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Redeemed from the Sickness: Cleansing of The Leper

Sunday English Service – 03 APR 22


Let’s go to Leviticus chapter 14. Please turn with me to Leviticus chapter 14, we’re doing a series called, Redeemed, talking about our redemption, and particularly talking about how we are redeemed from sicknesses. That is our redemption includes. This blessing for our blessing of our bodily healing also. Now in order to look at it and appreciate what the Bible teaches about it, we have been looking at the various pictures of redemption available in the Old Testament, to see how healing is part of the redemptive work of Christ. So let me read this. And then let’s get into it. Leviticus, chapter 14, verse one to seven, then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, this shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing, he shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall examine him. And indeed, if the leprosy is healed in the leper, then the priest shall command to take for him who’s to be cleansed, to living and clean birds see the word 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 sea, the wood, and the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who’s cleansed from the leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird moose in the open field.

You will find that most of the time the preachers do not go to Leviticus at all. More than that, you will find that people never turned to Leviticus. The word Leviticus itself is very difficult to pronounce for a lot of people, I have found. And in Bible reading, people complain that that portion in Leviticus is perhaps one of the most boring portion, sounding very irrelevant to what’s going on in the world today. So many Christians don’t even read these things. And so, when we go to a passage like this, people are wondering what’s happening. What is it talking about true living birds, see the woods, scarlet, hyssop and all that, some kind of procedure, some kind of ritual ceremony, to cleanse a leper what this is all about. I thought we were going to talk about healing. And what does this passage have to do with healing? Particularly what does this have to do with redemption? That’s what a lot of people are thinking. Now, Old Testament is very interesting if you understand where they’re coming from. Otherwise, you will not be able to appreciate it, you will find that this doesn’t make any sense. But the Old Testament and an understanding of the Old Testament is very necessary for the understanding of the word of God. For a lot of people, the Old Testament is simply viewed as a collection of historical tales, that can be used in Sunday school such as David and Goliath and so on. And the they think it has very little practical importance as to spiritual teaching. There is no spiritual teaching in it, they think. But the truth is, the Old Testament is full of rich pictures of our redemption. 

If you understand that there are pictures of redemption for telling the truth about our redemption, then you will be able to appreciate it more you’ll find it very rich and beautiful. There’re pictures of redemption. God let me say — I’ve said just about every week, but let me say it again. Redemption is something that was in the mind of God and plan and the purpose of God from before the foundation of the world. God didn’t come up with the plan of redemption or think about a plan of redemption after man sinned. God thought about the plan of redemption and the Redeemer and made everything ready even before the world was created, even before man was created. That’s how the Bible presents it. Once again, let me say that Jesus is called the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world in Revelation. Why is he called the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, because in the mind, the plan and the purpose of God. It is already determined, decree there, that he will be the Redeemer that will come and redeem people who have fallen into sin. So God before He created man, before he even created the world or man knew that man would sin when he was created, because he’s going to create him as a free person. He is not going to be a doll that’s just shaking head, he’ll be thinking, speaking person who’s able to decide what he wants to do. He’ll have total freedom. So when you create a person with total freedom, create him in the image and likeness of God and give him total freedom. Then, God realized that he can sin and God knew, in fact, because he knows the past, present and future, God knew that man would sin and therefore prepared a redeemer and prepared the plan of redemption long before the world was created, long before man was created. So when the world was created, and the man was created, from that time onwards, from the creation itself, God started unfolding the plan of redemption. He didn’t have to wait till later on, because he already had the plan in place the redeemer in place that he was giving pictures of his redemption, and this Redeemer, that’s the way the Bible presents it. 

