Welcome to Venom Removal Series Leviticus 4. The previous chapter (Lev Ch. 11), had information about defilement of God’s people by eating unclean foods (click here). We observed that in the New Testament, it was made clear that nothing that we eat (whether unclean food or medicines or anything) defiles the human body. These Old Testament instructions only served to teach God’s people to stay away from environments that lead us into the temptation of sin.
The Gospel in Woman having a Childbirth (Lev 12)
Now in chapter 12, of the book of Leviticus, we have yet another strange idea that a woman who gives birth to a male or female child is declared unholy for seven and fourteen days respectively. In the case of a male child, the woman was to be impure for seven days, and in the case of a female child, she is to be impure for two weeks. This idea appears weird because we have scriptures that tell us otherwise.
The Confusion Cleared
In Genesis, we read that it was God who blessed man to become fruitful and in psalms, we read that children are a heritage of the Lord (c.f. Gen 1:28, Psalms 127:3). On the contrary not being able to bear children was considered a curse from God (see Deut 7:14, I Sam 1:6).
If that be so, then how can giving birth to a child be a reward of the lord and also a sin at the same time? These seemingly contradictory passages are designed in the scriptures to make us pause and think. When we reread it again and again, in order to solve the seeming contradiction, we realize that clue is given in the preceding verses of chapter 11. God told them that coming in contact with dead corpse defiles human beings (v24, 28, 31, 39, Numbers 19:11).
So the point is clear that death and sin are linked together. Coming in contact with the dead is sinful in the sight of God. This makes us ponder that if a woman is declared as defiled when she comes in contact with her newborn baby, then certainly the newborn baby must be somehow dead in the sight of God. And this makes the picture clear as we know from New Testament that man is born spiritually dead. Paul says that death had entered mankind through Adam (Rom 5:12).
Our True State
Humanity died spiritually the day Adam ate the forbidden fruit (Gen 2:17). Since that day man has been a progenitor of death and sin (Eph 2:5). We are all sinful humans, born spiritually dead (Eph 4:18, Luke 15:24). Only Christ the true eternal life can quicken and revive us (Eph 2:1, 5:14).
Then we read in the 3rd verse of Leviticus 12 that such a spiritually dead “newborn baby” was to be made sanctified on the eighth day by circumcision (Lev 12:3). This we know is interpreted as putting off the body of flesh (Col 2:11). When he takes baptism then we die to our old sinful nature and become truly alive, sanctified in the sight of God (Col 2:12). Thus Leviticus 12:3 foretells human salvation through putting off old nature and getting resurrected in Christ (c.f. Lev 12:3, Rom 4:11, 12). Leviticus 12:6-8 is about the atonement of sins by sacrificing.
For further understanding check out 1 Cor 7:14.
Leprosy and the Gospel (Lev 13,14)
Leviticus chapter 13 & 14 gives detailed instruction for the disease of leprosy. Because of the laws of Leviticus 13,14, a leprous man was considered as one who is condemned and cursed by God (see Num 12, II King 5:27, II Chronicles 26:19-21). Just like the defilement spread by touching the dead bodies, so did leprosy. Next, we read that a person found to be infected with leprosy was to be carried out of the camp of Israel, and his garments spotted with leprosy to be rent (Lev 13:45,46).
He was supposed to accept that he is unclean (v45). Some of the lepers who received healing were to offer sacrifice, be washed in waters, and then reconciled when the priest pronounces him justified/clean (Lev 14). Another noteworthy mention was that leprosy was so contagious that it was supposed to spread not only from human to human but from human to every object whether animate or inanimate which came in its contact. It could spread to the house itself (Lev 14:35), walls (v37), stones (v40), wood (v45), even the mortar and clay used therein (14:42). Leprosy was so contagious that it even defiled clothes of woolen, linen, leather, warp, and woof (Lev 13:51-58).
The Saviour from our Sins
Those who get healed by the mercies of God, for them the priest was supposed to go the leper for the examination and not the vice-versa(14:3). The priest will then observe the healing of the leper, and offer sacrifice for him (14:4-6, 10-32). The Leper was to wash in water and was pronounced cleansed/justified (14:8-9).
The gospel aspects hidden in this are not hard for us to grasp. We who are infected with the disease of the heart (Jeremiah 17:9), and were cast away from the presence of God (alienated – Col 1:21), are declared just and clean by our high priest Jesus Christ, our Lord. We must wash with water and believe in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus offered on our behalf. One day this world which is infected with the sins of Adam (Gen 3:17), will be burnt with fire. See this information encapsulated in the table below.
|Leprosy in Leviticus||New Testament Significance|
|Leprosy was contagious (Lev 5:3)||The sin that came to humanity from Adam has spread from Adam to all mankind (Rom 5:12, c.f. Lev 13:45, Isa 6:5 )|
|Were a plague and a condemnation from God||Those under sin are under the wrath of God (Eph 2:3)|
|Person suffering was to be carried out of the camp||Adam and all mankind infected with sin are removed away from the Garden of Eden and the presence of God|
|Those who were healed were healed by the mercies of God||It is God’s mercy who choose to heal us of our sins (John 15:16, I John 4:19, Mat 8:2-3)|
|Those on whom God showed mercy to heal were to wash their clothes and offer sacrifice.||We who are healed of sins are to wash in water baptism and believe in the sacrifice of Jesus|
|Those who refused to wash were to bear their iniquity (Lev 17:16)||Those who refuse the salvation offered by Jesus will bear their own iniquity|
|It spread to every object to houses, walls, stones, garments, etc||Sin spread not only to humans from Adam, but it subjected the entire earth under a curse (Rom 8:20, Gen. 3:17-19)|
|Garments infected to be broken and burnt (13:52,57, 14:45)||Old heavens and earth will be removed and burnt with fire (2 Pet 3:7, 12). We are to hate garments spotted with sin (Jude 1:23)|