Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 02:24 PM
"A Cleansed Leper"
Ps 51:7 "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (NKJ)
In reading and studying a book this week, the author related the leper being pronounced clean by the priests, and the cleansing of the sinner. I thought it so enlightening that I wanted to share a few of the thoughts with you today.
In Scripture, leprosy refers to a variety of skin diseases. It is also a symbol for sin. So the cleansing of the leper foreshadowed God's future plan to cleanse all mankind from sin.
First, the leper to be cleansed was "Brought to the priest" (Lev. 14:2). The priest was instructed to go outside the city and "take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop (Lev 14:4). Each of these elements represents the work of Christ for the remission of sin. The priest going outside of the camp point to Jesus being crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem. The two birds remind us of the Lord's death and resurrection. Cedar wood points to the cross and scarlet to His suffering. Finally, hyssop symbolizes faith. Like David said "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (NKJ).
What happened next was amazing in light of what Christ would do at Calvary. "The priest shall order that one of the birds be killed over the fresh water in a clay pot. He is then to take the live bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water (Lev 14:5-6 NIV).
This speaks of Christ's shedding His blood in an earthen vessel - His human body. Then the priest took the living bird along with the cedar wood (cross), the scarlet (His suffering), and the hyssop (faith), and dipped them in the shed blood of the bird that was slain.
Then the final instruction, Lev 14:7 "And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field." This speaks of our sins being cleansed by the blood. Then we see the resurrection in the living bird being released.
One last thought, do your remember what flowed from Christ's side after having been pierced by the soldier's spear on the cross? It was blood and water. These were poured out for the cleansing of the world's sin.