. When you teach it, everything comes to life. That’s what happened to me.
“When I was in college, I had a professor who opened it up. I just soaked it all up like a sponge. I started learning that it’s really just one long story all the way through the Bible, and that is God redeeming His people.”
Have you repented of your sins and trusted in Christ for forgiveness? Visit peacewithgod.net and learn more about the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus.
Bookmark this link to join Will Graham's seminar, "When the Shadows Speak," at 7:15 p.m. ET this Friday, June 29.