So we have a lot of pictures, and particularly in the Book of Leviticus, there is a lot of divinely instituted pictures that foreshadow the work and the person of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Now, one of the things that bothers some people with this kind of outlook or looking at typology of the Old Testament, considering these pictures, that is something that bothers people and that is, they say, well, that leads to fanciful preaching, fanciful interpretations, that people can take any Old Testament passage and say, this equals that, that equals this and put things together as they like for their convenience and preach something and loosely interpret everything. And we just have to believe it for what they say. But it doesn’t fit together. They think it leads to fanciful interpretation and fanciful preaching. Well, not have you exercise certain care and follow certain rules that are then in interpreting the Bible. It cannot lead to fanciful interpretation if you follow two rules. When it comes to the pictures of redemption. One is the New Testament must say that what has been told in the Old Testament has exactly been fulfilled in the New Testament. For example, we started about the Passover lamb. And Paul says in one Corinthians five, verse seven, he says, Christ is our Passover. Now what do you want? That’s the way he looks at it. He looks at the Passover lamb and says, Christ is our Passover, then it is not wrong for us to say that the Passover lamb is a picture of Christ, and interpret it in that way, we are authorized to interpret it like that, because the New Testament says. The New Testament authors look at it that way. Hope you understand that. But there are many examples that I can give you like that, for example, John the Baptist looks at Jesus going by and says, behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Now he could have simply said, behold, the one who takes away the sin of the world. But he says, Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Now that tells me that in the Old Testament times, before Jesus came, those lambs that were killed, the 1000s and 1000s of lambs that were killed every day in their sacrifice, all the burnt offerings, the sin offerings, the various offerings that were offered the blood that was shed in the lambs that were killed. We’re only providing a picture of this lamb that was to come. All those lambs together cannot save anybody. The blood cannot redeem anybody, but it was all speaking about an all foreshadowing in typology showing what Christ would do as the Lamb of God. 

That is why John the Baptist calls Jesus the Lamb of God. Lamb slain before the foundation of the world is what Revelation says. John the Baptist says, here is the Lamb. Behold the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world. So it is not wrong for us to look at the various lambs that was slain in the Old Testament as a picture of the redeeming work of Christ, on the cross of Calvary. We are authorized to look at it like that. Because the New Testament says, that is a fulfillment of whatever was said in the Old Testament. Another example, Peter says, in his epistles, he says, the believers are lively stones, he compares the believers to lively stones, built up as a spiritual house. Now, in the Old Testament, there was a temple. And God was believed to be dwelling there, there was the most holy place, which was behind the curtain whom which nobody can go into. Only the high priest went once a year, in the place, God dwelt, they believed. So the temple was a place where people came to meet God, and God’s presence was there, and so on. And Peter says the New Testament believers are a temple in a way, we have the lively stones with which the temple is built together, we have become the dwelling place of God, he says. Not only that, in 1 Peter chapter two, he says, in verse nine, that we are a royal priesthood, in the temple, there were priests serving God. And he compares those priests to the New Testament saints. So is it right, then to look at the temple and the priests that served there, as signifying the believers and their position today? Can we look at that as teaching something about the believers? The believers priesthood, the believer being the temple of God. Not only Peter, Paul says, you are the temple of God, no, you’re not. You’re the temple of God. Now, you can’t blame a person preaching like that saying, you’re fanciful in your preaching? No, he is not fanciful? He’s interpreting it exactly as Peter and Paul, and all these great men of God, have seen it and interpreted it, they give the lead, and so we go with it. 

One more illustration. We are told in the book of Hebrews, that the Lord Jesus has consecrated for us a new and a living way through the veil, that is to say, his flesh. I didn’t go to the passages and read them because there’s no time. But I’m sure you know these passages. Jesus has consecrated for us a new one or living way through the veil, that is to say, his flesh. In other words, the author of the book of Hebrews is calling the flesh body of Jesus, the incarnation of Jesus, the fact that he came in this body. He talks about it like this, he says, through this incarnation, God has made a new and a living way to come to Him. Through this person who has come in a human body, this human body is like a veil. Now we can go beyond the veil In the Old Testament times people couldn’t go beyond the veil, only the high priest could go once a year beyond the veil, no one else is authorized to go because God is a holy God, man is a sinner, man cannot come to God just like that. Only High Priests can go as a representative once a year, and that to have that having cleansed himself by offering certain sacrifices and so on. So he says, now a new inner living way has come about and that way is through the veil, that is the flesh of Jesus. And so that means that the veil was a type of his incarnation. And then that would mean that the rendering of the veil when Jesus died on the cross, the veil he was rent in two from top to bottom, it says. The thick veil that veil was about four inches thick, they said you can’t tear it if you want to, but it was rent miraculously from top to bottom God Himself rented in two signifying that now, since atonement has been made, a way has been made, and a new and a living way it is called now people can enter in into the presence of God. A new and a living way through this veil, called the flesh of Jesus. We’re authorized to interpret it like that. 

