• William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 5, 2021

Daily Reading: Leviticus 14 - 15

Leviticus 14:4

Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

You may remember that in Matthew 8 the Lord Jesus came down from the Mount, having just given the Sermon on the Mount, where he met a leper. This infected man asked Jesus to heal him, which Christ did. Immediately upon healing him, the Lord told him to go show himself to the priest and have the priest offer the gift that Moses commanded. The two-bird ritual, if we can call it that, that you read about today is the offering that Jesus was speaking about.

The ritual of the two birds was this. When it was evidenced that a leper, or their house, had been healed, Moses was to take two birds, alive and clean. One bird was to be killed, sacrificed, in an earthen vessel over running water. This bird pictured Jesus Christ, as the Word of God in an earthly body. The priest was then supposed to take the living bird, with scarlet, and hyssop, and dip them into the blood of the bird that was killed. Then, after sprinkling that which was cleansed from leprosy with that blood, the living bird was to be released, loosed, into an open field. This bird pictures you, me, and all that are cleansed from the leprosy of sin though the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are the living bird. Free to fly wherever, having been made free through the sacrifice of Christ.

When Jesus told the leper in Matthew 8 to show himself to the priest, do you think the priest had a difficult time remembering his training about the offering for leprosy being healed? After all, this was not a common occurrence. After all, in the Old Testament only one person was documented of having been healed of this life-threatening disease: Naaman, a Gentile military leader. This was probably not a routine of which the priest was accustomed. Why did the Lord do this? Jesus said it was a testimony unto the priests.

Suffice it to say, the sacrificed bird pictures the Lord Jesus Christ, the living bird pictures the saved, but the leprosy, what does it picture? It pictures the sins that the Lord has cleansed us from through His personal sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. The only cleansing power for the stain and scourge of sin is the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. If people would only hear it, accept it, and carry it to others. This is pictured by something else you will read today, the blood of the trespass offering being applied to the right ear, thumb, and great toe. Hear the gospel (ear), receive the gospel (hand), carry the gospel (feet). Perhaps this is a topic for another devotion on another day.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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