We are made clean.
Not based on our own merit, but on God’s grace. And when we are made clean, will we help others to be, too?
Leviticus has some awesome lessons for us today. God has made us clean and made all things new. This is our greatest joy . . . being reconciled with God. Now may we be reconciled to one another to help one another live this crazy life in a fallen world.
When we can get discouraged at the hardness of life, we can remember that life was not meant to be about living the perfect life of comfort, but about having God as our comfort through all of life. When illness comes, our God is enough and He is still good. Sin nor pain have to separate us from God anymore.
As promised on the Bible time live, here is a link to a podcast episode that aired today about racism and reconciliation. Give it a listen and may we all accept one another: https://denisepass.com/bw125-pulling-the-grace-card-part-1/
We have been made clean . . . from disease!
Ok, we are back in the book of Leviticus today, chapters 13-16. Kicking off the day in Leviticus 13 with skin disease and being quarantined. Yay!
I was thinking yesterday as I watched a commercial about a medication (you know the ones where they speak a mile a minute telling you all of the bad side effects from the medicine, while the people in the ad look so happy?)
I was thinking that people don’t expect health problems.
Then when they happen we can become disillusioned and discouraged. We expected more from life and think life was supposed to be perfect health and perfect relationships. As well as success.
Unicorns and roses?
TV shows and movies tell us this. We are supposed to be happy all the time. And with such expectations, the moments of sickness or pain can cause people to question or accuse God and become very discouraged, if not depressed because life is not all unicorns and roses.
It isn’t supposed to be about skin diseases and people dying. And thanks be to God that in Heaven there will be no more disease.
Life can be so hard, right? And here we are still in the midst of COVID-19 and the numbers are rising again. How are you all doing with this?
Living Life with Jesus.
Life was not meant to be about living the perfect life of comfort, but about having God as our comfort through all of life.
So why would a priest examine the skin and not a doctor? Were you wondering this as you read? The priest’s examination was not as a physician, but as one to ensure whether or not someone was contagious, protecting the people. I could not find an answer to that question but I did find that disease was seen as a punishment from God.
Remember Miriam spoke against Moses and ended up with Leprosy as discipline for 7 days.
Disease and Sin Separate Us.
Priests had to ensure that the disease was gone before people were allowed back into the crowds again. It’s funny, but now we are having to do this, right? Checking temperatures before people come into church.
As we live in community with one another, our illnesses impact one another.
As we live in community with one another, our sins impact one another, too.
And illness is a test. Will we trust God in the midst?
Being sick during this time period of history was not a fun experience. It separated you from others.
Being sick is no fun.
I remember when my kids were little and maybe wanted to get out of doing something, they might have said they did not feel well.
They hoped this would earn them extra special care from mom and maybe lounging and watching TV while eating homemade Chicken Noodle soup.
But if they were sent to their rooms and quarantined, they were bummed out. They missed out on the fun of community.
In the time when the book of Leviticus was written, if you were sick, you were not pampered but kicked outside the camp until you got better.
45 “The person who has a case of serious skin disease is to have his clothes torn and his hair hanging loose, and he must cover his mouth and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!’ 46 He will remain unclean as long as he has the disease; he is unclean. He must live alone in a place outside the camp.
We learn a little more about being unclean from Got questions.org. The Hebrew word translated “unclean” in Leviticus is used nearly one hundred times in this one book, clearly emphasizing “clean” status versus “unclean.” Animals, objects, food, clothing, and even people could be considered “unclean.”
Generally, the Mosaic Law spoke of something as “unclean” if it was unfit to use in worship to God. Being “clean” or “unclean” was a ceremonial designation governing the ritual of corporate worship. For example, there were certain animals, like pigs, considered unclean and therefore not to be used in sacrifices (Leviticus 5:2); and there were certain actions, like touching a dead body, that made a living person unclean and temporarily unable to participate in the worship ceremony (Leviticus 5:3).
Let’s look at what the priest did for one who was unclean and then a couple commentaries from Bible Hub for Leviticus 14:9:
New Living Translation
“Then the priest must present the sin offering to purify the person who was cured of the skin disease. After that, the priest will slaughter the burnt offering.”
English Standard Version
“The priest shall offer the sin offering, to make atonement for him who is to be cleansed from his uncleanness. And afterward he shall kill the burnt offering.”
