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Leviticus 14:4-9 - Homilies By W. Clarkson

Admission (or readmission).

When leprosy had departed from the flesh, he who had been, but no longer remained, a leper was, in the sight of Jehovah and of his people, still ceremonially unclean. He was in a bodily condition which made him readmissible to Divine and human fellowship, but he must first "be cleansed" ( Leviticus 14:4 ) before he would be readmitted. The ceremonies here prescribed give a picture of our readmission to the favour of God and the fellowship of his people.

I. SACRIFICE OF ANOTHER 'S LIFE . As a "clean bird" ( Leviticus 14:4 ) was taken and its blood was shed ( Leviticus 14:5 ), as the life-blood of the pure and innocent creature was poured out that the leper might be clean and pure in the sight of God, so is the life-blood of the spotless Lamb shed for us. There must be for our acceptance and admission, or readmission after backsliding, a "sacrifice for sin."

II. PERSONAL APPLICATION OF THAT SACRIFICE . "He shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed … seven times" ( Leviticus 14:7 ). "The living bird" was to be "dipped in the blood of the bird that was killed." Here is the truth that if the "blood of Christ" is to be effectual for our salvation, it must be applied to our individual conscience. We who seek to be cleansed from all iniquity and condemnation, must ourselves personally apply for mercy through the shed blood of the Redeemer. By an act of living faith we must bathe in the "fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness."

III. PERSONAL PUTTING AWAY OF DEFILEMENT , The leper was to "wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean." And again, after a week's interval, was to shave and to wash, removing all his hair, even to the eyebrows ( Leviticus 14:9 ); everything about him that could in any possible way be defiled by the plague was to be carefully removed. So, if we are to be admitted (or readmitted) to God's favour and man's communion, we must deliberately put away from ourselves, from heart and life, every evil way, everything which is, or may be, tainted with iniquity ( 2 Timothy 2:19 ).

IV. DIVINE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF OUR INTEGRITY . Everything here pointed to the fact that the Divine Ruler of Israel was prepared to acknowledge the cleanness of the leper. The water was to be "running water" ( Leviticus 14:5 )—pure, as opposed to that which was stagnant and foul; "cedar wood" was to be used ( Leviticus 14:6 ), type of that which is fragrant and healthful; the "scarlet" wool ( Leviticus 14:6 ) hinted the red and healthy blood, which had been impure but was so no longer; "hyssop" ( Leviticus 14:6 ) was suggestive of fragrance; but that which, above all, was indicative of God's acknowledgment of the wholeness of the leper was the action respecting the living bird: that was released, let "loose into the open field" ( Leviticus 14:7 ). This either signified that the uncleanness of the leper was borne away on the wings of the bird, where it should never be found again (a similar institution to the scapegoat, Le Leviticus 16:22 , Leviticus 16:23 ), or that the leper was thenceforth free to go whithersoever he pleased. Either way, it expressed symbolically the truth that there was reinstatement for the man who had been healed in the privileges he had forfeited. We have in the Scriptures every possible assurance that "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," are followed by fullness of Divine favour. The returned prodigal has the kiss of reconciliation, the ring and robe of honour, and the feast of joy. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God … and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" ( Romans 5:1 , Romans 5:2 ). The soul that is healed of its sore disease is pronounced clean in the sight of God, and is free of its Father's house, to enter its many rooms and partake of its many joys.—C.

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