Our reading today deals with the dreaded disease, leprosy. Rather than study the disease itself, we shall compare leprosy with sin. Leprosy was not merely a surface eruption; it was deeper than the skin. What a picture of sin! The problem is not on the surface; it is deeper than the skin. It is in the heart. In Psalm 51:5, David said, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." And in Jeremiah 17:9 we read, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?".
In these chapters we also see that leprosy spreads. Sin also spreads. It begins with a thought, then a desire, then an act. The results can be, and often are, devastating. Remember how David left his army when he should have been fighting? He then allowed his eyes to wander to his neighbor's wife. He lusted and then committed adultery. He lied, made Uriah drunk, and finally had him murdered.
Leprosy not only spread, but it defiled; and it isolated those who were lepers. Sin also defiles and isolates. It defiles the mind, the heart, the body and all that it touches. It isolates from family, friends, and ultimately, from God.
Chapter 14 explains the ceremony for cleansing the leper, making it possible for him to go back to normal society. There are several comparisons between the sacrifice offered by the Priest for the cleansing of leprosy, and the supreme sacrifice, Jesus Christ, offered for sin. The blood comparison is probably the most significant. In the cleansing of leprosy there was no substitute for the blood of the sacrifice. In the cleansing from sin there is no substitute for the blood of Christ. Without His shed blood applied to the sinner's heart, there is no redemption. Because of His mercy, His goodness, and His love for mankind He gave His life's blood that all who, by faith, accept Him may have cleansing from the defilement of sin.
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