So there are ways to understand the Old Testament. And when you understand it this way, it’s very beautiful. And you will be into enjoying the Bible more than ever. So a lot of the Old Testament passages teach the salvation, redemption atonement, very beautifully through these pictures. For example, the church, for example, they say, is not in the Old Testament at all. It’s a New Testament concept. No, if you read Paul in Ephesians, chapter five, where he’s talking about husband and wife, how her husband should love his wife and wife, the relationship and so on that famous passage, which is read in every marriage ceremony, just about. Towards the end of it, he refers to Genesis chapter 2:24, where remember, God made the woman for the man and brings her to the man and man says, oh, she’s the bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. And then he says, for this reason, a man shall leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife, the two shall be one flesh. He quotes that. Paul quotes that in Ephesians five towards the end, after quoting that verse, that the two shall be one flesh. He says, this is the great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. In other words, he’s saying the church is in Genesis chapter two. So you shouldn’t blame me if I preached about the church from Genesis chapter two. I will take Genesis chapter two, where it says the two shall be one flesh. And from that I can preach Christ revelation of Christ and the church, the relationship between Christ and the church, the revelation concerning the church is available right there in second chapter of Genesis. 

Things that seem irrelevant, sometimes meaningless in the Old Testament, looks meaningless but once you understand this concept of how they are teachers of the glorious redemption, and things related to it, you will be they enjoyed immensely rarely. And I think when you’re not doing that you’re missing something your Bible reading and meditation will yield a lot of pleasure to you, when you look at it like this. Now, we’re going to look at this passage like this. This passage that we just read to us about the cleansing of the leper. Leprosy, was chosen this particular horrible sickness of that time. These days, the sickness can be dealt with, there are medicines available, and people can be healed from it, and so on. There are a lot of remedies available. Thank God for that. I used to go to a place called Calgary near Willow when I first started ministry here. I don’t know how many of you know about that hospital in Calgary that deals with leprosy patients, beautiful campus. And they do such an excellent job. I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve gone there many times to preach in the retreats that they will have for two, three days. And they’ll gather all the doctors, nurses, all the workers, social workers, and the patients there. And I’ll go and preach there. I really enjoyed that. And I saw the wonderful work they’re doing. Talk about Christian missionary hospitals. I mean, they’ve done work, I think we should all pay attention to that and appreciate that. They began to tell me about how they work. People don’t want to reveal that they have leprosy because it’s a matter of shame. They don’t want to come to the hospital. There are some even very rich people well to do people that are admitted there secretly, and so on. 

And there are others ordinary people that hate to come to the hospital, even coming there reveals that you got a problem. And so they don’t want to come there and get treated. So they found the problem. And so they did some research and found out the various pockets in Tamil Nadu areas where there was lots of leprosy patients and started sending mobile units, vans with social workers, medical people, with medicines, to treat them in their home, go to their home to their village to their town, find them or gather them in a place right there nearby and treat them there so that they can avoid all the expenses of coming traveling and so on and treated them like that. And at that time, they told me in a few years this hospital will become irrelevant, it will not be needed, because there will not be any leprosy patients, they said. This is about 35 years ago when I first started out, I used to go there. And I asked them, what are you going to do with this hospital? It’s a beautiful campus. They said it will become a General Hospital. Do you know today it’s a General Hospital? Today, it’s a general hospital because this hospital and their workers, this ministry there has practically eliminated leprosy from the [inaudible 00:20:34] basically. Amazing work, really, I saw it. Firsthand, I remember when I was young, there used to be lepers all over the place in our community, see them sitting all over begging and so on, you hardly find them anymore. Because these people did such a good work identified them went to them, treated them brought them and without any cost, not one penny that expense, they paid everything and treated them and got them well. They even did reconstructive surgeries to fix their hands that were mangled and out of shape. And that brought such shame to them. They worked on it did reconstructive surgery so that their hands fingers started looking good. And they were able to go out and go to work and make a living and so on. They even found them, train them in various trades and did a lot of things like that. 

So today, it doesn’t seem like a very big problem because there are plenty of medicines and treatment available. And people like this available dealing with that. But in those days back to the biblical days, remember, back in the Old Testament days, remember 1000s of years ago, leprosy was considered a very horrible disease. And because of its terrible form that it took the Bible compares it to our Bible uses it as a picture of sin. Because it perfectly fits the picture and beautifully describes what sin does. So in the Bible out of all the diseases, they take leprosy and use it to describe sin. It was an incurable disease back then. It can only be removed by some miraculous power. Remember, when Naman the general of the Syrian army, he became a leper, and there was a girl walking in his house who was an Israelite girl who told him if you go to our country, there is a prophet there and he can heal you, miraculously you can be healed. And so this man sets out to go and try this prophet out. So he tells the king, the Syrian King that he’s going to Israel, and Israelites and Syrians were always fighting, they were great enemies. And the Syrian King gave a recommendation letter to Naman to take to the king in Israel, so that the king can refer him to the Prophet. In the letter he wrote, I’m sending my general, please fix him find the remedy for him. He is suffering from leprosy, and get him well. 

