The person who has been healed of leprosy is to present himself to the priest at the Temple. The Temple provides two birds, a piece of cedar, a piece of scarlet cloth, a branch of hyssop, and an earthen jar. Someone is to put into the jar a small amount of water from a natural source of “living” water. Next, the priest has someone else kill one of the birds so that its blood drips into the jar and mingles with the water. The priest takes the second bird and dips it, along with the cedar, cloth, and hyssop, into the bloody water. He sprinkles the healed leper seven times, pronounces him clean, then lets the bird go free.
Our High Priest was dressed in scarlet, nailed to a wooden cross, offered vinegar on hyssop, and buried in an earthen vessel. He was willingly killed by the hand of another so that we could be washed in his blood and set free from our sin. Like the healed leper, there is nothing we can do to save ourselves and join the kingdom of the Messiah except place ourselves at his mercy. The birds are Yeshua who was killed for us, rose from the tomb, and ascended to heaven. We are the leper sprinkled seven times as a sign of completion, as if to say, “It is finished.”
After being sprinkled with the bloody water, the cleansed leper shaves his entire body and washes his clothes and body. He then moves into the camp, but doesn’t enter his own tent for seven days. At the end of the seventh day, he shaves his entire body and washes again, then he is finally clean.
A new believer is declared clean by our High Priest, but must still work at cleaning his life before he can assume any kind of authority or official role in the kingdom. Only after he has proven himself should he be called a bishop, elder, or deacon.
On the eighth day, the cleansed leper takes to the Temple two male lambs and one female yearling lamb, three omers of flour mixed with oil, and one log of oil. The priest kills one lamb as a guilt offering and one as a sin offering. After the sin offering, the priest anoints the right ear, thumb, and big toe of the leper with lamb’s blood. He then waves the oil and anoints the leper with oil on top of the blood. The remainder of the oil is poured over his head. Finally, the priest kills the third lamb and burns it along with the flour.
The cleansed leper offers three lambs and measures of oil and grain on the eighth day. Eight is the number of new beginnings, and the leper has already begun his new life. The two birds sacrificed on the first day are provided by the Temple, and these sacrifices are offered only after he has been cleansed. No offering or sacrifice we can make has anything to do with our salvation. Anything we do is done only in response. Once our guilt and sin have been removed, we are commanded to hear Torah (the ear), do Torah (the thumb), and walk in Torah (the toe). The anointing oil is placed on top of the anointing blood. Learn the Word, be filled with the Spirit, and then teach the Word. I’m not sure of the meaning of the burnt offering at this point. Perhaps it means that by the time we are able to teach, we should be mature in our faith with nothing left of our flesh but ashes.
Four of the five types of sacrifices are made in the cleansing of a leper: guilt, sin, grain, and burnt. The final sacrifice of the thanks offering is not commanded, but it is expected, and will be blessed. Following the rules can be a good thing, but it is God alone who heals and saves. Be sure to give glory where glory is due.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back and glorified God with a loud voice. And he fell down on his face at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan.
And answering, Jesus said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were none found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner? And He said to him, Rise and go; your faith has cured you