Jesus as the Red Heifer

13 Nov

red_heifer
Read Numbers 19:1-10
On the surface, this is yet another sacrifice and ceremony. But on closer inspection we find hints of Jesus. It’s another Scarlet Thread.
First, like other sacrificial animals, it had to have no defect and be without blemish. This points to the sinlessness of Christ.
Second, it was given to Eleazar the priest, taken outside the camp and slaughtered before him. It was also burned there. Likewise, Jesus was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem at Golgotha (Calvary). Some of its blood is sprinkled in front of the tabernacle of meeting. After it is burned, a ceremonial clean person gathers up the ashes and stores them outside the camp in a clean place, kept for the congregation, to make the water of purification for the purifying from sin.
This statute was not only for Israel but also for the stranger who dwells among them, pre-figuring the worldwide nature of the gospel.
If the water of purification is not applied, “his uncleanness is still upon him.” It must be applied. Likewise we must be cleansed by Christ. When His side was pierced on the cross, blood and water flowed out. Blood for covering (atonement) and water for cleansing.
As with many types and shadows in the Old Testament, it’s only when the light of the New Testament shines on it that we understand its significance.
Hebrews 9:11-15
“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
This is a comparison from the lesser (blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer) to the greater (the blood of Christ). Also from the lesser (the purifying of the flesh) to the greater (to cleanse your conscience). Because of this difference between the old and new covenants, (for this reason) he is the Mediator of the new covenant.

Hebrews 13:11-13
“For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.”
As the heifer was slaughtered outside the camp, Jesus also suffered outside Jerusalem. Since He identified with us in our sin, we ought also to identify with Him in His shame.

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