He leaves that and the fellow is alarmed. He says, am I God, to kill them to make alive. I think you’re trying to pick a fight with me. That’s the way he looked at it. Because only God can do it. I’m not God to kill or to make people alive. You’re asking me and expecting me to heal this guy. Then he goes to the Prophet and you know the story, that he gets healed. And he comes back and becomes a worshipper of the God of Israel. He brings some dirt from the land of Israel so that he can build an altar for God and worship God in his homeland. [inaudible 00:24:02] story, but the thing is this, it was a terrible sickness, and nobody could heal it. Unless God heals it by a miracle. Nothing could be done. That’s the way it was in those days. And various miracles. The thing with healing in the Bible is this that various miracles of healing that Jesus performed in his public ministry in this world dealt with the different aspects of the ruin brought about by sin and Satan. And every healing shows how Christ is able to overcome the power of sin, the power of Satan, and undo their work and restore that which sin and Satan took away from people. So all the healings that Jesus performed need to be not that like that. It was supposed to show the various aspects of the ruin caused by Sin and Satan, what the devil does through sin in human life, how he ruins every aspects of every aspect of our life. And then it shows the healing shows how Christ is able to overcome their power, undo their work and restore that which they lost. That which was taken away is restored. You look at every healing like that, you’ll appreciate it even more. The meaning of these healings.

For example, the guy with the Palsey. Remember, in Mark chapter two, he is brought by four people and they couldn’t find a place to. I mean, they couldn’t find enough place to enter into the house where Jesus was teaching. So they get up on the roof, open the roof and lowered this man. What was the problem with this guy? This guy is bedridden. He’s crippled, because of Palsey. He is a guy that’s supposed to have a wife, children, go to work and earn money, and live as a normal human being, but now he’s crippled, if he wants to go anywhere, four people have to carry him. He can’t go to work. Look at all the damage that sin brings about, it’s not just a simple matter of sickness goes far beyond sickness in spirit, soul body, in the work of your hands and your family life, and social life every way you are affected. That’s the thing. Sin is such a pollution, that when pollution is there, you don’t even know how it’s affecting you people that live in polluted cities of this world. They think their friend is I’m fine, they don’t feel anything. But the more they live there, the more their days of life on this earth is reduced. They don’t even know it’s killing them. Literally it’s cutting short their life by several years, living there in the midst of that pollution, it gets into you, before you know it, it gets into you without you realizing it. It doesn’t really manifest in a very strong way always. But it works in definite ways getting into. Sin as a pollution like that, it is described as a pollution in the Bible. 

It gets in where you think it won’t get in and ruins you in every way possible. So this guy is ruined. Palsey has made him crippled, he is unable to walk, he is unable to go anywhere, four people have to carry him, he cannot go to work. He cannot be the father that he is supposed to be, he cannot be the husband of the wife. And he cannot carry out his duties and carry out his responsibilities. He cannot he cannot be the man that he was meant to be, he is lost everything, he is looked at as a burden. Someone has to give him food otherwise he will not have any food. Someone has to have mercy upon him and give him something to eat. He cannot even earn his own living. Sin has come in not only brought sickness, but ruined his entire life, various aspects of life. So when Jesus looked at him, when Jesus looked at him lowering that man from the roof, looked at their faith. And he looked at a dead man and says, your sin has been forgiven. Now those people who are upset because he said your sins are forgiven. They said how can this man forgive sins. He is just a man, only God can forgive your sins, who is he? What kind of authority that they have to forgive sins? How can he say I forgive your sins? They didn’t understand what was happening. But Jesus was giving a revelation, not just healing a person. He is bringing the revelation of the whole thing about what sin has done, what sickness is all about? How in the solution and the remedy in the redemption, that healing for the body is also included. And that sin and sickness are related. Adam’s sin has brought this pollution and not one of us have been exempted from it all of us are affected by the pollution of sin in some way or the other. We may not see it outright, but we are all affected by it. I showed you last week the martyrs of Mara were bitter from the fountain, from the place when the water springs up. When the child is born, already the child is carrying within it the seeds of the sickness that he will have 50 years later. See what sin has done. It has affected every one of us in that way, from the fountain head, it is bitter. And the tree that was thrown in the water healed that fountain, that fountain healed itself. 

