Rob Bell shares why he began his church plant (Mars Hill) with an 18 month, verse by verse sermon series on the book of Leviticus.
Life In Leviticus (from Leadership Magazine, January 1, 2002)
In February 1999 we planted a church to reach the unchurched and disillusioned people of Grand Rapids, Michigan. For the first year, I preached through Leviticus—verse by verse.
* Menstrual blood.
* Hold the pork.
* Avoid road kill.
Why start a church with Leviticus? Why not a series on relationships or finding peace? That would be the safer approach.
Leviticus cannot be tamed. Its imagery is too wild. We ventured into its lair and let it devour us, trusting that God would deliver us with a truer picture of his Son.
Why Leviticus? Two reasons.
First, I didn’t want the church to succeed because we put together the right resources. I wanted the church to flourish on the power of the Spirit alone.
I knew opening with Leviticus—foreign words to today’s culture—was risky. But the bigger the risk, the more need for the Spirit and the more glory for God to get.
Second, unchurched people often perceive the Bible as obsolete. If that crowd could discover God speaking to them through Old Testament law, it would radically change their perception that Christianity is archaic. I wanted people to know that the whole biblical story—even Leviticus—is alive.
The Scriptures are a true story, rooted in historical events and actual people. But many people don’t see the connection between the Moses part and the Jesus part.
But Moses’ Leviticus is all about Jesus.