“This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest…Then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. As for the living bird, he shall take it, the cedar wood and the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over running water.” Leviticus 14:2,4-6
Hebrews 10:1 tells us that the Old Testament Scriptures are a “shadow of the good things to come” in Christ Jesus. Never forget that there are no meaningless details in the Word of God. Everything in the Old Testament has meaning for us today. All of the stories, feasts and ceremonies are there to reveal one Person…Jesus!
Leprosy was the most feared disease in the ancient world. There was no known cure or medical treatment. I liken it to the way we view certain diseases today, such as AIDS or cancer. In this amazing ceremony God reveals His remedy to sickness and disease. Here we find a perfect picture of our redemption through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The two living birds used in this cleansing ceremony represent Jesus. One is to be killed, while the other is to be left alive. This is a type and shadow of the death and resurrection of Christ. Cedar wood represents the cross of Christ. Scarlet is the color of suffering in the Bible; revealing that Jesus would suffer and die on the cross. Hyssop is a small plant used by the Israelites to apply the blood of the lamb to the door posts of their houses during the first Passover (Exodus 12:22). Hyssop is symbolic of our faith. For it is by faith that the blood of Christ is applied to our hearts.
God’s instructions are to bind the cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop to the living bird and to dip it into the blood of the bird that was killed, while over running water. This of course speaks of Jesus suffering on the cross for our sins and our sicknesses. Why over running water? The running water represents the Person of the Holy Spirit who was present, empowering Jesus to endure the suffering of the cross. Hebrews 9:14 tells us that Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice to God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Once this amazing ceremony was completed, the leper would be pronounced totally clean and whole. It is through the death and resurrection of Christ that we have been redeemed from sin, sickness and disease!
Confession: Jesus, thank You for redeeming me from sickness and disease by Your sacrifice on the cross.