Remember this story. But think about this. Jesus said, your sins are forgiven and they’re all upset because they didn’t understand. But Jesus is trying to give a great revelation of this old thing. So Jesus said, all right, you don’t want to believe that I can forgive sins. I’ll show you that I can forgive sins, I’ll prove to you that I have the power to forgive sins. So he says to the man, take up your bed and walk. And the man simply took up the bed and walked. Just imagine people have to put him in a bed and carry four people carried him he cannot go anywhere. He needs people’s help. Now he’s carrying his bed. Just imagine what kind of joy he must have felt. Now he can go back to work, go back to his family, enjoy life with his family. He can earn money, he can live with some respect. He can walk with his head high, he can earn his own money, eat his own food, live his own life. What a freedom it is. When did it come from? It came from the fact that Jesus said your sins are forgiven. You, that is the fountain head my friend. You need to understand redemption. That is where things start. All the problems started with sin. And all the solution begins with the forgiveness of sin. But it does not end there. It is only the beginning. He said your sins are forgiven. And the man is taking up his bed and walking. The two are connected. Just imagine what joy must have been there in his home that day in his life. He got his life back. It was not a simple matter of not being able to walk. It was a financial problem, it was a loss of his profession, loss of ability to work, loss of ability carry out his duties as a father as a husband and all that social, financial, physical, all kinds of problems are involved. All of that is connected to that fountain head, sin. 

Sin is where everything originates from. And that is why the Bible teaches redemption as beginning with the forgiveness of sin. Every sickness that Jesus healed, has that kind of story. Remember that woman bowed down with a spirit of infirmity. What a message that has a lot of people don’t think, that’s such a big deal. I heard about a meeting that happened somewhere in the south, it was something that actually happened. You won’t believe it. There was a healing meeting going on. And this preacher was preaching and ministering to people for healing. And there were some people that were criticizing it. There was one guy said standing in the back and criticizing everything going on because people are coming in testifying about how they were healed of headache, stomach ache and leg paining and this kind of thing, small things, that everybody considers small. A headache is a headache when you have it you know how big a headache it can be? But a lot of people think that’s a small thing. It’s not a cancer, that’s not a — so this guy is standing in the back and criticizing everything. Oh, look at that. Only headache, people are coming. Only people with stomach ache are coming. Show me one leper that is healed, he said. And there was a guy standing next to him. He didn’t like what he was saying. He looked at him and said, we’ll wait until you get leprosy then we’ll see. 

This is something that really happened. This is not a joke I made up. This is something that happened. Somebody came and told me that somebody and the guy who said it is also a friend of mine. And I couldn’t believe that he will say things like that. So consider the woman with 18 years bowed down. Just go try it at home today. You have to bow down like this and be like this for half an hour, only half an hour. She has been like that for 18 years, everything you have to do just like that. What a terrible thing that must have been, the most degrading thing, most depressing thing that anybody could have. And Jesus delivered from that and everybody was upset. Can you believe that? Everybody was upset because he healed her on the Sabbath day. That’s the problem. All right. So all the diseases that Jesus healed has a message like that it shows the connection between sin and the sickness. And it shows that sin has brought within it a lot of problems. And one of the areas in our life that the sin affects is our physical health also doesn’t leave it at that. And that affecting our physical health, it goes into our finances, it goes into our family life, it goes into every area of our life. It’s a widespread thing, it puts it, its net wide, and brings everything under its control and under its pollution, that’s what sin is all about. But leprosy particularly represents the terrible corruption of sin and speak to us, of its activity and progress in ruining our lives in every way possible. Why? Because leprosy was considered at that time, as a living death. Man is living, and he’s dying while he is living. He is living, but his flesh is dying. That’s what leprosy is all about. They lose all feelings, in their skin and in their flesh, so that if they put their hand in the stove or something, it burns, they don’t even know that it has burned until they see it. They can be walking, they can break their ankle or something, they will not realize until they see it. They don’t know that it broke, because they can’t feel the pain. 

So they’re living. And while they’re living and breathing, they’re dying, the part of their body is dying. Their flesh is literally dying. And when a person was this way, in those days, it was considered contagious, so people avoided them and wanted to keep away from them. So they were put outside the city that cities had compound walls in those days, city walls were there, they put out these people outside the city. And these people lived out there in the bushes in the woods. And when people even came anywhere near them without knowing somebody walked by, and it seemed like they were approaching them coming near them, they are supposed to shout saying leper, leper, what a shameful thing to do. They’re supposed to warn them telling them to go away. They could not live with their family. They could not live in their society, the man would have built a house in the city, but he cannot live in his house. He has a wife but he cannot go and eat food in his house. He has children, he cannot go and enjoy his children. He cannot be in the society as part of that society. His basic rights as a citizen is denied to him, he is thrown out to the city and is living in the woods. He doesn’t even have a basic right to go see his wife and children and enjoys his time with them and eat his own food live in the house that he has built. 

