Advent Journey Day 17
How do you move from unclean to clean?
There are several things that make a person unclean according to God’s standard. In God’s Mercy He created a contingency plan. If you’re unclean at the start of a Feast, like the 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread, without Mercy you would not participate and be cut off from Israel. Like I shared on Day 16, the first step is to acknowledge you have sinned, or that you are unclean. To focus our investigation we will look at leprosy.
Biblical leprosy is NOT the same disorder as the current disease by the same name. Its presentation in the Bible creates a depression and the current disease bulges, among other differences. For instance Biblical leprosy can infect people, clothing, and homes. In current terms it might be more accurately compared to a mold or fungus.
Leprosy was a specific disorder associated with sin, not unlike leaven it was an external expression of an internal issue. Bread with leaven rises to at least double the size as without leaven. Leprosy was not as easy to determine so a significant process for identifying and monitoring leprosy can be found in Leviticus chapters 13 and 14.
To determine if what you have is leprosy you had to present yourself to the priest, for examination and determination. The first exam results in a quarantined 7 day wait. After 7 days and it’s worse you are declared unclean, BUT if it hasn’t changed you wait again for 7 days. If it’s better you are declared clean.
Time and again this waiting period is required along with a washing. Not only does this prevent priests jumping to conclusions, it provides time for a person to evaluate their life and reconnect with God.
If the leprosy doesn’t improve; A garment must be burned, A home must be torn down, and be taken outside the city to an unclean place. A person must live alone outside the city. He must also tear his clothing, keep his head uncovered, cover his mustache, and cry out unclean, unclean.
If the leprosy improves and is declared clean, there is an atonement process.
- Garment – it is washed again and is clean.
- House – 2 clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet string, Hyssop, an earthen vessel, and water
- One bird is killed and the blood mixed into the bowl with water – now called living water
- The second bird is bound with the string to the wood and Hyssop. It is dipped in the living water and sprinkle 7 times on the house (or person).
- Then the bird is released, the atonement is complete, and the house is clean.
- Person – wash clothing, then complete the same process with the 2 birds and living water. After releasing the bird
- Wash cloths, shave all hair including eyebrows, and wash in bath.
- Wait 7 days then present to the temple to make atonement
- Series of offerings, grain, guilt (sin), and wave. This includes an anointing process, first with blood from the sin offering then with oil from the grain offering on the right ear lobe, thumb, and big toe. It also includes a sprinkling oil 7 times onto the person.
- The atonement is complete and the person is cleansed.
This seems a complicated process and a bit gory with the blood, yet it points us toward God’s promises. Even in our state of sin God provides multiple opportunities to cover our sin until such time it can be fully cleansed. God provided for a Second Passover period for those who were unclean during the first Passover for a full 7 days in the 2nd month.
God is Just and has standard of sinlessness that must be met. When and how that will be satisfied is nestled within the hope given to Eve and passed on to Noah. From Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob where the promise was linked by Covenant with the Nation of Israel while reserving the promise to all nations.
Leviticus 17:11 states the life of all creatures is in the blood and God gave it to us on the altar to make atonement; it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. Atonement is the repayment for a wrong to restore a relationship. When the blood was poured out with water, the plain water became living water.
Water is a Biblical symbol of wisdom, from the Torah, Godly Wisdom. Water and blood in the sacrifice become Living Wisdom. The cleansing is not just about recognizing the sin. It included being sprinkled or ceremonially washed with Living Wisdom.
God wants to share life affirming, positive, wisdom on us, in us, and through us. This is the goal of the Advent Son, Living Wisdom poured out for us.
©2015 Elayne Cross