We disobeyed God and chose sin over holiness, knowledge over intimacy with Jesus, and pride over humility (Genesis 3:5). Irrespective of whether we admit our sin, it lingers at the door and desires to control (Genesis 4:7). However, there is a remedy, and its cure lies in how we perceive Jesus. Is He worthy?
Digging deeper into the story of the leper, let’s examine his actions after being cleansed.
“Go and offer the gift Moses commanded”
Those were the words of Jesus commanding the transformed man to obey the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing (See Leviticus 14).
Why was his obedience critical? His actions symbolized a new beginning. The Leper would have washed his clothes, shaved off all his hair, and entered a seven-day waiting period. On the seventh day, he repeated the shaving and washing to be clean (Leviticus 14:9), and on the eight-day, a lamb was sacrificed.
Note: Because a healing occurred, a lamb without blemish must be sacrificed for him to be presented before the Lord (Leviticus 14:11).
The blood of the lamb from the trespass offering, could be placed on the healed man’s right ear, thumb, and big toe. Moreover, only after the blood had been applied, could the oil be placed over the blood and finally on the head of the leper.
A Royal Priesthood
In 1 Peter 1:9, we are told that we are a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that we may declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
The law of the leper pointed to the day when we would be cleansed from our sins, and become God’s royal priesthood, as the leper would have received a ceremony like a priests’ when the blood was applied (see Leviticus 8).
Thus, consecration followed restoration.
So, what happened?
Let’s look at Mark 1.
Jesus told him: “See that you tell no one: but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter (verse 44-45).
Of course, he was ecstatic. Leprosy was hardly, if ever, cured. In one moment, his whole life had changed. No longer a pariah, his miracle brought joy.
However, the transformation required a change of lifestyle. The seven-day waiting period in conjunction with the washing and shaving symbolized new birth. A new creation. One could not go through such intense, excruciating pain and circumstances and remain the same.
A moment of reflection
The price of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and the leper was reminded that the cost of his freedom was the life of an innocent lamb. Those seven days of reflection and repentance painted the reality that upon entering the world again, we would be new creatures, untarnished by sin.
The past behind us and now consecrated for the Lord’s work, we submit to God. For we know that it is not we that live, but Christ in us (Galatians 2:20).
He poured out His life unto death and was numbered with the transgressors. He bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12).
Friend, someone had to pay the price of our sins, and it wasn’t us.
Christ is worthy
After receiving grace, let us sit in His presence and consider His holiness. Have we ever willingly asked God to purify us as David did? He cried out to God:
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness; that the bones which Thou has broken may rejoice. Hide Thy face from my sins and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51: 7-10).
So, let’s ask:
- Do I consider Christ worthy of leaving everything behind?
- Is Jesus worth of any and all pain I could suffer for His name’s sake?
- Do I count Jesus, My Lord, and Friend, worthy of giving up the pleasures of sin?
- Is He worthy?
God set us free by satisfying His wrath by crushing Jesus (see Lamentations 3; Isaiah 53:10). May our hearts be tender to the sufferings of Christ. He gave all for us, and may we, in response to His great love, sing as we surrender our lives, “Jesus, You are worthy!”