This is a day to pause, friends. To stop the busy, if only for a few moments, and reflect on all our Savior did for us.
I’ve been reading through the book of Leviticus and Hebrews with Proverbs 31 Ministries’s First 5 app. The weight of the continual sacrifices which needed to be completed for the forgiveness of sins and cleansing is a heavy one. Without understanding the Hebrew culture, much of this part of the Bible can not be fully understood with a simple reading.
Leviticus 14 is one of those chapters. As I read of the sacrifice the leper needed to bring in order to be cleansed, I had to dig a little deeper since I did not understand the significance of the two birds, cedar-wood, scarlet and hyssop that were to be brought. So much of the Old Testament points to the completion of the New Testament. This sacrifice points us to what we celebrate today; the day when Christ would pay the final sacrifice for us.
I learned in Matthew Henry’s commentary: one of the birds was to be killed over an earthen cup of water, causing the water to turn blood red, just as when Christ’s side was pierced water and blood spilled out in John 19:34.
When I read of the cedar wood, I was reminded of the cedar closet my family had in our attic when I was a child. Built to preserve our northern-winter woolens, through the hot summer months, they were kept safe from the moths that would attempt to destroy them. When fall came and we were ready for the protection they provided from the cold, they always had a powerful scent. They had spent all summer soaking in the fragrance of the cedar-wood.
The strong cedar-wood in this sacrifice was a symbol of the restoration of the leper. The scarlet wool indicated that the whiteness of his leprosy was gone and the hyssop brought a fresh scent, the odor of death no longer lingering. After the sacrifice, the other bird was set free.
Friend, Jesus’ death for us, gives us restoration and new life. We are the free bird. As Psalm 18:19 says, “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
We have been set free to give Him glory and live in His spacious place. Free to fly in His fullest.
Open your heart to rejoice today in all He has done for us. We are His!