Bible Hub Commentary
“And the priest shall offer the sin offering.–The other ewe lamb mentioned in Leviticus 14:10 the priest is now to offer as a sin offering, to expiate the sins which the restored leper had committed during his illness, having probably given vent to impatient and unbecoming expressions at his loathsome condition, not as due in consequence of having been in a state of uncleanness. The regulations in Leviticus 5:2-3, refer to cases when through thoughtlessness the unclean person forgot his duty.” (www.gotquestions.org)
Verses 19, 20. – The priest shall offer the sin offering. The sin offering is due, according to the regulation given in chapter Leviticus 5:3, in consequence of the man having been in a state of uncleanness. It is followed by the burnt offering and the meat offering, and then the man is restored to his state of legal cleanness, and of communion with God as well as with his fellows.” (www.biblehub.com)
Don’t Miss the Good News!
Y’all, I know the book of Leviticus is a bit hard to read at times, but let’s not miss the good news in this book! God made a way for the unclean too become clean.
It was a little more complicated in the Old Testament, for sure.
But we don’t need to have a priest as an intermediary between us and God. We can go directly to Him because Christ is our intermediary. And when we are unclean from sin, which separates us from God, we can be atoned for by the Lamb of God.
“For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
We are Made Clean By An Intermediary
A little about this role of being an intermediary from http://www.gotquestions.org:
“A mediator is one who mediates, that is, one who acts as an intermediary to work with opposing sides in order to bring about a settlement. A mediator attempts to influence a disagreement between two parties with the goal of resolving a dispute. There is only one Mediator between mankind and God, and that is Jesus Christ. In this article, we’ll see why God has a dispute with us, why Jesus is our mediator, and why we are doomed if we try to represent ourselves alone before God” (www.gotquestions.org).
“God has a dispute with us because of sin. Sin is described in the Bible as transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18). God hates sin, and sin stands between all of us and Him. “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). All human beings are sinners by virtue of sin we have inherited from Adam, as well as the sin we commit on a daily basis. The only just penalty for this sin is death (Romans 6:23), not only physical death but eternal death (Revelation 20:11–15). The rightful punishment for sin is an eternity in hell” (www.gotquestions.org).
“Nothing we could do on our own would be sufficient to mediate between ourselves and God. No amount of good works or law-keeping makes us righteous enough to stand before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16). Without a mediator, we are destined to spend eternity in hell, for by ourselves salvation from our sin is impossible. Yet there is hope! “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
We Are Made Clean By Jesus
So friends, we are unclean before a holy God, but Jesus Christ, our high priest, has made us clean. This is the best news ever!
The role of the priest was significant and most significant of all he did was to make atonement for himself and God’s people. From gotquestions.org:
“The most important duty of the high priest was to conduct the service on the Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month of every year. Only he was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place behind the veil to stand before God. Having made a sacrifice for himself and for the people, he then brought the blood into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled it on the mercy seat, God’s “throne” (Leviticus 16:14-15). He did this to make atonement for himself and the people for all their sins committed during the year just ended (Exodus 30:10). It is this particular service that is compared to the ministry of Jesus as our High Priest (Hebrews 9:1-28).”
The scripture of the day is taken from a section of Scripture where Aaron was serving for the day of atonement.
Scripture of the Day: Leviticus 16:1-2
“The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons, who died after they entered the Lord’s presence and burned the wrong kind of fire before him. 2 The Lord said to Moses, “Warn your brother, Aaron, not to enter the Most Holy Place behind the inner curtain whenever he chooses; if he does, he will die. For the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—is there, and I myself am present in the cloud above the atonement cover.”
We are Made Clean By Avoiding Sin
I was thinking this morning about how one of the most important things I do as a parent is to warn my children of sin.
I shield them from it when they are too young to have wisdom enough to avoid it. And as they grow older, I counsel them and pray that they won’t be tricked by worldliness or sin.
But Aaron had lost both of his sons because of sin, the dread of every parent.
And here was God telling Moses to warn Aaron, too. It makes me wonder if Aaron’s own lackadaisical approach to things is what became a stumbling block for his sons.
Let’s all remember when Aaron said a calf popped out of the fire when Moses was with God on Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. Aaron had led God’s people to idolatry because he was afraid of the people.
Remove the Stumbling Blocks
What is it in my life that could be a stumbling block or myself or for others?
I was also thinking this morning how there are things I do not even see in myself that likely cause others to stumble.
May we not be a stumbling block to anyone, right? May God reveal the things we do not see.
- Life was not meant to be about living the perfect life of comfort, but about having God as our comfort through all of life.
- When illness comes, our God is enough and He is still good.
- Sin does not have to separate us from God anymore.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #183: Leviticus 13-16
Scripture of the Day: Leviticus 16:1-2
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