SOAP Journal – 15 February 2017 (Leviticus 14:2-3)

This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing. Now he shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall go out to the outside of the camp. Thus the priest shall look, and if the infection of leprosy has been healed in the leper ….

Leviticus 14:2-3

There is much and more that has been said about leprosy in The Bible. The first thing I note in this morning’s verses is the arbitrary insertion of verses. It would make more sense to insert a verse break at the end of a complete sentence. Then again, maybe it was the end of a sentence in the translation used to decide where to put the verses.

The thing that caught my attention is the phrase the priest shall go out to the outside of the camp.

First, this caught my attention because there is no record of any priest in Jesus’ time doing any such thing for the lepers Jesus cleansed. The lepers were all told to go and show themselves to the priests and offer the sacrifice for their cleansing. Not once have I read an account of the priests coming out to the lepers. There are, however, several accounts of our High Priest going out to the lepers as far as the Christian is concerned.

Which brings me to the second reason this caught my attention: Jesus, my High Priest, went to the lepers not only to look at them, but to touch them and to cleanse them. This is vitally important to my understanding of Who Jesus is and how He loves. Most people scattered like roaches in when the light comes on any time a leper came near them. And with good reason. There were no cures for the diseases that are variously caught under the umbrella of what is described as leprosy. There are still no cures for some forms of leprosy. Touching a leper was likely to result in becoming one. Jesus spoke to these people and touched them and came away unscathed. And the leper often walked away cured of the incurable.

In The Bible, leprosy is often an analog for sin: it infects us and kills us slowly and is, apart from God, incurable. But Jesus, my High Priest, does what God commanded the priest do and goes out to the leper and touches him and declares that he is cleansed. Jesus does this still with sinners. He comes to us and touches us and declares us cleansed from the sin that was killing us and separating us from communion with our Maker. Jesus is still doing for the spiritual leper — the sinner like me and everyone else who has ever lived — what cannot otherwise be done.

Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son to find me and cleanse me and do for me what could not otherwise be done. Thank You for cleansing me of the leprosy of my soul. Please work that cleansing outward until it manifests in a life completely changed by Your grace.

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