2/22/16: Be Healed of the Sure-Death Disease
Leviticus chapter 14 is dedicated to explaining “the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing” (verse 2). For 57 verses, God describes to Moses what the priests are to do when leprosy is healed. The cleansing needed several birds, water, cedar wood, scarlet, hyssop, lambs, fine flour, and a log of oil. It also involved the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, the big toe of the right foot, killing, releasing, waving stuff, sprinkling stuff, shaving, and anointing – quite an involved process.
The amazing thing about this explanation is not all that the person and priest had to go through to pronounce the cleansing. The amazing thing about this explanation is the fact of its existence. God doesn’t lay this all out if someone was ever healed of leprosy; He lays it out for when someone was healed of leprosy.
Leprosy was the most dreaded disease of Bible times. Once it caught hold of a person, it spread. It was also extremely contagious, so lepers were forced to live away from the general population, quarantined to what became leper colonies. When they needed anything, they begged for money from a distance and were required to warn everyone of their condition by calling out, “Unclean, unclean.” The life of a leper was miserable indeed, but as we see in this passage, leprosy was not necessarily a death sentence in the eyes of God. The fact that He made provision for a cleansing to follow a healing meant that healing was possible.
Many people consider AIDS to be today’s leprosy; however, I’d like to suggest that our sin-sickness is just as horrendous. Once sin-sickness catches hold, it spreads from thoughts, to convictions, to actions. It is also extremely contagious, but nowadays, it’s not required that the infected person warn us of his state. To the contrary, the sin-sick individual operates like our arch-enemy “seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8 (NKJ). And 1 Corinthians 15:33 is true: “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (NIV).
Nevertheless, like with leprosy, God has made provision for the cleansing of our sin-sick souls. Thankfully, we don’t have to go through all that the Old Testament folks had to go through for their cleansing. Hebrews 10:8-12 tells us:
- First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the samesacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. (NIV)
Jesus Christ has paid the price for our devastating sin-sickness. He no longer requires birds and lambs and flour and oil. He sacrificed His life for our cleansing from a sickness that would doom us for eternity. The least we can do is sacrifice our lives for His glory.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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