Just imagine the tragedy of this thing. This disease was considered terminal with no cure. So leprosy was considered as a death sentence. That’s what it was. That’s horrible. One could not have had anything worse than this. And that is why the Bible has chosen this particular disease to describe sin and its effects. The sickness was chosen deliberately because of it’s horror, because of the seriousness of it, to describe sin, and what it does, and to show what redemption does. That is why this cleansing procedure where by he is declared clean after that procedure, this whole thing is purposely designed to show us the wonder of our salvation, the glory of our redemption. Now the whole process described here in verses one to seven that I read is about is over the healing of a leper. He is healed, now he needs to be declared as clean. It’s remarkable that these procedures were prescribed here. Do you know that in the rest of the Bible if you read, this procedure never needed to be used because no one ever got healed from leprosy. It seems like only Naman got healed but he was a foreigner. He was a Syrian and he didn’t follow the cleansing procedure of the Israelites. So he got healed and went home. It didn’t have to go through this procedure, this procedure described here. You will never read it anywhere as being used until Jesus came. When Jesus came, he started healing lepers. And not only healed lepers, he told them to go and show themselves to the priest and get certified saying that they’re clean. Only then they had to wake up and follow this procedure. This was already in place in the Old Testament. Is that amazing? Jesus himself says that there are many lepers in Israel in the time of Elijah the prophet, and none of them was cleansed, except Naman the Syrian. Being a Syrian you didn’t have to heed all these procedures given out here. So just imagine what happens when a leper feels that he is healed, just imagine what would have happened when Jesus healed the lepers. What a joy it must have brought them, what a shock it must have been that the guy got healed. Something that never happened for centuries. Until then, unless God performs a miracle, nobody can heal this disease. That’s the way the disease was known. Nobody gets healed, which is something that happens very, very rarely. And the guy gets healed. Jesus calls him touches him, and heals him. Remember, the leper that came to Jesus and says, if it be your will, make me clean, he says. To be clean is such a precious thing for him. 

If he can be clean, he can go home, if he can be clean, he can go back to his wife, children, if he can be clean in go eat in his house, sleep in his house, if he’s clean, he will get his honor back, respect back, places a society back, he will get his basic rights back. He says if be your will make me clean, he says. Jesus had no hesitation, didn’t even have to think about it. He said I will be thou made clean, he said. And he was made clean. Just imagine what that fellow would have done. And others that were healed by Jesus. Lepers who were healed by Jesus, they would have gone and they would have gone to the compound wall of the city. They’re found outside. So they would go and out on top of the wall usually is the watchman’s tower, where he sits and watches the city. And he will a shout it out to him and say, hey, open the gate. And that guy will have shouted back and said, aren’t you a leper? Why are you here, get away from here, don’t even come near. And he said, I’m healed, man, I’m healed. This Jesus of Nazareth came by and He healed me. And the watchmen would have come down. And you would have been shocked to find this guy healed. And you would have sent for the priest, and the priest will come out to the city to visit with this leper to find out whether he is really healed. And after the priest comes to him out of the camp, and after following the directions given for cleansing here in verses one to seven. He pronounces him clean, and presents them before the Lord. 

This presenting before the Lord is an expression that is used about eight times in chapter 14. Presenting this leper before the Lord, it’s very significant. Because leprosy is a picture of sin. A sinner is unable to come to God, he is far away from God, he is kept away from God. He’s like a leper before God. That is why this presenting him before the Lord is very important. That is mentioned eight times here. This leaper taken and presented before the Lord is very important. So here comes a man he gets his life back. As soon as he goes through the ceremony, he can go back home, he can go back to his wife, go back to his kids, he can go back to his job. He can worship in the sanctuary again, he can go back to God, he can worship his God. He can offer sacrifices. He’ll be allowed as one of the worshipers. He got his life back. He’s been healed. And look at what the ceremony is. It’s a revelation of redemption really. Let me read you from verse four. Then the priest shall command to take for him who’s to be cleansed to living and clean birds, see the word scarlet and hyssop. As soon as you would you read the word, wood, scarlet and hyssop, immediately you know this language has to do with redemption. Jesus died on the cross [inaudible 00:44:58] is he that hangs on a tree.

