Dear church,

The cleansing ceremonies described in Leviticus 14 didn’t heal a person, and they didn’t clear the mildew out of a home. This was not magic. And that’s important to understand as we read a chapter like this. Some other religions look to rituals like these to carry out healings, as if the healing something a person can do by saying and doing the right things.

Israel’s rituals instead marked and celebrated the healing work of God. The person who was healed, and the owner of a home that was found cleansed, could only look to God. He is the one who purifies. 

God in Exodus 15:26 described himself as the “healer” of Israel. God later said, “I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal” (Deuteronomy 32:39). The Israelites were to recognize that if they were healed of their skin diseases, and if their homes were found to be clean of impurities, it was God who did it. 

And then they brought their sacrifices. They marked the moment. And they surely expressed their gratitude. They returned a gift to God (Matthew 8:1-4).

Two birds were brought. One was killed, and one flew away – free. It was a visual reminder of life in this fallen world. We rejoice when we find our freedom, when we walk away with our lives. We understand it could have been different. 

How do you respond to the blessings of God? When you pray for God to move in your life, and then he does, what is your response?

“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Hebrews 13:15). 

I wonder whether we celebrate enough together as a church. 

Chris

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