Torah portion : Leviticus 14:1-15:22
In the portion Metzora, God speaks to Moses regarding the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing. A leper was perhaps the most despised of all people. they were completely isolated, outcasts, rejected. Lepers were captive by their rotting flesh. They were putrid, and they could not hide their disease. They were dirty , spurned, afflicted, like those who men hide their faces from, not to to mention the physical pain of the festering wounds. but God doesn’t leave them in that condition. once they have been healed , he provides for them a law of return.
God gives instructions for the priests. The first instruction, is for the priest to go outside of the camp, where the leper was isolated. This is because God himself, our priest, plans to come out of his place to meet us here on earth, where we are lonely, despairing and living under the consequences of sin. it is here on earth where God cleanses us and makes an offering for his people.
The law of the leper, is written for the purpose of return. a protocol once the infection of leprosy is healed, this is to foreshadow Hebrews 9:27, which says, “that Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many , shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await him.” the leper at this point needs only to be cleansed. His sins are gone, indicated by the healing, and he awaits the priest. who comes to bring him back into fellowship with God and into the holy place, the tabernacle.
God says, ‘take two live birds, slay one in an earthen vessel, over living water. take the other bird and dip it in the blood of the one who was slain, then let it go free into the open field.’
When Christ was on the Cross, he was pierced in the side and out came water and blood, just like this bird that was offered up for the cleansing of the unclean. As this bird was being killed both water and blood would be the image seen by those near. this is to show the one who has been healed a picture of what was happening and what would happen in the future. The bird slain represents messiah. The bird which was living was symbolic of the leper himself. life and freedom was given to the living bird, after he was covered in the blood of the offering. The blood marked him as atoned for, released from captivity and healed. He was then able to return to the place where he was made for.
When The destroyer saw the mark of blood on the doorposts of the children of those who believed and trusted God, He passed over those homes allowing them to live, and then they were set free into the wilderness to pursue the place of promise for which they were made.
“and the blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you live, and when i see the blood i will pass over you, and no plague shall befall you to destroy you when i strike the land of Egypt.”
this portion serves as both a foreshadow and a reminder of God’s work, compassion and willingness to come to the aid of those who are awaiting him. how he cleanses the healed and frees those who have suffered as a result of sin. We are dipped and stained with his blood and set free.
our high priest will announce us clean and present us before the Lord at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
“i am the door; anyone who enters through me shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture.”