In Exodus, God delivers His people from slavery with incredible signs and wonders (Exodus 1-15) and brings them to Sinai (Exodus 16-19), telling them there that they are to be his “kingdom of priests and holy nation.”
He confirms their kingdom status by entering into a covenant with them as their King and giving them kingdom laws to follow (Exodus 20-24).
But that’s not all. He is going to be a King who is near to them, “pitching His tent” with them, so He gives them directions for His tabernacle, His earthly palace (Exodus 25-31, 35-40).
And all of this leads to a very important question if you’re an Israelite: How in the world can the holy and pure King of the universe dwell among His sinful and impure people? How can He live here—in our midst—without His holiness melting us in our sin and impurity?!
Answer: Leviticus, which begins by explaining the sacrifices that address sin and enable them to worship this King rightly (Leviticus 1-7).
Answer: Leviticus, which provides God’s people with priests to intercede on their behalf and lead them in worship before the King (Leviticus 8-10).
Answer: Leviticus, which gives them laws to teach them how to deal properly with impurity (Leviticus 11-15).
Answer: Leviticus, which provides a yearly ceremony to remove every last ounce of sin and impurity from the kingdom (Leviticus 16).
Answer, Leviticus, which provides a whole series of laws in other areas to direct them in living like a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Leviticus 17-27).
A true and complete understanding of what God requires of us (holiness) always leads us to a true realization of our inadequacy which leaves us seeking God’s presence and some way of being forgiven for our sins. The entire sacrificial system is going to be shown to be a “guardian” for us (Galatians 3:24, other translations use the word “tutor” or “teacher”), which was to point us to Christ and His sufficiency. Just like a baby, God’s people had to learn how to walk before they could learn to run. The law and the sacrificial system were given to begin to point God’s people to His Son, in whom all the law and all the prophets would be fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17)