I hear is a wood of a tree. Scarlet is that something that they dress them with their red robe, after he was tried by pirate and found not guilty and pirate washed his hands and they insisted that he be given death punishment. And pirate says I’m not responsible for this, I find no sin in him, I find nothing wrong with him. And yet he committed him to be killed. And after he gave up to be killed, they take him and put a crimson robe on him. And just to make him look like the king and mark him, spit on him, laugh at him. And then again, put back his original clothing and tell him to carry the cross to Golgotha. And they crucified Him. And hyssop is something that you read about in Exodus chapter 12, where he talks about the past lamb. And God said, shed the blood of that lamb, and take the blood and put it on the doorposts and the lentils of the house where you will be sitting inside. How to apply the blood on the doorposts in the lentils, he says use hyssop. Hyssop was a common plant that was growing all around in those areas. You just go get a bunch of that plant and use it like a brush, dip it in the blood and go through the lentils and the frame of the entrance to the house. So all this language, if you’re used to reading the Bible looks like the redemptive language, redemptive work language. Let me first consider the two birds or sparrows, talks about. Two birds. He is supposed to take two birds, living and clean birds, it says. 

Now these two birds will be within the reach of the poorest of the poor. Because we read Jesus himself saying are not two sparrows sold for a [inaudible 00:47:18] And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your father. Jesus said they’re so cheap, you get to for a penny. That’s how cheap they are. So the redemptive work of Christ, the most wonderful thing is, this precious redemption, this redemption, that is beyond any value that you can estimate is given to us free at no cost. Everybody can have it. The poorest of the poor can have it, anybody can have it. That is why it’s represented by the birds. Now, and then, verse four says, the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living clean birds, cedar wood scarlet yarn and hyssop, and the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. Earthen vessel over running water the bird one of the birds must be killed over other than vessel over running water. Now, earthen vessel is a reference to the fact that Jesus is represented here by one of the birds that was killed. It speaks about Jesus and His death on the cross. In chapter two of Hebrews in verse 14, he talks about how in as much then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same. That is because we are flesh and blood, we have flesh and blood body, body, that belongs to this earth, this body came from this earth. Because we possess a body like this, he himself likewise shared in the same, he also had a body that was an earthly body just like ours. Why? So that through death, he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil, he had to have an earthly body so that he can die. 

And when he dies, through the death, he can destroy the one who had the power of death. He had come to destroy the one who had power of death, but for that he had to come in on earthly body, so that he can experience the death and through his death, destroy the one who had the power of death. And that is portrayed here by the bird that was killed in an earthen vessel. Jesus is one that came in an earthen body and was killed in this earth. Now listen to this. As for the living body shall take it, the cedar wood and the scarlet and the hyssop and dip them in the living bird and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. In other words, he says take the wood, scarlet and the hyssop and dip them along with the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. Now, the hyssop is an interesting thing. Turn with me to Psalm 51. In Psalm 51, the Psalmist is crying out for cleansing. You remember he sinned, he took another man’s wife and killed the husband. And then the prophet comes and rebukes him for it. Then the psalmist writes the Psalm he says, have mercy upon me, oh God. This is his prayer. According to your loving kindness according to the multitude of tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. In other words, cleanse me cleanse my transmission, some translations say. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, cleanse me from my sin. So he says, seeking cleansing, he feels like he has become a sinner and he cannot come before God. He feels like a leper far away from God. Cleanse me, he said, just like a leper would seek to be certified as clean. He wants to be certified as clean so that he can come back to God. 

He says, for I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight, that you may be found just when you speak and blameless when you judge, behold I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin my mother conceived me, behold you desire truth in the inward parts and in the hidden part, you will make me know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop. Here comes the hyssop. He says take that hyssop dip it in the blood, apply it to me, cleanse me with the blood, and I shall be clean. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me here, joy and gladness that the bones you’ve broken may rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my inequities. Create in me a clean heart, oh God and renew a steadfast spirit within me. And look at verse 11, do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. 

Here is a man who has sinned feeling like a leper would feel. Feel far away from God not allowed to come into the presence of God, crying for a cleansing. He has lost his joy. He had lost his gladness. He is sad, he is broken, he is in pieces, just like that leper. And he cries out saying created me a clean heart, oh God. Don’t cast me away from your presence. Do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me by your generous spirit. Then I will teach your transgressors your ways and sinners shall be converted. Give me the joy of your salvation, he says. Now, if you read in 14th chapter in Leviticus, if you read further after verse seven, after the procedure doesn’t end there. Then talks about offering being made and so on. Priests takes the oil and anoints this leper in so many places like the ear and so on, and legs and so on. In verse 18 says, the rest of the oil that is in the priests hand, he shall put on head of him who’s to be cleansed. So the priests shall make an atonement for him before the Lord. So the oil is placed on his head, signifying how he’s given the joy of the Lord back. Amazing view of redemption. And then we’re told in verse six and seven, in six we read that they’re supposed to take the wood, the scarlet and the hyssop and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that died. And verse seven it says. Listen to this, and he should sprinkle it seven times on him was to be cleansed from leprosy. After dipping it in the blood of the bird that died cleanse this leper by sprinkling it on him seven times sprinkling him with a blood of the bird that died. And then it says, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose to the open field. 

