Statement of Faith
The Four Most Important Things We Could Ever Tell
Listen to this week's message!
Map to the Church
Enhance your daily reading of God's word. Click here for free, printable Bible Reading and Prayer Journal sheets!
AM Bible Study Archives
Wednesday AM Bible Study
October 4, 2006
Theme: This chapter pictures the sinner's sanctified condition before God on the basis of the atoning ministry of Jesus on the cross.
If you are a redeemed sinner, then this chapter is your story. It tells us of the ritual that God commanded the priests to perform in the case of a leper who is healed of his leprosy. This chapter does not describe the cure for leprosy. Instead, it assumes that the leprosy has been cured; and describes the ritual by which the healed leper is declared clean and made fit to re-enter the covenant life of His people. In that sense, while it touches on the subject of justification of the sinner, it's main purpose is to give a type of the ministry of Jesus in sanctifying the sinner on the basis of His atoning sacrifice on the cross.
The Bible gives us of no example of a leper was “healed” naturally. There are stories of healings (Miriam in Numbers 12; Naaman in 2 Kings 5; during the ministry of Elisha in Luke 4:27; and most notably the lepers that were healed during Jesus earthly ministry in Matthew 8:1-4, 10:8; 11:5, Mark 1:40-45; Luke 7:22; and particularly Luke 17:11-19). But these were miraculous healings; and we have no record of this procedure being followed except during Jesus ministry. Perhaps this law was meant to be “a sign” to the priests that the Messiah had truly come (Matthew 8:4)!
I. RITUAL OUTSIDE THE CAMP (vv. 1-9).
A. Note that the leper, on the day of his cleansing, is brought near to the priest; but the priest goes outside the camp to meet him and examine him. The leper is still unclean; and must be outside until declared clean. But the priest goes outside the camp to him— just as Jesus went outside the camp for us (Hebrews 13:11-13).
B. Upon determining that the leper is indeed healed, the priest commands that certain things be brought for him. These are provisions made by another on the lepers behalf.
1. Two living and clean birds are brought. One is to be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. This is a picture of Jesus death—killed in an 'earthen vessel' of a human body, in the power of the Holy Spirit. The other is kept alive. It is dipped in the blood of the killed bird and then set free into the open field. It is a picture of Jesus in His resurrection. He “was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Romans 4:25).
2. The cedar wood served as a handle, the scarlet thread (probably of wool) as a tie, and the hyssop as bristles. The were put together in the form of a brush by which the blood was sprinkled (Psalm 51:7). It is sprinkled seven times—a number of completion.
C. The leper then must wait outside the camp for seven days; a period of time that provides for further inspection, and that verifies a complete cleansing. Afterwards, he washes his body, washes his clothes, shaves his hair, and shall be considered clean.
II. RITUAL INSIDE THE CAMP (vv. 10-32).
A. The normal ritual (vv. 10-20). This concerns the man who has been cleansed, but still must stay outside his tent. Two male lambs are scarified as a trespass offering and a sin offering. A yearling is offered as a burnt offering and a meal offering is also made. The blood is applied to the ear, the hand and the foot so show complete purification by the blood of al lthat the man may hear, all that he may do, and all places he may go. He is thus set apart in the same way as the priests were (Lev. 8:24). Then the log of oil is used to anoint the cleansed man as belonging to the Lord. It too is applied to the ear, the thumb and the toe. It is applied over the blood, and suggests complete sanctification of the cleansed man to the Lord.
B. The provision for the poor (vv. 21-32). The ritual is much the same here; but the provision is made for the man who is too poor to afford two male lambs. A provision is made for him to use two pigeons or two turtle doves. But the trespass offering is to be the same as in the other ritual.