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February 4                                  Today’s Reading — Leviticus 12-13

The Lord and the Leper

Leviticus 13:17


In Leviticus 13 and 14 the Lord God gives us ceremonial laws regarding uncleanness. Chapter 13 is all about the ceremonial uncleanness and ceremonial cleansing of the leper. The unclean leper represents fallen man in his uncleanness before God. The leprosy of the body represents the uncleanness of the soul. The cleansing of the leper represents the salvation of God’s elect and our cleansing from sin in and by Christ, our Savior. As leprosy in ancient times was considered incurable by any human means, the sin and uncleanness, the ruin of fallen man is an evil from which there is no cure and no deliverance but by God. — Who but God can forgive sin?

      Aaron, as the great high priest to whom the leper was to show himself, typified Christ, our great High Priest. Everyone infected by the filth of leprosy was to show himself to the priest. And the sinner who would obtain God’s forgiveness must show himself to the Savior (1 John 1:7, 9). Everything written in this chapter indicates the spiritual disease of the soul. It is an old disease. It is a corruption of the heart, and is not merely skin deep. The sinner is full “of wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores” (Isaiah 1:5). And none but the Priest of priests, even the Lord Jesus Christ, that great High Priest of our profession, can cleanse from sin.

      The spots which appear without may differ, but the leprosy is the same within. Sin breaks out in many ways, but the polluted fountain of our fallen nature is the source of all the outward evil. Out of the heart proceed all evil thoughts and wicked deeds (Matthew 15:18-20) The only remedy for our evil is Christ. It is the blood of Christ alone which cleanses us from all sin.

      How gracious it is of God the Holy Spirit to show us by these shadows of the law the leprous state in which we stood before God by reason of sin. How very precious is the Lord Jesus, our great High Priest, as He is brought to us here as that One appointed by God our Father to whom the convinced sinner must show himself, the only one who can pronounce the leper clean. He alone can show us our leprosy. He alone can cure the leprosy. And He alone can pronounce us clean.

      Teach me, O Spirit of God, the horrid leprous state of my fallen nature, in which I was born. Give me grace to plunge continually into that Fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness in the Savior’s precious blood. Ever lead me to Him by Your sweet, irresistible mercy. When I am enabled to draw nigh and show myself naked before Him that He may search me and try me, when under the deepest conviction of misery, give me grace to trust Him. Cleanse me, O Lord, from my soul’s deep, deep leprosy. Wash me, and I shall be clean! Clothe me with the garments of salvation. Give me daily grace and hourly strength to” put off, concerning the former con­versation, the old man which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the Spirit of my mind: and to put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.




Don Fortner








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