Now the living word that is let loose to the open field speaks of how, because this bird had died in the earthen vessel. This bird died to give its life for the other bird that’s going to go fly away and live now. The bird that died represented Christ, giving his life for us, the bird that was allowed to fly away in the open field represents us who are redeemed, because he died because he shed his blood because he took our place because he took all our sin upon him, we are allowed to fly, and we are allowed to go and rule and reign and live a life that we are supposed to live. What a tremendous picture of redemption, as is the perfect picture of what happened in the redemptive work of Christ. What is the picture, there was a clean one, just like the clean bird, there was a clean one who was born into the Earth in an earthen vessel, and he died in this earth, he shed his blood on the cedar on the tree. The tree that he hung upon was blood drenched from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet, he was drenched with blood and he hung on the tree, the tree was drenched with blood. And before that he was mocked in the scarlet, the piers decide and blood and water gushed out. The price was paid, the judgment was satisfied. Redemption was purchased. Now, anybody who’s out like this leper unable to come to God feels like they are dirty, broken, sick, and in a dead condition. Feel like they are living dead. They can look up to him and say I believe on him. I see Him as my Lord and I see him as my Savior. I see him as my life. 

And if they will let him come into their life. What he will do is by the Holy Spirit, He will reach out to that person and bring up that person and release him from his sin. Release him from his guilt, release him from the penalty, release him from the power of sin, just like the bird that was let go free. He will release him to go live his life in the power of this freedom, the newfound freedom that has now come because that Jesus Christ died on the cross. That’s the picture that it’s presenting. But overall, what is being presented is this. It all begins with sin. Sin ruins everything. And one of the manifestations of sin is of course, sickness. Adam sin brought sickness into this world. Not only sickness, every aspect of our life is affected. Every part of our life is polluted by sin affected. We all experience the outcome of that sin that Adam did. When we are born until we’re born with so many problems, because at the fountainhead itself, is bitterness. And what redemption does is a redemption cannot be true redemption unless it deals with all of these things. If a redemption is just only forgiveness of sin, that is not a redemption at all. It must start with the forgiveness of sin. And just like sin reached into every corner and crevice of human life and affected and polluted and ruined every aspect of life. The effect of this redemption must reach into every corner of human life. It must affect everything. It must affect my bodily health. It must affect my work of my hands. It must affect my family life. It must affect my social life. It was time affect every area of my life. It would make a difference in every area of my life. And that is why we believe that even health and healing is something that is covered by this wonderful atonement, this wonderful redemption that God has provided. 

I tell you a lot of times we don’t know what has been given to us in redemption. There is so much given to us. We don’t realize what it is, so much, not just promised accomplished for us, given to us, made ready for us, but we don’t realize it. It’s like money in the bank. Somebody has put it hoping that you will take it and use it and live by it. And if you don’t even know about it, how are you going to take it and live by it? You need to first know about it. That’s why I’m preaching about it. And once you know about it, you need to know how you need to put your faith in it, receive it, take it, considered as your blessed privilege that has been given to you, that it is your birthright in your new birth. This is your right in Jesus Christ. You have been redeemed. You belong to him, your blood washed, your blood bought you belong to him. He gave his life so that you may live. When you understand that, I’ll tell you, you will take up your bed and walk. You’ll begin to enjoy that healing and that strength and that health and that deliverance that you need. Amen. Shall we all stand together, please. Praise God. Let’s lift up our hand and say this, everybody lift up your hands and let’s say this. I have been redeemed. I have redemption in Jesus Christ. My redemption includes every area of my life. It affects every area of my life, including my health. So I receive my healing. I will take up my bed and walk. I will receive my healing every day. Healing is my birthright because of this redemption that has been purchased for me by the precious blood of Jesus, what no one can do, Jesus has done for me. Jesus, I’ve been redeemed. I’ve been bought with a prize. I belong to him in spirit, soul, and body therefore I’ll glorify God in my spirit and soul as well as in my body. My body is the temple of God of God. And therefore, it is blessed. It is healed. It is well in the name of Jesus, amen.

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