Leviticus from a Christian Perspective, (Pt 5)

Chapter 13: The diagnosis of leprosy and other skin diseases was in the hands of the Levitical priesthood. When Jesus came, his lineage through Mary and legally through Joseph, were neither from the Tribe of Levi. Since Mary & Joseph descended from the Tribe of Judah, he was positioned to treat lepers and diseased people differently, in fact Jesus made himself ceremonially unclean in order to prove his divine power in God as the fulfillment of healing to conquer death. Jesus loved diseased people and gave them hope when it was completely void in their life, Matthew 8:1-4 & Luke 17:11-19.

Chapter 14: Here is one of the clearest examples in the Old Testament of Israel’s faith in the resurrection. Don’t let the strangeness of its ritual sacrifices cause you to miss the beauty of the hope captured here. This passage marks the presence of death where there ought to be life. Reproductive organs were created for life. The abnormal and normal loss of fluids in these centers of life shows the negative consequences brought in by sin. Leprosy made visible the presence of death and decay in the body and in the coverings of life, clothes and homes. But each of these leprosy sections closes with rituals of restoration when the presence of death has been reversed. The centerpiece of the collection is the extensive ritual of restoration for the person healed of leprosy. Public ceremonies of restoration from “living death” ensured that Israel knew what had taken place and that all the people should see this reversal of death as a message of victory in God’s atonement—resurrection, (Lev. 14;18-20) Today we no longer mark physical healing with ritual markers of resurrection, because we have the ultimate testimony of our resurrection hope to look to—the historical resurrection of Jesus. These laws given by God were designed to compel Jews to believe their life could be seen through these promises God made in healing and to restrain them from the temptations of surrounding nations, see Galatians 3:19. However, by the time Jesus came, the legalistic tendencies of the Pharisees, over-interpreted the Mosaic laws, adding new commandments and traditions of their own, see Mt. 15:1-9. Ancient Israel looked to rituals of resurrection attached to certain afflictions to give them hope in all their afflictions. Read the eyewitness account of the resurrection displayed, so that it eclipses all those old rituals—the resurrection of Jesus (Luke 24:1-9) Praise God for such a great resurrection hope, and direct our own heart to view all our afflictions through the promised power of resurrection faith. Lev. 14:25-28 describes how the lamb’s blood was used on any person cleansed, pointing us to the initial sanctification of the High Priest in Lev. 8:23-24. This should remind us of our connection by the blood of our High Priest in Jesus, cleansing us from diseases for eternity. All the consequences of sin are void for eternity!

Chapter 15: The laws of hygiene for both men & women, either single or married, were given to all Israel, not just priests, because God wanted to help them see personally and publicly how different they were from the nations and cultures around them. This is a shadow of our reality in how Christians are to pay attention to our behavior personally and publicly. Read 1st Thessalonians 4:1-5 and ask yourself if God is not concerned with your personal hygiene. “Holiness & Honor” is indicating the reality of cleanliness being akin to godliness.

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